VIDEO: War, women and the West End … project invites people to tell untold tales

By Ian Marland at

A project that aims to shine a light on the lives of women in the West End a hundred years ago has been launched.

Women, War & the West End will tell the stories of ordinary women and what they did during the First World War.

It has been made possible thanks to a £6,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Websters theatre

Launch: the project was announced at Websters Theatre on Kelvinbridge

Researchers want to hear stories of ordinary people as part of the project.

A series of workshops will bring people together to learn about the area’s wartime heritage.

An associated exhibition will also focus on an under-researched aspect of life – the work of women and war memorials.

The project was launched at Websters Theatre on Kelvinbridge – formerly Lansdowne Church – which houses a FWW frieze designed and made by Glasgow School of Art alumna Evelyn Beale (1870-1944).

Flower at Websters Theatre

Tales: researchers want to hear stories about ordinary people

Four Acres Charitable Trust (Fact), which cares for the listed building, is behind the project.

It will work closely with the conservation group Friends of Glasgow West over the coming months.

A research post has been taken up by art student Karen Mailley-Watt, who will co-ordinate and gather the content.

‘Wonderful opportunity’

Lord provost Eva Bolander helped launch the project.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the important but often hidden role of women during the First World War.

“As we approach Armistice Day, and the end of the centenary commemorations … it’s a chance to reflect on the endurance and bravery of women and their part in shaping peacetime Britain.”

Lord provost Eva Bolander

Commemorations: Lord provost Eva Bolander has been leading Glasgow’s war tributes

David Roberston, director of Fact, said: “We were delighted to receive this award from the Heritage Lottery Fund which extends our work to research and remember the work and sacrifices made by the generation who lived through the Great War of 1914-18.”

Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching.

“With our small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in Women, War and Glasgow’s West End to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Watch: researcher Karen Mailley-Watt talks about the Women, War & the West End project

If you a have a story of a relative or know of someone’s work or role in the West End during the war please contact the project.

Karen Malley-Watt, an arts researcher at Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University, said: “I want to hear interesting stories about family members or people who are still living today.

“We want to try and create a link between the women of the past and the women of today in the West End.”

The team can be reached via email or
Twitter: GlasgowWWW or Instagram: wwwglasgowproject

* Featured image: Glasgow School of Art Drawing and Painting class featuring Ann Macbeth and Annie French, c.1902.
Image courtesy of The Glasgow School of Art Archives