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Ada Nield Chew - Our Crewe Factory Girl

Thank you for visiting our Statue for Ada website – we hope that you will come to see the exhibition in Market Hall, Crewe, between 22nd July, 2023 and 20th August, 2023.
When we started curating this exhibition, we were – of course – impressed by her dedication to her excellent causes: the advancement of rights for female workers, improvement in conditions for the poor in Nantwich and support for the women’s suffrage cause.  She seemed a formidable campaigner, an inspirational speaker and a brave voice for those who needed her most.
However, we also became captivated by the strong, energetic, vibrant woman herself.  We uncovered a portrait of a true character – lacking formal education but highly literate, an avid reader and lover of Jane Austen, a devoted mother, a keen theatre-goer and a woman known for her lack of concern for fashion (and often sporting a rakishly-angled hat!)  She had a lively sense of humour, strong opinions on everything from education to Oldham, and a fervent wish that girls could be freed from domestic service and raised as human – not mere females.
Our exhibition, therefore, has a lot of ground to cover!
Come along to the Market Hall to find out more about the fascinating life and legacy of Ada Nield Chew – Our Crewe Factory Girl:
  • · Ada’s life in the factory and letters to the ‘Crewe Chronicle’ written from ‘A Crewe Factory Girl’
  • · Working conditions in the Crewe textile factories
  • · Ada’s work with the Nantwich Board of Guardians, the Clarion Van and the Independent Labour Party
  • · Ada’s Crewe
  • · Ada as Women’s Trade Union League organiser and suffrage campaigner
  • · Suffrage marches and fashion
  • · Ada’s legacy and the Statue for Ada campaign
As well as this, come along to admire some Ada-inspired artwork from our local schools, try on some Edwardian hats and support our Statue for Ada campaign!

Hannah Lavery, Director of Teaching (Arts and Humanities) at The Open University, says: “We’re delighted to work with schools in Crewe to explore Ada’s story with their pupils.

 “Ada Nield Chew is one of the case studies in our popular open access unit exploring the history of female protest and suffrage in the UK. She used public voice and writing strategies to ensure her message of protest, against unfair and dangerous working conditions, was heard widely – and of course this is a message that still resonates today.

 “A ‘Statue to Ada’ will be a visual reminder of the importance of finding and using political voice, for the benefit of local communities.”

The free, open access module is available on the OpenLearn website