This year marks the 135th anniversary of the Matchgirls Strike and last month we were delighted to have welcomed Samantha and Graham, founding trustees of The Matchgirls Memorial, onto the Gasworks.
We wrote about the Matchgirls last year (read here), who’s success in the borough in 1888, was the beginning of New Unionism and played a key role in labour history. Since writing our first article, we’ve been exploring and engaging with different community groups to build a picture of how the site coexisted with wider industrial heritage in the area.
It was fascinating to meet the team behind The Matchgirls Memorial and hear their aspirations for greater commemoration of the Matchgirls in and around the borough.
We also learnt the Matchgirls plays an extra important role to Samantha, as she’s not only a campaigner for the Matchgirls legacy, but the great granddaughter of Sarah Chapman, one of the leaders of the Matchgirls Strike in 1888.
To learn more about The Matchgirls Memorial and how you can support them, please click here.