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CovSoc Online General Meeting with Dr Geraldine Hammersley

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Dr Geraldine Hammersley will talk on the subject: A Tale of Two Silversmiths: The Women of W.King & Co. Coventry

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For International Women's Day we have CovSoc Member Dr Geraldine Hammersley telling us the interesting but unknown story about two very important Coventry women.

This talk explores the work and lives of Winifred King and Mildred Murphy, silversmiths who traded as W.King & Co. It provides a unique insight into how two talented women integrated in to local commercial & artistic activity whilst gaining a reputation as highly skilled craftswomen.

Based in Old Palace Yard, between the wars they developed a highly successful enterprise and attracted well known artists to their studio, making an important contribution to the cultural life of the city. Although their work is known internationally, they have yet to be formally recognized or commemorated in their home town.

Geraldine is a social scientist with expertise in the sociology of work. She spent many years working at a local university.

Now semi-retired and able to do as she pleases, she has since completed several projects including:

• advising and steering a Heritage Lottery Fund oral history project,

• design and delivery of research projects in Gothenburg, Sweden.

• campaigning for the restoration of missing public art and preservation of mid-century buildings

She is a committee member of the West Midlands branch of Twentieth Century Society and continues to do ad-hoc work as a non-legal member of the Employment Tribunal which she has done for more than two decades.

[Photo shows Winifred King, Mildred Murphy and apprentices outside the workshop in Palace Yard. Photo copyright Coventry Culture Trust / City Archives]

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