A FEARLESS Greenock woman who was only 17 when she took on mighty mill bosses and led a protest march into a pub has inspired a new film.

Campaigner Jacquie Blair, now 67, was a teenage mum when she put herself in the firing line as the first woman and youngest ever shop steward with Fleming Reid mill back in 1968.

As the battle for gender equality raged across the country she took on factory bosses, who continued with an unfair work practice which meant women were paid less.

The young mum took on a landlord who wouldn't serve women at the bar in a famous protest in Aberdeen - which is now the focus of a film.

Activist Jacquie, who lives in Braeside, said: "I was 17, I had a baby and I was blonde.

"I wasn't your stereotypical shop steward.

"But I hate injustice and though 'why should we be getting paid less?', so I went for shop steward.

"In the mill we were machinists and we were on piece work - this meant that if our machine broke down and it couldn't be fixed we were not paid until it was back in action.

"It means we were not being paid for hours and it was unfair.

"I took this up with the bosses and won."

As a young working mum Jacquie was incensed at the inequality that existed for women.

She added: "You wouldn't believe the sexism women faced then. I know there is still inequality but in those days women earned half of what men did.

"Our names were not even on the rent book. It is hard to believe now. Everything was in a husband's name.

As a shop steward with the TGWU Jacquie was soon going to conferences around the country, rubbing shoulders with the big union bosses of the time like Michael McGachy, who admired her fight.

But Jacquie added: "But I faced sexism there as well. Everyone thought I was there to make the tea."

In 1973 she was attending an STUC conference in Aberdeen and infuriated to find a bar with a sign saying 'no women please'.

She stormed the pub, The Grill, followed by other delegates like former NATO General Secretary George Robertson and was removed by the police.

The mum-of-four added: "But I finished my vodka first before I left!"

The pub still has a photograph of her framed on the wall and three years ago her daughter Julie was stunned to walk in and find her mum up there.

Jacquie added: "She phoned me straight away. I am very proud of what we achieved then."

A tour guide and local historian in Aberdeen has now teamed up with director Yvonne Heald to make a film - No Ladies Please - to depict the landmark protest.

The film was the idea of Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, a tour guide and local historian in Aberdeen, who came across the story when she was doing research for a reminiscence talk on pubs for Alzheimer Scotland. Jacquie's eldest daughter Julie, now 50, is an accountant and one of her granddaughters studying to be a social worker.

After her early union exploits she continued to embrace the labour movement and when working in National Semiconductor, where there were no unions, she arranged her own underground meetings and represented the workforce.

Now she serves a Larkfield Braeside and Branchton Community councillor to fight for her local area.