Matchwomen’s Festival – Saturday 5th July 2014


The Matchwomen’s Festival takes place this weekend – a celebration of the 1888 matchwomen’s strike at the Bryant & May match factory in Bow and what we can learn from it today. Get more info about the Festival at

At the TUC Library we hold the original strike fund register compiled during the dispute in 1888, and you can see it digitised on our website here:

The Match Workers Strike Fund Register

A page from the digitised strike register

We also hold a great deal of other material on the history of the matchwomen’s strike and its significance for the trade union and labour movement. Along with such strikes as the London Docks Strike of 1889, it was one of a number of industrial disputes of the period that lead to a resurgence of workers’ organisation that became known as “New Unionism”.

To learn more about the 1888 matchwomen’s strike, New Unionism, or any other aspect of trade union and labour history, contact us at or 020 7133 3726

Bryant and May matchworkers, 1888


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