Out of these sources has emerged the figure of Ellen Wilkinson. Ever heard of her? If you went to the University of Manchester you might have noticed a building named after her, but I fear she has not kept the profile of her contemporary Nancy Astor, the first female MP.
|Thanks to the TUC History Online archive|
|Morrison shelter - thanks to World War II Today|
But my point is the simple one of 'Why didn't I know about her?' Maybe I am alone in my ignorance but I think it is more likely that we forget too quickly the female pioneers who chip away at the glass ceiling for the rest of us. With no Ellen, no Maggie! Hmm. Perhaps this would be a good role for the next Oscar winning film? I'd cast Kate Winslet but only if she promised not to weep buckets when she won the prize - Ellen would not approve.
And finally, well done, Ellen Wilkinson - and thank you!