Pioneering women

Bush, Amy (2 of 5) National Life Story Collection: Fawcett Collection

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  • Subjects

    Education; Politics; Women's Movement

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home

  • Interviewees

    Bush, Amy 1905-2000 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Grenier, Janet (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: How she managed teaching and Council work - up early, Council work in evening. Husband had own interests; model railways, keen scouter, member of BBC Choral Society. Both sang. Tried to arrange camping weekends at same time. Husband not interested in politics (all dirty!) 27 years in Council work (l945-l972 or 3). Mayor, Wandsworth l964-65. LCC very co-operative in giving her time off from school. Tried to arrange engagements after 3.00 p.m. and keep Sundays free for Council entourage as well as for herself. Social life - no children. 'Universal aunt' to nieces and nephews who came to stay. Labour Party, Wandsworth. She was third woman councillor. No sex discrimination. Always got on well with men. Not a great speaker at meetings. Did her work on committees so no need to say much. Views on women's achievements post-l928. Old suffragettes felt once vote won then job done. Didn't realise consequences. Vote not be-all and end-all, didn't bring equality. Suffragettes tired; had worked hard. Slump in l930's and World War Two - end of old movement. Post-war younger members had to start again. A.B. not member of Fawcett Society but joined National Society of Women Citizenship, which carried on from the Women's Freedom League. Main aim - equal citizenship; equal pay not issue. More women in local government and as magistrates. Marriage bar in Civil Service. Women's Freedom League and International Alliance of Women - influence of Dame Margery Corbett-Ashby. Persuaded A.B. to go to the Congress in Naples. A bit over-awed; languages not very good. U.K. Delegation - l2, shared by different women's organisations. A.B. nominated by Miss Spiller (Lab) for U.K. Board. Liberal, Miss Reeves, nominated Margaret Matheson (later Mrs. Ingledew). Tied; tossed and M.M. won, but A.B. (all women called each other by surnames) asked by Dame Margery to attend Board. Became Chair of Education Commission, Alliance Board. Alliance aims - equal opportunities in education, economics, social sphere. Dame Margery - wonderful woman. Interested in equality. From political household (Liberal). One of first women to go to Newnham College, Cambridge. In l950's and sixties, everywhere. Inspiration to all; leader in all women's organisations; one of founders of Townswomen's Guild. With Women's Freedom League gone, Fawcett Society took on new lease of life. A.B. feels it should be more interested in the international angle. Women's Movement today. No great leader. The fight for vote very unifying. Legislation needed. Now women attracted to emotional issues; one-parent families, etc. Don't realise they must get legislation through. Hoped that the 300 Group would have been stronger; Fawcett Society only organisation now fighting. How A.B. managed three roles: teaching, voluntary work, council work. Can do it if you want to. Women now becoming professionals and expect pay. Not many volunteers. Must organise life. She arose at 6.l5 a.m.; beds made, English breakfast, husband did washing up. Had domestic help three mornings a week. Belief that if you earn you should pay other people to do jobs. Left for work at 8.l5 a.m., cycled to school. Learned to drive aged 58; needed car to get about. Did a lot of cycling - clubs, holidays. Council work - more intimately involved then. Close to Wandsworth libraries (l2). Now work left to officers to decide. Retired local government, l965. Last three years served on ILEA. Always kept interest in schools. Became Chair of Governors of South Thames College.

  • Description

    Life story interview with the late educationist, Amy Bush (1905-2000)

  • Related transcripts

    Amy Bush interviewed by Janet Grenier: full transcript of the interview

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