Bradford in Blue Plaques: Margaret McMillan

April 23, 2016 Bradford Civic Society

Bradford in Blue Plaques: Margaret McMillan

Margaret McMillan   

Nominated by Ben Hoole, General Manager of The Exchange, Market Street 

“Margaret McMillan was born in Westchester County, New York on 20 July 1860 and died in Harrow, London seventy one years later, yet it’s her work in Bradford that made a great impact on our city.

“Upon her arrival in Bradford in 1892 she joined the newly formed independent Labour party and set about striving to improve the lives of our youngsters, particularly those who lived in slum housing. 

“Much is written about our industrial heritage and the remnants of these heady days are still visible across the City skyline. Lister Mill, perched up high, proud, looking down on Titus Salt.

“The lives of those working in the Mills and living in slums is largely forgotten, the homes torn down and the memories fading. Margaret, through her research and years of hard work, had the 1906 Provision of School Meals Act approved in the House of Commons. Hungry children cannot learn, of course, so they would be provided with school dinners.

“Margaret McMillan was a pioneer in so many respects and campaigned for universal suffrage. She lived at 49 Hanover Square, just off Manningham Lane and her plaque proudly resides there today.

“Her ideology and her passion for others resonates with the socialist within me. 

“Although Margaret was from New York, it goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can still be a great Bradfordian.”