Women Work and War

7 November 2015 – 24 September 2017 at Leeds Industrial Museum

An exhibition honouring the vital role women played in the First World War.

The First World War brought many changes to the working lives of British Women. As men headed abroad to fight in the war over one million women joined the workforce between 1914 and 1918. They took on the jobs left by men including bus drivers, train cleaners, police officers and fire fighters. Large numbers of new roles were also created as part of the war effort, for example in munitions factories.

Women, Work & War highlights the variety of these roles women had in Leeds across the economy in the First World War. It shares the stories of women working in the city’s munitions manufacturing which began in Armley and expanded to the Barnbow site in East Leeds. Although better paid they risked their health and lives for dangerous work.

Listen to people today describe the Barnbow munitions workers, share the smells of the Barnbow factory, learn about the lives lost in the 1916 factory explosion and be inspired by these women to create Leeds’ greatest ‘Shero’.

This exhibition is supported by East Leeds History and Archaeology Society.

Exhibition events 2016:
(The exhibition and all events are free with normal museum admission.)

Curator tour of Women, Work & War
Thurs 28 January, 12pm (BE)

Activism! Design your own posters and badges inspired by the exhibition
Tues 16 – Thurs 18 February, all day (suitable for under 12s)

Reading and writing workshops with WW1 author Robert Bullock
6 & 7 April, 10am – 4pm (BE)

Munitions Workers Experience of Fashion – Talk by Jenny Roberts
Thurs 19 May, 2pm (BE)

Who’s your ‘shero’?
Explore amazing Leeds women and make a collage or feminist ‘zine.
Weds 3 & Sat 6 August, all day

Munitions at Armley and Newlay in the First World War – Talk by Curator Lucy Moore
Sat 10 September, 12pm (BE)

Women of Barnbow – Talk by Bob & Jacki Lawrence
Fri 4 November, 2pm (BE)

(BE) = Booking required for these events – contact Leeds Industrial Museum to book a place.
Talks take place in the museum conference room, which is accessible via a flight of stairs.