Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day 2011

Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the start of International Women's Day. That's one hundred years of celebrating the achievements of women, past, present and future in all areas of life, be that social, political or economic. I've posted a more in depth discussion about the event on the Fi's Magical Writing Haven blog. There's also an Open University group for this event.

It got me thinking about the women in my own family and specifically the women alive in 1911 when International Women's Day began. Back then, to use a cliched phrase, my parents were not even twinklings in their parents' eyes.

This is Lydia Jane Whittaker, my father's mother. In 1911, she was 25.  She hadn't met Charlie Roberton who was to be her husband and wouldn't for another ten years. She lived at 16 Crescent, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, Scotland with her parents, Robert and Jane. It seems that her four half-siblings had all moved on by then. Her occupation was a printfield worker. She and her father were very religious and part of the congregation who raised money for their church, St Mungo's to be built. She was heavily involved with her church, not only as a part of the congregation but also decorating the church with flowers and working at the Sunday school.

This is Maud Annie Lockwood, my mother's mother. In 1911, she would have been a similar age to Lydia, at 26 years old. She was also single and wouldn't marry Alfred Lodge until 1915. She was living at 29 Albert Terrace, Headingley cum Burley (later to be Kirkstall), Leeds, England with her parents, Alfred and Eliza. She qualified as a teacher in 1906 and in 1911 was working as an English teacher. I always got the impression that she came from a much more comfortable background than Lydia but that could have just been my mother wanting to make it sound like that.

What is undeniable is that both women were extremely strong and hardworking. Like their mothers before them, they were the backbones of their families. I'm very proud to name them among my ancestors. I wonder what they would think of the world in 2011.


  1. What wonderful women to have in your history!! Beautiful photos.

  2. Hi Fi
    I have chosen your blog to receive the "One Lovely Blog" award. You may stop by my blog to see the rules that go along with accepting this award. Thanks! Lisa OldStonesUndeciphered.blogspot.com

  3. Thanks Lisa, that's wonderful.