Barmaids’ Political Defence League

Published in 20th Century Social Perspectives, 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 3 (May/June 2012), Volume 20

Along with her partner, Esther Roper, and fellow member of the Women’s Trade and Labour Council Sarah Dickenson, Eva Gore-Booth officially established the Barmaids’ Political Defence League in March 1908. The organisation was formed in direct response to the proposed introduction of clause 20 in the 1908 Licensing Bill. Gore-Booth claimed to represent the interests of 100,000 barmaids and women assistants employed on licensed premises across Ireland and England. This number seems somewhat exaggerated, however.

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