Bush, Amy (5 of 5) National Life Story Collection: Fawcett Collection
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Education; Politics; Women's Movement
Bush, Amy 1905-2000 (speaker, female)
Grenier, Janet (speaker, female)
Part 5: Women's Freedom League. Lobbied and put pressure on parliament, e.g. women keeping their own nationality when they married. Got up petitions, meetings, and in the end got it. Had to get agreement of the Dominions. They had a meeting in London (she thinks) after the war, and agreed. The legislation then went through. League small but powerful. People of influence, some men. Based in London but branches. A.B. spoke in Scotland on work of office in London in l947. Remembers it as the year of no coal. The coal trains had to get through and passenger trains would be sidetracked. A.B. enjoyed speaking to groups and committees, but not public speaking. Would also speak for Women's Citizens. National Society of Women Citizens. Working primarily for equality - local government. Magistrates. Non-party political. Tended to be more Liberals. A few Conservatives and Labour. Labour Party still struggling during her time. Only came on after the war. So much legislation to get through. Before that, fought in the wilderness. As for women, all political parties felt the same. Only one or two people felt women should have more access. This was the general tone of society and accepted. Wasn't a burning issue; general social issues more important. Women have a better understanding of conditions of life of the mass of people. During her time the still very prevalent attitude was, "I'll ask my husband", when doorstep canvassing, especially during the war injuries campaign. A.B. not terribly keen but did canvass. Equal access. If things are open, it's up to women themselves to make the most of it, e.g. education. It is up to individual. Hurt by women in professions. Expect to be paid for services. Much less voluntary work, e.g. speakers expect to be paid. In A.B's day they were honoured to be asked. Strong supporter of voluntary work. She did some work for Age Concern in Wandsworth; asked the council for money and told that work could be done by volunteers. But there aren't volunteers. It is necessary for some women to work, but a great number do nothing.
Life story interview with the late educationist, Amy Bush (1905-2000)