After the First World War ended, some trade unions tried to ban women from continuing to work as spinners. The Oldham unions argued that they wanted to protect the ‘health and morality’ of the women. Bolton, with a longer history of female mule spinners, opposed the ban.

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Ref. SA Henry Papers

Rylands and Sons, the company established by Enriqueta’s husband John, employed many women as mule spinners in their mills. In Wigan the coal mines provided local men with work

meaning there were more opportunities for women to work as mule spinners.

Ref. RYL/1/3/8


Tram Permanent Way Repairers, Atherton, Lancashire

During the First World War large numbers of men were on military service overseas and much of the heavy, dirty, manual work was now women’s work. This photographic album shows women working across a range of industries from logging timber and making munitions to keeping the textile mills running.

Ref. VPH.5