On Thursday 30th November we welcomed author Eve Ainsworth to Bethany School. Eve has written many teen and young adult books with a real focus on books for those with dyslexia.
During their English lessons, pupils in years 7 to 9 had the pleasure of listening to her speak about her love of creating stories from an early age and trying to get published at the age of 7 because she wanted to beat Jane Fisher (author of The Garden Gang), as her first book was published when she was 9. We learnt that some of Eve’s book are written from personal experience and her love of football.
One memorable part of Eve’s talk was about the Dick Kerr girls. No one had heard of the ladies, so Eve went on to explain that they were from a town near Manchester and were deemed to be one of the first ladies football teams. They were formed in 1917 and were hugely popular and attracted big crowds. For instance, in 1920 the played in front of 53,000 at Goodison Park.
The ladies were called the Dick Kerr girls because they worked in an ammunitions factory during the period of World War One and this factory was owned by the company Dick, Kerr & Co. At this time, it was thought that because the job was physical, they should become fitter, and football was one avenue some girls loved. A team was formed, and a scout spotted them and encouraged them to play. Their matches drew large crowds and Lily Parr was one of their best players and scored over 900 goals in her career putting her up there with the greats. The Dick Kerr ladies played all over the country and even in France, however with the end of the war and the men returning, the popularity of the ladies game, even though high, was deemed a threat and the FA banned women’s football on their pitches and this ban stood for 50 years until 1971.
Eve’s books ‘Kicking Off’, are based on this period in history and is always grateful to teach people about the Dick Kerr ladies as it should not be forgotten.
After Eve’s wonderful talk questions were taken… mostly about football!
Librarian and Archivist