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Martha Jane Bury stands tall once again!

Once again, Martha Jane Bury can look over Darwen Cemetery from her lofty position close to the site of the old Nonconformist Chapel - thanks to stonemason Brent Stevenson.

 Martha was a stalwart of the Co-operative movement and a staunch supporter of the rights of working-class women before her death in 1913.

 However, her elegant monument fell victim to the topple-testers and she had been left to gaze at the stars for too many years. Now, thanks to Brent and the cemetery Friends she has been restored to her former glory. Say "Hello" next time you are up that way...

Martha Jane Bury (nee Walmsley) (1850-1913)


Martha was the first 1893 President of the Darwen Co-operative Women's Guild and a leading light in the national movement. She was a pioneer for the rights of working class women and one of the first women to be elected to the Blackburn's Board of Guardian. Martha was born in Blackburn in 1850 the daughter of George Walmsley, headmaster of Park Road School, Blackburn and Jane Pearson. Her father died when she was two and she began working in the mills when she was 11 and moved to Darwen when she was 17. Martha married John William Bury in 1882 and she continued working in the mills until she was 41 by which time she had 5 children (one died in infancy). She was activity associated with the Congregational Church and the town's temperance movement.

                                                                                               August 2010

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