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2022 Year 6 Second Prize
Strike by Isabelle Caluya

From dawn to dusk and dusk till dawn,

In this hellish factory, no one can yawn.

Endless exhausting exertions and still get fined,

Unimportant workers get this regular remind.

Bryant and May, the name the factory was

The unbearable work made them become a national cause,

11, 12, 13, 14 their youth still raw,

Experienced the deadly phosphorus jaw.

So they went to claim their vengeance,

And from Bryant and May withdrew attendance,

Stomping, roaring, preaching, they walked the roads,

Until a barrage of sympathy explodes.

Horrible conditions – strike one!

Long hours – strike two!

Unfair fines – strike three!

Small pay – strike four!



Thank you Match Girls for your gumption,

Leading to a decrease in employer corruption.

Blue Gate.png

On 5th July 2022, a new English Heritage Blue Plaque was unveiled at Bow Quarter (the old Bryant and May Factory) to commemorate the Matchgirls Strike of 1888.

The Matchgirls Memorial ran a schools poetry competition to celebrate the unveiling.

Judges were Alice Trickey-Roberts, English Heritage Education Visits Officer, Tanya Landman, Author, Emma Purshouse, Writer and and Poet.

Isabelle Caluya from St Agnes Catholic Primary School won Second prize in the Year 6 category with the poem, 'Strike'.

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