A very brief account of the wildcat strike of women workers in Bridport, Dorset.
On the afternoon of Friday 9 February, 1912, a group of women workers in the Gundry's net and rope factory walked out on unofficial strike against changes to their pay and conditions.
The Bridport News reported that women strikers marched through the streets of Bridport singing the suffragette anthem 'Shoulder to Shoulder', with the protest documented by local photographer Clarence Austin.
A collection to support the strikers raised nearly £10 (£650 in today's money).
1912 photograph by Clarence Austin
The workers refused arbitration from the local MP, and kept up their strike for a week. A trade union official from London, Miss Ada Newton of the National Federation of Women's Workers, came to the town, signed up the women to the union and reach an agreement with the owner, Mr MacDonald on 15 February. The women return to work at 6 AM the next day.
In 2015, local women formed the Bridport Wildcats and re-enacted the dispute. They congregated in Bucky Doo Square and marched down West Street, waving protest banners and singing on their way to the site of the former Gundry's factory, which is now Amsafe.
2015 reconstruction of a 1912 photograph
- Bridport News, 16 February 1912
- Bridport News, 23 February 1912
- Wildcats strike again - retrieved on 15/02/16
- Bridport Wildcats recreate historic protest - retrieved on 15/02/16
- Bridport women celebrate the Bridport Wildcats of 1912 - retrieved on 15/02/16