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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Liverpool

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Myths and Legends
Young Bessie Braddock
Young Bessie Braddock, undated

© Liverpool Record Office
'Battling Bessie'

To the working class of Liverpool she was “our Bessie”, but to the media she was “Battling Bessie”. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Braddock campaigned tirelessly, and without restraint, to improve conditions for her home city’s under-privileged. Yet, it is not her work for mental health reforms, the barrow girls or prison conditions for which she is most famously remembered; instead it is her larger-than-life political tactics and frequent clashes with the press.

Bessie used extraordinary tactics to draw attention to causes which she felt passionately about, yet her unconventional methods were used against her by her critics and political opponents. Her legend as fiery female MP, not afraid to use air-rifles and megaphones to get her point across, both helped and hindered her in her work to improve the lot of the working-class. More...

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