The Black Country Living Museum is a pretty cool place to find out about the places we’ve come from. It’s also a great to find out about the people behind our history too.
Mary Macarthur was a pretty amazing woman in the Black Country’s history.
Around the start of the 20th Century, lots of women workers used to be treated very unfairly. They were made to work long hours and for not very much money at all!
It was a hard and horrible life, but they didn’t dare say anything as they were scared of being fired and not being able to feed their family.
Mary Macarthur saw this injustice and decided to help.
In 1910, she led the women chain makers of Cradley Heath to bring to the world’s attention the slave-like conditions they worked in. They marched with large banners which read “To Fight To Struggle To Right the Wrongs”. The dispute eventually led to the introduction of Britain’s first minimum wage.
Listen to this episode of The Black Country Living Museum’s ‘Adventures Through Time’ to hear all about what she did to help these workers.
Activity: Design a placard
Do you think something happening in the world right now is unfair? Why don’t you have a go at designing your own placard that demonstrates your point of view. It should be bright and easy to read and make clear exactly what it is you are striking against. Like Mrs Macarthur’s banners!