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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleLagsding, Miss Elsie
Ref No8SUF/B/094
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 20
Date15 Jun 1976
Extent094a - 64:00 mins, 095b - 44:41 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Elsie Lagsding
DescriptionInterview took place at Bayhurst, Clarence Road, Pound Lane, Pitsea, Essex. The interview is in two parts: 094a and 094b.

Interview summary:

0:00 mins:
Second World War: evacuated with children to Oxford, to Stevenage for 18 months as a cook, to Amersham at the end of the war. Later career: worked in Brentwood, then at Marlesford Lodge, a remand home for girls, where the children rioted. Work at Goldhawk Road, and Stanford House Remand Home for boys, until she retired aged 65. Her parents. Her father's construction work on bridges. Her education. Jobs in the service industry after leaving school. Work as a cook at a school in Poplar until the First World War. Met Sylvia Pankhurst 1911-1912. Saw Sylvia speaking through a window at a meeting on East India Dock Road.

15:00 mins:
Weekly meetings in Old Ford Road of Sylvia's organisation. Funding problems: Norah Smyth contributed money. Establishment of the East London Federation of Suffragettes (ELFS). Asked by Sylvia to work at the restaurant and welfare centre on Railway Street, Poplar, in 1914. Work at the restaurant throughout the First World War - the food they served., children examined by a nurse and doctor, money collected for milk for children. Bombing. Anti-German sentiment leading to shops being smashed up. Her pacifism. Her brothers in the Navy.

30:00 mins:
Work at the ELFS restaurant: 30-40 people capacity. Used for political meetings. Road accident - injured by a horse and carriage and attempted to get compensation with help from Sylvia. Jobs: folding papers in a press; in a laundry; in a school near Bow.

45:00 mins:
Sylvia's personality. Norah Smyth: wearing men's clothes. Suffrage processions. Police violence. Sylvia as a pacifist. Sylvia speaking at a railway station when women fought back at the police and Daisy Lansbury was arrested. Suffragettes in prison. Her sister's work as a cook in a boys' school outside London during the Second World War.

60:00 mins:
Her parents' support of her suffrage campaigning.

00:00 mins:
[Clara Lagsding, sister of Elsie Lagsding) joins the interview]. Selling the 'Dreadnought' newspaper in Hyde Park. Her arrest. Norah Smyth bailed her out. Court appearance and fine of five shillings. Her mother had nine children and supported the suffrage movement. Her childhood. Her father read the Herald and left-wing newspapers.

15:00 mins:
Holding up a suffrage banner during a political meeting. Removed by police. Sylvia's café in Woodford Green after the First World War. Friendship with Sylvia - visits to her house, her lack of domestic skills. Elsie stopped attending church once she worked with Sylvia. Sylvia as a good speaker and her time in prison.

30:00 mins:
Sylvia's friends. Sylvia lodged with Mr and Mrs [Jim and Jessie] Payne, boot-makers, on her release from prison. Sylvia and Norah Smyth's organisation of meetings. Elsie a lifelong Labour Party supporter. Lagsding family: their Russian father, his settlement in Britain, and their ancestors. Sylvia's interest in the Russian Revolution.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 31
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