Friday, 5 June 2015

Women Workers in Coventry

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 5th June, 1915.

The spirit which some of the young women are showing nowadays is enough to shame the able-bodied slacker, though I veritably believe some of this species of gentry are so dead to all sense of manliness that they would be perfectly prepared to remain at home and let their sisters go to the front and fight for them in the trenches.  If anyone wants to contemplate specimens of decadent twentieth century manhood he has only to go and watch the proceedings at the local tennis courts, or to take his stand in the Kenilworth Road of a Saturday afternoon and notice the young motor cyclists who are to be seen in the passing traffic.  Many of the young women of Coventry, on the other hand, would be only too ready to enlist if they were allowed to, and though it has not come to this yet, I am not at all sure that the enrolment of a female battalion—say of shorthand-typists for Army clerking work—might not be a good thing in some respects, for there is a great deal of clerical work being done by men in khaki which could just as well be done by women.  

This week the new tram conductresses of Coventry have made their appearance, and having occasion to go to Leamington yesterday I found the ticket collecting at the station there bring carried out by a couple of young women in official uniforms, while a little later in the streets of the town I met a stalwart young portress pushing a barrow with luggage on it.  All these women are going about their new duties in a perfectly serious and businesslike style, and I have no doubt that each one is inspired by the keen desire to do what she can for her country, and release one more man for the fighting line.  Their efforts should be an example to the hundreds of able-bodied young men of the well-dressed kind whom we can still see going about the streets of Coventry.

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