Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Madeline Linford and the Manchester Guardian

Today I joined several members of my family to travel to Manchester and the John Rylands library. My dad had discovered that my great aunt Madeline Linford was featured in an exhibition about the women who shaped Manchester:

My mum had arranged for us to meet an archivist who would give us access to all the papers referring to Madeline in the library. This meant that 3 generations of us met up at the library:

My great aunt Madeline was chosen because of her groundbreaking career at the Manchester Guardian. She joined the paper in 1913 and in 1922 became the first Editor of the Women’s Page. She started life in the Manchester Guardian not as journalist, but as an assistant in the display advertisement department after which time she became editor W.P. Crozier’s personal assistant. She remained the only woman on the editorial staff until Crozier’s daughter Mary joined in 1930. This video tells why she was a trail blazer for women in journalism:

We took turns at visiting the reading room to look at some of the records held by the library about Madeline. It was a lovely surprise to discover they had also found some records relating to my grandfather Vivian Linford who had written crosswords for the Guardian. His renumeration for this work was recorded in an impressive ledger:

There were plenty of office memos on flimsy typing paper, letters and other records from the Guardian archives. As they are copy write protected I cannot share them on here. It was great to see how well paid Madeline was for work which shows how much she was valued by the paper. We also read some articles she had actually written which showed she wasn't afraid to criticise! 

The children hadn't been allowed into the archive itself but they enjoyed exploring the exhibition and finding out more about this amazing relative:

I think we can all be rightly proud to be able to say we are related to Madeline Linford and that she deserved to be included in an exhibition alongside more famous women such as Emmeline Pankhurst:

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