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.