A new blue plaque for Preston and it’s a world first

Posted on - 18th May, 2017 - 7:55pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, History, Nostalgia, Photos, Sport, What's On in Preston
The Dick Kerr blue plaque in all its glory  Pic: Gill Lawson
Dick, Kerr Ladies Football Club historian, Gail Newsham, has been tireless in her determination to have a commemorative blue plaque erected to honour the wonderful Preston football club which rose to great heights in its heyday. Interestingly, two members of the former women’s team, Sheila Parker and June Gregson were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony for the much celebrated club.


This blue plaque, being the first to be erected under the auspices of the Preston Historical Society, is a world first for a ladies football club and as Gail puts it: “A world first, for the world’s best.

The blue plaque is installed on the south east side of the Alstom building in Strand Road, Preston.

Gail Newsham introducing the unveiling of the Dick, Kerr Ladies Blue Plaque ceremony  Pic: Gill Lawson
David Coulton and Val Conn ready to unveil the plaque  Pic: Gill Lawson
David Coulton and Val Conn unveil the plaque  Pic: Gill Lawson
David Coulton and Val Conn admiring the plaque  Pic: Gill Lawson
Alison Hitchen and Gail Newsham  Pic: Gill Lawson
County Councillor Jennifer Mein and June Gregson  Pic: Gill Lawson
David Coulton, Gail Newsham and Val Conn  Pic: Gill Lawson
David Coulton, Sheila Parker, Gail Newsham, Val Conn and Sue Gregson  Pic: Gill Lawson
Melissa Brown, Alison Hitchen and Gail Newsham  Pic: Gill Lawson
Dick, Kerr timeline collage  Pic: Gill Lawson
Gail Newsham is interviewed by a BBC reporter  Pic: Gill Lawson
June Gregson and Gail Newsham Flanking the Dick, Kerr Ladies football kit  Pic: Gill Lawson
Part of the visual Dick, Kerr timeline collage  Pic: Gill Lawson
Sheila Parker, Gail Newsham, June Gregson  Pic: Gill Lawson
The official Dick, Kerr Ladies football club kit  Pic: Gill Lawson
A brief history of the Dick, Kerr Ladies football club:
Many factories in Britain had a large number of women working in them during war time as part of a government initiative for women to do their part in the war effort in standing in for the men who had gone to war. Preston engineering works, Dick, Kerr was indeed no exception and was converted to an ammunition production factory during WWI and had a large share of women working there and due to encouragement by the government agents for female employees to engage in sporting activities, the women workers started to play football and made up a team which they called the Dick, Kerr Ladies. The team rose to great heights in their achievements and became the most successful football team in the history of women’s football.

Dick Kerr International Ladies Football Team 1917-1925 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
Dick Kerr’s Ladies Football Team, Preston 1920 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
The Dick, Kerr Ladies Football team used to practice on Ashton Park on what was colloquially known as ‘Lively Polly Corner’, named after a popular brand of washing powder who’s name once adorned the hoardings which were around the park on the corner of Blackpool Road and Pedder Lane.The team was disbanded in 1965 due to lack of players; however, it must be remembered that during the years that they had played the team had raised over £180,000 for charitable causes, which today would be worth around £10 million. Fanatical fan of the Dick, Kerr Ladies, Gail Newsham, has become a leading historian on the team and is their official biographer and has been endorsed by the ladies themselves.
More information on the Dick, Kerr Ladies website.
Have you heard of the Dick, Kerr Ladies and have you seen the blue plaque yet? Let us know on the comments below.

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