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Working Women: An Audiotour for the 55 bus

1 / 10 Hackney Road/Columbia Road, Stop R

Sally Flood’s ‘Working Mum’ describes a typical day juggling work in the rag trade and raising a family. She explains, ‘We had paper backing our embroidery which was wonderful for me because I could jot down ideas.’ If she spied the forelady approaching, Sally would run the sewing machine over her emerging poem. ‘Working Mum’ survived the assault of needle and thread.

When Sally was young, Hackney Road had a racket of rag trade factories, employing many Jewish people who had escaped persecution in Eastern Europe. Most of the industry has gone, but you might still spot a few shoe and handbag factories.

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Sally Flood in the early 1960s, courtesy of Sally Flood
Bus stop in Hackney © Alan Denney