Welcome to The West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network. See below for news of our latest events.

The Network was set up to encourage research and interest in women’s and gender history both among academics and the wider community.  We hold events, including an annual conference,  workshops, film showings and visits to archives throughout the  year in different venues  around the region.

Latest News….

The 2020 AGM will be held on Saturday 12th December 2020  at a ZOOM workshop 10am to 1 pm.

If you are not a member and would like to attend the workshop please contact katherineuna.holden@nullgmail.com and we will send an invitation.

All welcome


Linda Henderson:  The clothing of poor, rural women in the inter-war period: challenging the stereotype through the material culture of the Workhouse

This presentation examines a unique set of records from Torrington Poor Law Institutions to analyse the variety of clothing owned by poor, rural women on admittance to the workhouse.  The commentaries about the clothing reflected changing attitudes to the poor, the types of work they did and the realisation of the physical and mental importance of clothing.
June Hannam: Helen Cordiner: Bath Labour Party activist and social reformer between the wars.
Helen Cordiner, the wife of a cabinet maker, was active in the Bath Labour Party and in the Women’s Co-operative Guild in the 1920s and 1930s and campaigned for better housing, education and welfare services for working class people in the city. She stood many times for election to the Bath City Council without success but that did not mean that she was left without a voice. At various times she was a member of the Board of Guardians, a co-opted member of the Education Committee and the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee and a member of the Bath Infant Welfare Association. This talk explores the importance of one woman’s political activism in a small provincial city in a period in which the electorate had increased significantly both at a national and at a local level.
Save the date The 2021 conference will be held on Saturday 16th October 2021. The theme will be Gender and Commemoration. Call for papers to follow.

Grant of £500 for Research into Ethnic Minority Women’s History  – deadline extended

The West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network (WESWWHN) is offering a grant of £500 to support the costs of research in Ethnic Minority Women’s History.   Deadline Feb 28th 2021 More information     Application form


Paper delivered at the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network
Annual Conference 3 October 2020, “Women and Transport: Historical Perspectives”

Lucienne Boyce  Cheap and easy railway traffic”: Suffragettes and the Railways

Our spring newsletter is available  here.
Essential reading with plenty of events you can view or hear from the safety of you own home.


Look for sites in your area commemorating historical women

Carrie de Silva has launched a women street names project and needs our help. Further details here.

In response the WE&SW WHN have decided to expand the scope of this research to include other commemorative sites with links to historical women, particularly those in our region. This could include buildings such as schools or statues (though not churches) or other places of interest. It is hoped this will enable further discussion about who has been commemorated, by whom and how, as well as a consideration of those not represented. We will also submit the street name entries to Carrie for her project.

So, if you are out on a safe, social distanced, walk for exercise, please keep an eye open for historical women and email the information (with photo if appropriate) to Kath Holden at katherineuna.holden@nullgmail.com. We will publicise the results in due course.

Our first contribution is the famous British Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole who is commemorated in streets, nursing homes and hospital wards  throughout Britain including Mary Seacole Court in St Werburghs, Bristol.


The Votes for Women event at the MSHED was held on Sat 30th June 2018. Information about the exhibition and how you can borrow the banners for your institution can be accessed here

Pic: Dawn Dyer of Bristol Libraries with the Votes for Women 100 banners.
[Picture credit: Tim Browning]Credit