2022 Year 5 Second Prize
Matchgirls by Aliyah
Many years ago, in 1888
At a factory called Bryant and May
There were young girls working.
Cautiously, the girls and women tried to make no mistakes.
Hurrying, they made sure not to be late.
Girls suffered to put food on the table.
In the factory, phosphorus made matches.
Room in the factory was cramped, so the girls got Phossy Jaw.
Likely, some of them died.
So, they went on strike and everything changed.
Huffing and puffing, 56 Matchgirls marched into Parliament on 11th of July.
Every Matchgirl had put their lives at risk,
Remaining not many to survive.
Owners of Bryant and May changed their minds,
Every little problem was to get fixed,
So that every little demand of the Matchgirls was met!
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.
Aliyah from Blue Gate Fields Primary School won Second prize in the Year 5 category with the poem, 'Matchgirls'.