Bradford Peace Trail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
             
   
09 Florence White
  Florence White (1886 - 1961) was a 1930's national campaigner, and a successful one, for earlier retirement pensions for women.
Her efforts were prompted in part by the First World War losses which decimated the male population of Bradford, like so many cities and countries.
As there were far fewer males to marry, women had to work until they were sixty-five to qualify for any pension, while at the same time they were expected to do domestic duties, especially with elderly parents who had lost sons.
She is one of Bradford's forgotten heroines and heroes who reached the national stage. Plaque erected in 2007. see plaques
Florence White set up the National Spinsters' Pensions Association in 1935 and campaigned for pensions for women at fifty-five. Following a packed first meeting in the Bradford Mechanics Institute she travelled across the UK, especially in the north, many times for the next five years, to convince people and politicians of the cause. By 1940, the government agreed to reduce the pension age for women to sixty. Although this was not the desired age of fifty-five it went much of the way to meeting the campaign wishes.
She lived with her sister Annie, who gave her a great deal of practical support, including speech writing. Their confectioner's shop, at 21 Scholemoor Lane in Lidget Green, is still there, now being made into a larger general shop. Her life is well told in the Mechanics Institute Library, 76 Kirkgate (open to the public, free for reference use), where there will be a plaque commemorating her.
Image of Florence White: West Yorkshire
Archive Service, Bradford 78D86/4/2
 
     
10 John Nelson
John Nelson (1707 - 1774): At the top of Ivegate was a lock-up where John Nelson was incarcerated for preaching his Christian faith. John Nelson was born  
in Birstall in Yorkshire. Whilst working in London as a stonemason he heard John Wesley preach and was converted to Methodism. Nelson returned to Yorkshire in 1740. He was an impassioned preacher himself and Methodism sprang up in Otley where he was preaching at about this time. Methodism was growing fast and Nelson travelled the country, working as a stonemason by day and preaching in the evenings. On May 3, 1744 he was arrested for having “no visible means of support” and pressed into the army. One of the commissioners who reported him was his own vicar.So his crime was, in fact, being an
adherent of Methodism. He was brought to Bradford and thrown into the lock-up in Ivegate, the site of which is marked by a plaque at the  
top of the street (the plaque is half hidden behind a post). He was then moved to Leeds and to York, before being put into uniform and taken to Sunderland. Fortunately he had some influential friends. Due to representations from the Countess of Huntingdon, who had heard him preach and was impressed, he was released and returned to Birstall to continue preaching and stonemasonry. He helped to build the original Birstall Methodist Church.
11 Bradford Women's Humanity League
 
  The Bradford Women's Humanity League held many anti-war meetings and demonstrations in the First World War. It was part of the nation-wide Women's Peace Crusade during 1916-18. The women were mainly working class, who were angry at the shameful slaughter of their men folk in the trenches, the conscription, the high food prices at home, the shortages and the queues.  
Fanny Muir of Frizinghall and Esther Sandiforth of Shipley were two leaders of the Humanity League. They had strong family links with the influential ILP (see site14).
Shipley in particular was a centre of radicalism. As well as those in the Humanity League, in 1917, there were women living there who were also members of the quite different Women’s International League and the No-Conscription Fellowship.
   
One demonstration in the centre of Bradford, on September 9th 1917, comprised some 3,000 women, and some men. They marched, with banners, from the Textile Hall in Westgate to Carlton Street, where part of Bradford College is now, for a rally in the then Textile School grounds.
A commemorative plaque will be on the wall of Textile Hall, Westgate. please click here
During the First World War, Ethel Snowden (see poster above) campaigned with her husband Philip (one of four National leaders of the ILP) through the Women’s Peace Crusade. The Snowdens lived in Ickornshaw, seven miles west of Keighley.
 
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