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

Mon 17 Jun 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

Mon 17 Jun 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.

Nature Walk

Mon 17 Jun 2019
11:30-12:00
Join one of our ranger team every Monday and experience Quarry Bank's seasonal sights and sounds.

Water Power Tour

Wed 19 Jun 2019
14:30-15:00
Join one of our expert team for a specialised tour on all things water power.

Conservation in Action

Thu 20 Jun 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 20 Jun 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.