Chew, Ada - pic from exhibition

An exhibition paying tribute to Crewe suffragist Ada Chew is moving to a final venue in the town before leaving the area.

Hundreds of people have visited the display since it opened at Crewe Market Hall last July and then moved to the town library and Queen’s Park café.

Its final destination is Cheshire College, South & West before moving to Burnley where Ada’s daughter Doris, now deceased, ran an arts charity and wrote regularly about her mother’s campaigning for women’s rights to vote and receive equal pay.

The exhibition tells of the life and times of Ada, born in 1870 as one of 13 children.

She was in her 20s when she worked as a tailor and wrote a series of letters to the Crewe Chronicle, under the pseudonym ‘A Crewe Factory Girl’ criticising working conditions for women and girls.

She called for a “living wage, not a dying wage” for women paid less than male counterparts and criticised unfair practices such as charging workers for tea breaks.

Organisers from the Cheshire Women’s Collaboration (CWC) spent months piecing together the display which includes pictures, posters, letters and newspaper cuttings as well aprons, hats and dresses which would have been worn by Ada.

Ada Nield Chew Exhibition
Ada Nield Chew

And CWC, which champions health and wellbeing for local women, has been overwhelmed by the feedback as they fundraise to place a statue in Crewe town centre as a lasting memorial to Ada.

Mum-of-three Kate Blakemore, CWC chair and trustee of ‘A Statue for Ada’ fundraising campaign, said: “The response has been fantastic, hundreds have visited at the different venues and now there’s a last chance to see the display before it moves on.

“It will be back at some point in the future, but no date or venue is yet is confirmed.”

The exhibition tells how Ada became a prominent suffragist and campaigned for the right for women’s vote.

Ahead of her time, she was a vegetarian and one of the first women of her era to go with a double barrel name once married.

Ada went on to run a mail order drapery business.

She died, aged 75, in 1945 and is named, along with other suffrage supporters, on the plinth of the Millicent Fawcett statue on London’s Parliament Square.

Kate, also founder of women’s health and wellbeing charity Motherwell Cheshire, added: “Ada is an unsung hero and the exhibition has been just one small step towards gaining her the recognition she deserves.

“Long term we want to make this a permanent tribute with a statue in Crewe and are planning fundraising events.”

A quiz night raising money for ‘Statue for Ada’ takes place at the Duke of Gloucester pub in Crewe on March 22.

For ticket information go to

Ada Nield Chew Exhibition in Crewe
Ada Nield Chew Exhibition in Crewe
Kate Blakemore interviewed by BBC
Kate Blakemore interviewed by BBC

One Comment

  1. exhibition last July eh, and now we hear about it, now if it was a man……

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