Chard Museum-Margaret Bondfield

Caitlin Heffernan

My research at Chard museum has involved reading about some fascinating people who are linked to the town of Chard. Margaret Bondfield was born in Chard and spent her early life in the town. She became our first female Cabinet minister and was a leading figure in supporting shop worker’s rights and factory worker’s rights, many of whom were women.


I have been reading her biography and found that it is a signed copy! IMG_4357.JPG

Her personal journey involved moving and working for a clothworker’s shop in Brighton and then later to the cabinet. An exert from her biography below highlights some of the key legislation she was involved with.

“When I think of those years of work in the Shop Assistant’s Union, and the year I worked with the Women’s Co-operative Guild, when we produced the book on Maternity that gave such impetus to child-welfare-years that were hard work, if you like, drudgery, if you like-I regard them as perhaps the most formative years of my life, in which I gained from the movement far more than I gave: that power to weigh, balance, consider and guide, which is the chief qualification for public work”.

As a way of involving the wider community in Chard I am developing a textile banner that will celebrate her legacy and early life in Chard. I am working with some key members of Chard museum who have fantastic textile skills and will be supporting the production of the banner.