All Quiet on the West Riding Fronts

Giving voice to the ‘not known.’

21st March 1917: ’Terrified canaries ran down Manston Lane.’ 

The canaries were young women and their skin was yellow from war work. They were fleeing a second factory explosion in 3 months. Explosions that killed 35 and counting. The carnage was so bad the final figure will never be known.  If a canary survived the explosions, TNT poisoning lay in wait back at Barnbow National Shell Filling Factory Number 1.

Claire Crossdale’s drama-documentary inhabits lives, banished to the footnotes of history, through poems, songs, letters and historical documents: part of Claire’s mission to research and reveal overlooked stories through working class voices from Wakefield’s five towns; Normanton, Featherstone, Pontefract, Kellingley and Castleford. 

‘All Quiet on the West Riding Fronts’ begins approximately 8 minutes and 20 seconds into the recording.

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