Pink Ribbon

Monday, September 11, 2006

A striking picture

I don't suppose that I'm the only one to be amused that one of the first strikes was at a match factory.

Only, if you worked there, you didn't have much to laugh at. You earned around 6 shillings (less than £15/$20 at TODAY'S rates) and you worked in filthy and dangerous conditions. You may have been one of the outworkers who made matchboxes, in which case you had to make around 1,000 a day for that money. The story is told of a mathbox maker giving evidence in court - she couldn't stop her hands going through the motions of making the boxes, folding and folding. This page has an image of a family making matchboxes.

So, here is the old Bryant & May match factory in Fairfield Road, which finally closed down in 1979. It has now been converted into luxury flats. With a "leisure Centre". How times have changed.

As ever, the Diamond Geezer got there first and has written a good precis, and has some interesting links, I'd urge you to read some.

Here is a picture of the girls from that time. Notice their hats. One lovely bit of London Trivia is that for all their poverty these girls used to join what were called "Feather Clubs", into which they would pay. When the fund had enough money, they would buy a hat which would then be shared around. And not just ordinary hats, but grand, flowery ones. I like that. Read about the Match Girls here.

Two more pics.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Comments on "A striking picture"


Blogger Ryan of OC Photos said ... (07:07) : 

Nice photos again this week. As always you are also very imformative. Great work.


Anonymous anne said ... (12:51) : 

What a very interesting but sad story. I'm glad all that is finished now!


Blogger diamond geezer said ... (17:43) : 

The match factory today really is in sharp luxurious contrast to its former existence.

Great photo btw - I've never managed to get past security myself.


Blogger breadchick said ... (20:52) : 

Ham, first great photo! Thanks for great links to other fine sites about old/abandoned buildings and sites about London. I've now delightfully wasted my WHOLE day at work surfing Diamond Geezer's site, Derlict London, London's Abandoned Tube Stations, and Subterranea Britannica. I've had a smashingly good day of virtual urban exploration and didn't mind the 8 hours of work one little bit. Cheers!


Blogger Kitten Heels said ... (21:02) : 

Great picture, love the angle of the tower, its the best part of the whole building.
This isn't far from me and as the bus sails past I always give the posh *insert appropriate word here* that live there a little look as they swoon out in their porsches (they all seem to have one!!), I'm not bitter at all of course.


Blogger Ham said ... (08:09) : 

Anne - I'm not certain that it os finished - maybe just outsourced to the thord world countries. We don't have to worry when we can't see it, especially if our trainers are cheap.

DG - There is one sign I fund (farly hidden) dating back to when it was a factory. It said "warehouse entrance" but possibly because I didn't want to be hoiked out by security for straying from the straight and narrow, I only took one, and that one is spoiled.

Breadchick - glad to be of service!

Kitten Heels - Have you heard that so many middle aged men are buying Porches to try to recreate their lost youth that they are bringing out a new model? It's going to be called the Male Menoporche.


Blogger ems said ... (19:56) : 

My dad's cousin's daughter had a flat here before starting a family. Not posh at all. All thanks to a good (comprehensive) education.


Anonymous mulberry outlet said ... (13:52) : 

Great photo btw - I've never managed to get past security myself.


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile