Mayor Michaela Boyle and the Inner City Trust have extended an invite to all local former factory workers to celebrate their contribution to Derry and Strabane at a specially arranged reception at the Guildhall.
The event is a direct result of the successful launch of two murals in the Craft Village dedicated to the hard work of the city’s factory workers - a collaborative work between the Inner City Trust, artist Joe Campbell and UV Arts.
The Factory Girls ‘Christmas Party in the Parlour’ at the Guildhall will take place on Friday December 6, at 6.30pm.
“I am proud to have the opportunity to host a party for the region’s former factory girls and give them the opportunity to be reunited under one roof, to share stories and honour the key role they have played in shaping the recent history of our City and District,” said Mayor Boyle who officially unveiled the murals in the summer.
“The unveiling of the murals brought together many former factory workers and it was clear that they would relish the opportunity to formally celebrate that role under one roof.
“I would like to extend an invite to all of them to get involved in the celebrations and help raise funds for my chosen charities by booking their tickets for the event in the Guildhall.”
Helen Quigley, Chief Executive, Inner City Trust, explained how the idea for the murals and the reunion event took shape.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to quickly turn around a piece of work which shows our appreciation to the work of the Factory Girls.
“The project was a collaboration by artist Joe Campbell who designed the original concepts and UV Arts who painted the work onto the walls of the Village.
“We have been monitoring the feedback throughout the news outlets and social media and are delighted with the public response.
“The murals have become a popular ‘selfie’ spot for visitors to the Craft Village.
“It has been fantastic to see all the positive comments and feedback from members of the public and more importantly the factory girls themselves.”
Mrs Quigley explained how the Christmas Party in the Parlour idea came about during the launch of the Factory Girls Mural.
“For the first time in a long time we had ladies from factories all over the city come together to celebrate their past work,” she explained.
“With them, they brought a fantastic buzz of excitement and energy.
“Moments like that do not happen very often and it would have been a shame to let all the momentum go to waste.
“On the day, some of the girls had suggested a reunion night so we set about approaching the Mayor to work in collaboration with ourselves to arrange a night of celebration for the ladies.
“A small token of appreciation for the work carried out by the factory girls during some of the City’s most difficult times.
“Not only will this event help raise much needed money for the Mayors chosen charities, but it will also give the attendees an opportunity to sing, dance, laugh and share stories throughout the night in the beautiful surroundings of the Guildhall.
“I would hope that, if all goes well, this event will be the start of many more projects which celebrates the lives and work of the Factory Girls and the impact they had on our city.
“We realise the importance of archiving this history before it is too late.
“Together with the Fashion and Textile design centre we are working on several projects aimed at creating an audio and visual documentation which pays homage to the legacy of our city’s factory ladies,” she added.
Booking for the Christmas Party in the Parlour is essential and tickets, priced at £5 each, are available from contacting the Mayor’s Office and allocated on a first come first serve basis.
All proceeds raised are in aid of the Mayor’s Charities, Foyle Women’s Aid and the Koram Centre.
For further details or to book contact the Mayor’s Office on 028 71 376527 or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org