Barbara Castle (1910-2002) was MP for Blackburn 1945-1979, and one of the most important Labour politicians of her era. She held various Cabinet positions during the 1960s, including Minister for Overseas Development and Minister of Transport. In 1968 while the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, she intervened on behalf of the women sewing machinists on strike at the Ford Dagenham motor plant. As a result, she went on to successfully bring in the Equal Pay Act 1970. She went on to become Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, a Member of the European Parliament, and in 1990 became a life peer as Baroness Castle of Blackburn.