There was not a lot of work for women in the clay industry but in her book on Balmaidens (women miners), Lynne Mayers says that women were employed, largely in the summer months, to carry, clean and pack the dried clay from the air drys. R.M. Barton wrote “A History of the Cornish China-Clay Industry”, an essential read for anyone interested in the subject. She says that women were employed in the 1850s in the laborious task of hand pumping.

During the two world wars there was a lack of manpower in the clay pits and therefore some women were employed in traditionally male tasks.

May and June Davis use a hose during the First World War