WE WILL STAND


The Crude Apache summer production 2022

In 1936 the women who worked in Yarmouth’s herring curing industry went on strike. For three days tonnes of fish rotted on the quaysides until the curing companies agreed to negotiate with the women. This event will form the background for our summer show 2021. The production explores the changing relationships between our hero, Esme Larner, and the other women in her life. Her mum, Meggy, came to Yarmouth from Orkney when she fell in love with a local fisherman. Her sister, Prudence, is desperate to sail but tradition dictates that women are unlucky at sea. Her employer Frannie Harpingdon is an ex-suffragette keen for women to play an equal role in the labour movement.

Contemporary sources suggest the women had no leaders or ways of organising. However, hundreds of women in Yarmouth and Lowestoft stood together against the large curing companies; seven of those women signed an agreement with management to end the strike. I have to disagree with contemporary sources. I cannot discover the names of those seven women and few details of the strike have survived. This show is my attempt to bring their almost forgotten story to a wider audience. It is, of course, highly embellished by my imagination.

One thought on “WE WILL STAND

  1. Tom Carver says:

    Ian Gibson RIP

    Sorry to hear about the recent death of Ian Gibson, 82, scientist, footballer and fan, former independent-minded Labour MP for Norwich North and longtime supporter of Crude Apache. The latest tale about Gt. Yarmouth fish-gutting gals’ – many Scottish – strike, would have been right up his street. He also performed with The Common Lot.

    A fine Scotsman and honorary Norfolk and Norwich man.
    Condolences to Liz and the family.

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