Welcome to one of the rare places where you can witness the success and the importance of Matchwomen’s movement which was more important than you may imagine. Today, women, working conditions are much better than they were in the past. You should thank the women who started this improvement in the 19th century. The Matchwomen’s Festival is held each year in London, in the honor of brave women who began spreading the word and demanding better labor conditions.

The history

The festival is held in honor of hundreds of women from London, who in 1888 began the first ever women strike in the match factory, located in East London. At that time, their working conditions and wages were impossible. The conditions in which they worked were so difficult that some women were unable to work, despite the fact they had to. Wages were so low that women were unable to support themselves or to live an average life!

In 1888, most of the women workforce from the mentioned factory started the first strike ever. All what they wanted were better labor conditions and finally salaries which can provide a decent life, nothing more. At that time, it looked like an impossible mission. However, in 2 weeks only, the factory management improved the conditions and increased the wages. It was a remarkable accomplishment. You should know that the name of the factory was Bryant & May. The founders were powerful aristocrats with connections across the United Kingdom, especially in the government. Women were ordinary workforce, but they had courage Bryant & May didn’t expect.

During the strike, the women revealed all about ‘’phossy jaw’’, a disease inside a factory, about impossible conditions and several other issues. Shareholders were embarrassed and they decided to change all of that.

The first strike was just a beginning. On the following year, in 1889 the Great London Dock Strike began. It was followed by strikes all over the country and it had an impressive result on women’s labor conditions. The movement is responsible for working conditions women have today.

Join the festival

In order to say thank to the women who began the fight, the Matchwomen’s Festival is held each year in Central London. Here, visitors can see what those women went through and can see details which were hidden from the eyes of the public.

The tickets are free and all people are welcome to come and to see a part of the human history which is probably still mysterious to most of you. This is especially important for women, who can reclaim their power and the essence of what women from 1888 had.

On the festival, speakers and performers are entirely focused on the core of the movement from the 19th century. The clubs and a variety of associations will participate as well, all in the goal of making the festival worthy of those who started it in the first place. Each year the festival is more and more popular and visitors from all parts of the world are coming.

Contact Us

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question, comments or message. We’ll try to respond to everything.

    Name: Myrtle Banks
    Email: info@matchwomensfestival.com
    Address: 2336 Post Avenue, Fisher, MN 56723
    Phone: 218-891-5326