So, here’s the rest of the story about “Big Lil,” Lillian Billioca and the Headscarf Revolutionaries that brought about sweeping changes to the English fishing industry in regard to the safety of the men out on the ships. The Everyday Revolutionary should be grateful to those that have lead the way and paid the price.
In 1968, in response to the loss of 58 fishing men within a month’s time, Lillian Billoca, pictured above, and other women from the port of Hull demanded action on the improvement of the safety on the fishing industry in England. The concern regarding the safety of the men as they performed their work on understaffed boats, often without radio operators and no medical facilities except back at port and employers seemingly more attentive to the bottom line, had been ongoing for years prior to 1968. The tragedy of the loss of the three boats and the 58 men spurred the women, dubbed “the Headscarf Revolutionaries,” into action. They knew what they wanted, they knew what their destination was, they needed to make those in charge take action. This episode describes the efforts of the Headscarf Revolutionaries to bring about significant change in a community, an industry and a nation.