To coincide with our production of Made in Dagenham we are looking for people to participate in an exciting new project all about the stories of women who worked at the Ford Dagenham plant between 1968 and 1984.
Are you a woman that used to work at the Ford Dagenham Plant during 1968-1984?
Or do you have a female friend or family member that worked at Ford during this time?
“We wanted our skill. The recognition of our skill. Because B grade was unskilled. Someone who swept around your feet had B Grade. If you had to have a test to go in and get that job – would you want the same pay as them? So we took matters into our own hands.”Geraldine Deer, 1984 striker
The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, launches a very exciting documentary video inspired by local voices, Women’s Stories of Ford Dagenham, in February 2017.
Women’s Stories of Ford Dagenham tells the vital story of the exceptional women who worked at Ford Dagenham between 1968-1984 who fought for women’s equal pay at Ford. This subsequently prompted the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Fourteen years later, the women of Ford Dagenham downed tools once more to strike for equality within the workplace. In 1984, they won their fight.
“Oh we laughed. We were good at laughing and joking about. I loved my job. Even though Fords were famous for its striking, I loved it there. I’d be there now if it wasn’t for retiring.” Pamela Brown, 1984 striker
Curated with support from 10 young women from the local community who have played leading roles in collecting these stories, we have interviewed over 50 machinists, workers, friends and family to tell these unforgettable stories. The project will exhibit these voices alongside photographs and transcripts. Delve into the world that was Ford Dagenham and get to know these sensational machinists, their fondest memories and the struggles they encountered whilst on the picket line, striking for women’s equality.
Valence House Museum
Tuesday 7 March – Sunday 26 March
Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls
Monday 27 March – Tuesday 18 April
Romford Central Library
Tuesday 18 April – Monday 1 May
Rainham School for Girls
Tuesday 2 May – Friday 12 May
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
Monday 15 May – Monday 29 May
Women’s Stories of Ford Dagenham Official Website
Eileen Pullen (3rd left) celebrating a colleague’s retirement, early ‘60s
GWEN DAVIS AND EILEEN PULLEN, ORIGINAL FORD STRIKERS OF 1968
“WE WERE DETERMINED NOT TO GO BACK TO WORK UNTIL WE GOT SOMETHING. ONLY WHEN THEY RAN OUT OF SEATS DID THINGS START TO HAPPEN. ONE-AND-AHALF WEEKS, THEY REALISED THEY HAD TO GET US BACK.”
Gwen Davis (3rd right) with colleagues, easter bonnet celebration, ’70s
Eileen (3rd lady left) at her ‘shop”s easter bonnet parade in the ’70s at the river plant
Eileen (3rd right), easter bonnet parade, river plant, ’70s