Women of Frenchay Exhibition

Women Workers

In this new exhibition we examine the role of women in the workplace, how class distinctions defined the opportunities that were available to them and how social change and key moments in history blurred these lines. These themes will be explored through the lives of women who lived in Frenchay in the 19th and 20th centuries and will features a variety of objects from our collection that can help narrate this story.

Frenchay has been home to numerous business owning families, which gave gainful employment to many women in the local South Gloucestershire area. One such business was Fry’s chocolate; in this exhibition we will explore the role of women within this organisation. Furthermore, we highlight the importance of education for women and the jobs that emerged for them as a result, for example nursing and teaching as shown through VAD nurses based at Cleve Hill Hospital and the women who taught at Frenchay Village School.

Another dimension to this exhibition will be how middle and upper class women filled their days, changing attitudes to work among the upper echelons of society and what triggered this. As well as this there will be examples of what work women of this status could do and how defining moments in History, like the First World War, transformed society’s expectation of the female sex.

This exhibition will be open from the 20th March in our Temporary Exhibition space and will include an accompanying exhibition guide and activities for children and families to enjoy.