A Tale of Two Women centred around the lives of both Mary Ann and Baroness May Blood – ‘a current day Mary Ann’. Those attending the free online event heard how the Baroness also committed her life to fighting for the needs and rights of the people of Belfast and further afield.
May Blood was born on 26th May 1938 to a working-class Belfast family and grew up in a “two-up, two-down” house in Roden Street, West Belfast. Her father worked in the shipyard and her mother was a cook in Mackie’s foundry on the Springfield Road. May attended the Donegall Road Methodist Church Primary School, before going on to attend Linfield Secondary School in Blythe Street, Sandy Row. Recollecting her childhood in an interview with the Best of Belfast podcast, she commented that “community was everything because we had nothing else”, and that “everybody had the same, so you didn’t think you were any poorer than anybody else”.
In addition to hearing about Baroness Blood’s achievements, the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation also highlighted who and what Mary Ann championed in her 96 years including education, abolitionism, women’s and workers’ rights.
The interactive session gave people a chance to share their thoughts on how we, as the citizens of Belfast, and the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation can ensure the work of these remarkable women is remembered, and where necessary, continued today.