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Annie Blindell


Why am I political?

Colour photograph of Annie Blindell plastering round a window.
Annie at work plastering, 1983 © Annie Blindell


Annie Blindell has lived in Burngreave since 1980. When she came here she set up a training course for women to learn plastering as a trade. She also got involved in the national campaign to free the Birmingham Six. She was interviewed for the Burngreave Voices oral history project to talk about her role as an activist in the area.

"When I was a teenager I was sort of involved in anti-Vietnam stuff and Campaign for Nuclear Disarment from an early age because my father was in CND. And women, there was the sort of feminism stuff. I was involved in that and women in manual trades was one of the things I was involved in because I worked as a plasterer, trained and worked as a plasterer before I came to Burngreave.

Why am I political? I guess, sort of middle class deviant background. My father was a pacifist which was quite a radical thing to be. And injustice is quite a galvanising thing if you've got the time to tackle it, which I suppose I always had, or made time to.

As regards personal issues and the Birmingham Six, I think that's just a pure injustice thing. I spent Christmas reading the textbook by Chris Mullin and I was just, 'I have to do something about this, just have to do something!' So when the national campaign came along, it was an obvious thing to set up a Sheffield branch and join it. Because it was just so appalling!

I used to produce a newsletter. In those days producing leaflets, you Letrasetted, didn't you? We did have computers, we didn't have word processing, so we used to type out the articles and everything and put them in little blocks and then we used to Letraset. It was all laborious stuff, it used to take a week to put the newsletter together."

Annie was interviewed for the Burngreave Voices oral history archive by Stuart Crosthwaite in February 2006.