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  • Corrie Shelley


Written with the children from Our Lady's RC Primary school as part of their 'Putting Aspull on the Mineral Map' project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and one together CIC

Pit Brow Lasses in Wigan were a common sight, having previously worked underground they weren't afraid of hard work. When the law was passed preventing women and children to work underground they worked at the Pit Brow on the coal screens.

In 1887, Margaret Parks, Mayoress of Wigan, organised a march on parliament with the Pit Brow Lasses to prove they were not the “degraded, unsexed, health injured creatures” they had been described as and defend their right to work. Victorian gentry were outraged by women working at pits and dressing in trousers was considered unfeminine and degenerate by society, however, the women found them to be extremely practical for the work they undertook.

The children started the song with a poem from an unknown author who professes his love for Nancy his Pit Brow Lass. Adding the Chorus and further verses the children wanted to stress the strength and independence of Nancy.

The children joined me in the recording studio with John Kettle. The song can be heard here:

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