When a proposed ban on female bar staff threatened the livelihood of 100,000 women, Esther & Eva formed the Barmaids Defence League.
In 1908 a young Winston Churchill was standing for re-election as MP in Manchester, arguing that barmaids should face the chop as working in pubs could lead women into unsavoury lifestyles.
In Manchester Esther and Eva organised a fantastically flamboyant barmaid support campaign.
Gore-Booth’s sister Countess Constance Markievicz drove the couple through the streets of Manchester on a vintage carriage drawn by four white horses. They handed out leaflets, parked up in Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter, and gave speeches from the carriage.
Their protest was a success, Churchill didn’t get re-elected, and the ‘ban the barmaids’ bill didn’t get passed into law.