The 1920s were heavily overshadowed by the Great War. Women’s experience of the war, in employment, in public and voluntary service, in bereavement and in the upheavals to family life meant that life would never be the same again. At the same time there was a positive sense of progress and change. Women had achieved – at least partially – the goal of parliamentary votes. Legislation had opened up new opportunities – to be a member of parliament, a magistrate, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Once-experimental technologies such as those concerned with electricity or the petrol engine came to be available to a wider group of the population. The Symposium on Women in the 1920s will explore the impact of these changes on women’s lives in the West of England and South Wales.
The Symposium is jointly presented by Devon History Society (DHS) and the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network (WESWWHN) and will take place on Saturday 18 September 2021. The event will be held at Exeter Central Library from 10.30 to 15.30 if Covid-19 restrictions permit, and if not on Zoom.
A varied programme includes a key note speech from Professor Maggie Andrews, and group and individual presentations on topics ranging from women’s new opportunities in politics, south west craftswomen, and the lives of women in an urban slum. We will also be presenting a film and slide show on Women at Work in the 1920s, and there will be a book stall.
Incidentally, we are looking for suitable images of Women at Work in the 1920s from anywhere in the West of England and South Wales for the slide show. If you can help, please contact Julia Neville.
Picture Credit: Chapel Outing, Courtesy Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust