Queer Places:
15 Bowling Back Lane, Bradford, Yorkshire

Florence White Bradford founder National Spinsters Pensions ...Florence White (11 June 1886 - 1961) was the first woman National Spinsters Pension Association founder in 1935.

She was a British pensions campaigner. From 1935 she led a campaign to reduce by ten years the retirement age for unmarried women from age 65 to age 55. The campaigning points were the relative poverty, ill health, and shorter lifespan of older spinsters compared to married women their continued need to work until 65, despite their increasing difficulty in finding employment with advancing age their unrecognised role in caring for aged parents, analogous to the caring role of married women with children their lesser (and often zero) return for contributions paid into the state pension compared to married women and widows The campaign ended with partial success in 1941, when all women were made eligible to receive the state pension at age 60, rather than 65.[1]

Florence was born on 11 June 1886 at 15 Furnace Street, Bradford, Yorkshire, to Caroline Hargreaves and James White or Whyte (1856–1905).[2] She was the second of three children. The family lived in Furnace Street, Bowling Back Lane, an area of heavy industry and textile mills. Caroline White was illiterate, and had been employed as a weaver. James White had considerable education, and published poems and political tracts. He had held a variety of jobs in addition to being a musician, but according to Prickett [3] "his real vocation ... was as radical propagandist and street entertainer". He travelled the country selling tracts he had written himself. Any personal influence he had on Florence must have been limited though, as he abandoned his family in 1989 when Florence was not more than three years old, leaving Caroline to support them by taking in washing and baking work. Some of his publications, however, stayed in the family's possession. (These documents were collected by Diana Prickett for her biography of Florence White, and are kept at the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Bradford, along with the manuscript of Diana Prickett's biography. The biography is accessible through a scanned copy on the History to Herstory website. [4]) The children attended Bowling Back Lane Board School, one of Bradford's first Board Schools after the Forster Education Act of 1870. Florence left school at age 12 to work in local industry (Tankard's carpet mill). This was the most usual form of employment for women in Bradford and other industrial areas at the time.


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