Lost Voices writer-in-residence: Beth Underdown

Beth Underdown

2018 marks 100 years since some women in Britain got the vote. However, due to age, marriage and property qualifications the majority of women weren’t given a voice in 1918. From 3 March – 7 October 2018 the Lost Voices exhibition is exploring the lives of women at Quarry Bank whose voices weren’t heard then and who often remain lost to us today. In response to Lost Voices and as part of Trust New Art, we’ve commissioned Beth Underdown as our writer-in-residence.

Beth was born in Rochdale and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. Her debut novel, ‘The Witchfinder's Sister’ won the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown 2017.

Beth has been in residence at Quarry Bank, researching in the archives and discovering more about the themes and characters of Lost Voices. As part of Manchester Literature Festival, she will be showcasing her new work, 'Love makes as many' for the first time. 'Love makes as many' are ghost stories about love – and love stories about ghosts – which capture the voices of five women at Quarry Bank, and the echoes they leave behind. 

Beth Underdown writing

Beth Underdown presents 'Love makes as many'

"1918, and some women in England have gained the right to vote. A few short weeks before the armistice, the shortage of cotton has brought a strange hush to Quarry Bank mill and the women who make their lives here. In the silence, their voices are suddenly loud: loud enough to be heard, even now, one hundred years on…" Join Beth at two events where she presents 'Love makes as many' and discusses her writing. Visit the What's On pages for details and to book tickets.

" I'm delighted to have been appointed as a National Trust writer-in-residence. As a northern writer I feel very connected to the cotton industry which employed some of my ancestors, and I'm excited to see what inspiration I can draw from a place so rich with shared history. To have this opportunity in the centenary year of some women winning the right to vote feels particularly special, and it will be really interesting to try to capture something of this pivotal historical moment in my work, alongside the life of Quarry Bank today."
- Beth Underdown
Artist Serena Korda installs her ceramic mushroom artwork

Art and exhibitions in the North of England  

Discover new art across the North of England this year through Trust New Art, a programme of contemporary arts inspired by our places.

Upcoming events

Mill Trail: Become a Factory Inspector

Thu 22 Aug 2019
10:30-16:00
Become a factory inspector and have a go at our family trail around the mill created by children’s author Philip Ardagh.

Rights of the Child

Thu 22 Aug 2019
10:30-17:00
In this new exhibition, explore the experiences of the hundreds of children who worked at Quarry Bank and discover how children's rights have changed over time.

Glorious Phantoms

Thu 22 Aug 2019
10:30-17:00
200 years after the Peterloo Massacre, two films created by artist family Gary, Grace, Hope and Merrick will inspire conversations about rights and responsibilities, freedoms and the power to create change. Shown at Quarry Bank and Dunham Massey

Summer holidays: Strike a chord

Thu 22 Aug 2019
11:00-17:00
Quarry Bank’s machines and River Bollin form a unique rhythm. Come along this summer and explore new ways to create and enjoy music with us.

Conservation in Action

Thu 22 Aug 2019
11:30-12:30
Come and join our dedicated conservation team as they help to care and conserve Quarry Bank so it is here for years to come.

Steam Power Tour

Thu 22 Aug 2019
14:30-15:00
Join us for a specialised tour to find out why steam power was so important and how it changed the very fabric of Quarry Bank.