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2023 Year 6 Third Prize
The story of the Matchgirls
by Zoe

I'm a working matchgirl
Working fourteen hours a day
Striving for perfection for endless days and nights
With very little pay

It isn’t even fair!
We aren't even breathing fresh air!
And if we stop working for a breather
Our pay will get weaker and weaker

We talked to Bryant and May several times
But they wont even give us more dimes!
They say we “aren't working hard enough”
What stupid things they say!

Hour by hour
Day by day
The phosphorus is killing us
Because of the matchstick’s white puss

So we went to Parliament, with yellow skin and greasy hair
But they were too busy to care
We are going on a strike
Fight! Fellow Matchgirls!Fight!

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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.

Zoe from St Agnes Catholic Primary School won Third prize in the Year 6 category with the poem, 'The story of the Matchgirls’.

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