The women who shaped modern Norfolk

Herring fishing at Great Yarmouth, 1957. 

Herring fishing at Great Yarmouth, 1957. - Credit: Archant Library

Each year on March 8 the world commemorates International Women's Day.

It is dedicated to celebrating women's achievements, pursuing equality and raising awareness of bias or disparity in society.

Sisters Kathleen and Edith Byars picking Brenda strawberries at the Red Barn Farm, Magdalen.

Sisters Kathleen and Edith Byars, two of a hundred workers who were picking Brenda strawberries at the rate of one ton every hour at the Red Barn Farm, Magdalen. Most of the fruit were destined to be turned into fruit pastilles. 30th June 1961. - Credit: Archant Library

The inaugural International Women's Day was held in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Germany on March 19, 1911. This was seven years before homeowning or married women over 30 were granted the right to vote in the UK.

On the cusp of the First World War the chosen day changed to March 8 and has been observed then ever since.

Skilled women workers at the Norwich Components factory which operated during the First World War. P

Skilled women workers at the Norwich Components factory which operated during the First World War. - Credit: Archant

While there has been political, economic and social progress for women since that first celebration a century ago there is still work to be done - and that is why there is a need to observe days like these in our calendars. 

The general office at the new Harmers factory.

The general office at the new Harmers factory. - Credit: Archant Library


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In honour of International Women's Day we have gathered a collection of old archive photos of women in Norfolk from decades gone by.

Some are at work. Some are at play. Some are caught during those moments in between.

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These snapshots of the past offer but a small glimpse of the uncountable women who have shaped Norfolk and made our county such a fantastic place to live in.

Bean picking on the Westwick Estate near North Walsham. 

Bean picking on the Westwick Estate near North Walsham. - Credit: Archant Library

Mrs.S.W. Hannent picking mushroms at the Spixworth nursery. Dated 22 May 1954.

Mrs. S.W. Hannent picking mushroms at the Spixworth nursery. Dated 22 May 1954. - Credit: Archant Library

Picking daisies in Great Yarmouth, May 1962. 

Picking daisies in Great Yarmouth, May 1962. - Credit: Archant Library

Herring fishing industry, Great Yarmouth.

Herring fishing industry, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant Library

Herring fisher ladies having a tea break, dated 1952. 

Herring fisher ladies having a tea break, dated 1952. - Credit: Archant Library

Herring fisherwomen working on the herring production at Great Yarmouth harbour. Dated 1953.

Herring fisherwomen working on the herring production at Great Yarmouth harbour. Dated 1953. - Credit: Archant Library

Whelks being prepared for sale at W. A. Gricks and Sons Ltd, Wells. 18th August 1967.

Whelks being prepared for sale at W. A. Gricks and Sons Ltd, Wells. 18th August 1967. - Credit: Archant Library

Rowntree Mackintosh production line. 2 April 1969.

Rowntree Mackintosh production line. 2 April 1969. - Credit: Archant Library

Head Post Office at Norwich. Telegraph room and Phonogram room. Dated 12 December 1957 Photograph

Head Post Office at Norwich. Telegraph room and Phonogram room. Dated 12 December 1957. - Credit: Archant library

Norwich Bank staff. 16th December 1966.

Norwich Bank staff. 16th December 1966. - Credit: Archant Library

Norwich Union staff back in the 1960's (Image: Archant Library)

Norwich Union staff back in the 1960's. - Credit: Archant Library

Brundall Women's Institue members, (L-R) Hilda Bond, Peggy Golland, Elizabeth Harrison and Connie We

Brundall Women's Institue members, (L-R) Hilda Bond, Peggy Golland, Elizabeth Harrison and Connie Weir, tending the railway station gardens, dated 14th December 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

Ringland flower festival, 25th September 1981. Picture: Archant Library

Ringland flower festival, 25th September 1981. - Credit: Archant Library

Norwich market stool.

Norwich market stool. - Credit: Archant Library

Miriam Bowgen and Margaret Cary, stool holders on Norwich Market in 1992.

Miriam Bowgen and Margaret Cary, stool holders on Norwich Market in 1992. - Credit: Archant Library


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