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

Trust New Art 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

Behind the scenes - Machines

Sat 17 Nov 2018
14:00-15:00
One Saturday a month we invite you join us as we look at the Mill and its machinery in more depth. Led by our expert team, this is a real opportunity to find out more about this fascinating place.

Have-a-go: Nature Explorers

Sat 24 Nov 2018
13:00-15:00
Every month you can have a go at a wild outdoor activity at Quarry Bank. From pond-dipping to wild art, there's always a new adventure to enjoy.

Baby and Toddler meet Father Christmas

Fri 30 Nov 2018
10:30-11:00
Join us for a special Christmas baby and toddler storytelling and play session which includes a private family visit to Father Christmas and a gift just for your little one. Normal admission charges apply.

Once Upon a Winter's Day

Fri 30 Nov 2018
10:30-17:00
Get lost in traditional stories at Quarry Bank this Christmas. Explore the mill, gardens and houses to re-discover festive classics such as A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker and The Snow Queen.

Meet Father Christmas at Quarry Bank

Sat 01 Dec 2018
10:30-11:00
Wish lists at the ready! Join in with a special half-hour session of festive activities, including a private family visit to Father Christmas and a gift. Admission charges apply.