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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleFlint, Mrs Elsie
Ref No8SUF/B/029
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 7
Date19 Dec 1974
Extent90:28 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biographies for Elsie Flint and Pankhurst; Estelle Sylvia (1882-1960); suffragist and political campaigner
DescriptionInterview took place at 62 Mansfield Road, Walthamstow, London E17.

Interview summary:
0:00 mins:
Elsie Flint brought up by the Lansbury family. Socialist Sunday School. Malmesbury Road School. Joined the Socialist Democrat Federation when she was sixteen. A rebel at school. Worked as apprentice making 'waterproofs' at [Mer Bonds ?] factory. Heard about suffragettes when she was sixteen. Participated, along with Sylvia Pankhurst and her organisation, in a match girls' strike. Pacifism and outbreak of First World War. Sylvia's move to Bow and formation of the Women's Suffrage League.

15:00 mins:
Police brutality towards women during May Day marches [Victoria Park 1913 or 1914]. Women marching in Bow, London in support of women who had been arrested. Police harshness towards local working people. Embarrassing the local anti-suffragists. Sylvia's hunger strikes. How Sylvia was smuggled in to talk at meetings. Work with Sylvia and attendance at suffrage rallies. Mounted police charging crowds at the rallies. Pride at involvement in the suffrage movement. Her parents' marriage. Her father formed the first branch of the East London Radical Association and then the SDS (Socialist Democratic Federation).

30:00 mins:
The Socialist Democratic Federation [later the Socialist Democratic Party, then the British Socialist Party]. Her father's work as a conductor on horse-drawn buses and later as a tea merchant. Poverty of her childhood in the East End of London. Membership of East London Ethical Society, Socialist Sunday School, Socialist League of Youth. Her family's move from Bow, London to Southend, Essex where her father died of tuberculosis, and family's subsequent return to Bow. Her mother's work as a dress maker. Elsie unable to take up a scholarship, takes an apprenticeship as a London dressmaker. Her parents' marriage as a partnership.

45:00 mins:
Her parents. Marxism and socialism discussed at her Youth Group. Reading books at home. Food rationing. Education at Bow Elementary School and a Board School in Aldgate with a scholarship.

60:00 mins:
Death of her husband and daughter. Problems at school. Apprenticeship - her boss, Mr Henry, a conservative, but a good manager. Work in factory aged 14 until her marriage aged 23. Meeting her husband. Marriage at the end of the First World War, after he had been a prisoner-of-war in Germany. Her husband's work on trams and buses for thirty years. Buying a house. Her work as a school play-ground and lunch-time attendant until retirement aged 67.

75:00 mins:
Marriage and birth of her daughter. Member of Walthamstow Labour Party and work for Walthamstow Council as a local councillor. Work on welfare committees. Singing. Her brother's job in the police force, going on strike, getting fired and becoming a caretaker. Her sisters. Both her mother and sister were suffragettes. How men supported their wives in the suffrage movement.

90:00 mins:
First World War and her pacifism. Support of conscientious objectors. Second World War: her work with the Women's Voluntary Service (WVS) in supporting civilians and women. Death of her daughter aged 47. School days. Last time she saw Sylvia was at an anniversary of the formation of Labour party.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 09
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