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The Fleet Street Girls

The Women Who Broke Down the Doors of the Gentleman’s Club
Narrated by: Julie Welch
Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
3.9 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

The Fleet Street Girls is the inspiring story of the female journalists who broke down barriers in the 1970s as women arrived on Fleet Street for the first time. 

Julie Welch was the first ever female football reporter. To achieve this role at the Observer, she had to battle the National Union of Journalists nearly calling a strike when she dared to write an article as a mere secretary (despite allowing men who weren't journalists to write for the same pages); an entire room of men falling silent to listen to her give her first football report over the phone, before pronouncing it passable; and many other battles in-between. 

Julie's personal journey provides the backbone of the narrative, and she interweaves the stories of many of the great women who were simultaneously climbing up the ranks, from Lynn Barber (of An Education fame) to Wendy Henry, the first woman to edit a Fleet Street newspaper, and many more, as well as several of the secretaries whom the men overlooked but who subsequently knew everything. Pioneers one and all. 

The Fleet Street Girls is a fascinating story of the hopes and despairs, triumphs and disasters of a group of women in the glitzy heyday of journalism, where they could be interviewing Elton John one moment and partying in the pubs unofficially assigned to each newspaper the next. Fleet Street was the biggest, cosiest all-male club you can imagine, and half the human race and its thoughts and insights were consigned to an area in the papers called The Women's Page, but we follow Julie and the women around her as that tide finally started to change. 

©2020 Julie Welch (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

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Bloody brilliant!

I’m 41, thought I knew about feminism, then watched Mrs America last week because, well, Cate Blanchett. Turns out I know naff all. This book is my first conscious foray into the world that was just before I was born and during the rest of my life. Wow! A balance of fantasy storytelling and factual recounting. It’s not a man-bashing fest, but rather a candid look at the highs and lows of being a woman in a man’s world. Would highly recommend to all.

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Disjointed and confused.

No real layout of story. Often repetitive. Struggled to finish. Maybe more suited to shorter bites