2023 Year 4 First Prize
The Matchstick Girls by Zakira
The matchstick girls, in rows they sit,
With fingers nimble, quick and lit.
Their hands are stained with soot and ash,
their eyes alight with a fiery flash.
They strike the match and watch it glow,
its light a comfort in the snow.
Their fingers burn, their eyes grow dim,
but still they work, for life is grim.
Their wages meagre, their work is tough,
but still they labour, never enough.
Their dreams are small, their hopes are few,
but they still work, as we do.
The matchstick girls a symbol of strife,
a reminder of a harder life.
We honour them, and all they’ve done, and vow to keep
their memories strong.
On 1st July 2023, a new musical composition was premiered at the Great Hall of the Peoples Palace at Queen Mary University in Mile End, to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the Matchgirls Strike of 1888.
The Matchgirls Memorial ran a schools poetry competition to celebrate the event.
Judges were Tanya Landman, Author, Dr Anna Robinson, Senior Lecturer UEL & Poet, Chris Searle, Retired Teacher, Author and Poet.
Zakira from Blue Gate Fields Junior School won First prize in the Year 4 category with the poem, 'The Matchstick Girls'.