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Category Archives: Suffragettes

Exhibitions at Truro Museum

We set off to see the Tony Foster exhibition at Truro Museum and came across two more wonderful rooms. What a day! Firstly we came across a beautiful Kurt Jackson painting.

In the next room we came upon a Welly Dog, aka a Tinners’  Hound, made by David Kemp. Regular readers will know that we have our very own Welly Dog and we love him very much, all the more so as he was a gift from the lovely Bill Mitchell.

Then,  a small room full of portraits where we came across a friend, an activist in the XR movement, a brave and beautiful person whom we admire so much. Antonia put me in touch with the photographer,  Gavan Goulder, who has very kindly and generously given me permission to share it here along with his words which introduce the exhibition and the words of Antonia herself. Here is the link to his website where the words can be read more clearly and many more rebels and their stories can be found. I am so in awe of the bravery of these people who are fighting for our planet and the futures of our children and grandchildren. We help in the ways we can but I am not brave enough to risk arrest despite my Great Granny being a Suffragette who was force fed in Holloway in her battle to gain the vote for us all. In fact, despite the beauty still to come, this exhibition was the highlight of my day. Thank you to Gavan Goulder and to Antonia.

At last, we came to Tony Foster’s work. We heard him talk many years ago, in the Truro Museum,  about his paintings done  in the Grand Canyon and the Himalayas and there were some of those paintings here today but the special works for me this morning were the little paintings done during lockdowns, all done in Cornwall on his daily and limited walks.  Here are his pieces from the second lockdown, each a painting done in the afternoon following his morning walk, whatever the weather based on the little sketches he made while out. Each sketch has a little commentary. Click on the photo and zoom in and you can, just, read the words. If you, dear Reader, are in Cornwall before Christmas, do go to the museum and revel in all the beauty to be found in there. The staff have done a wonderful job of curating all this loveliness.

 

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Singing, A Toothbrush and A Cartoon

In 2013 some of our choir walked from Lands End to St Just, inspired by the March of the Women, 100 years before, who walked from Land’s End to London demanding Votes for Women. Tonight, in the atrium of the Eco Park we sang March of the Women, conducted by our leader, Claire, using a toothbrush.

Ethel Smyth’s rousing March of the Women was composed in 1910 to words by Cicely Hamilton, with a tune adapted from a traditional Italian melody. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) introduced it as the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union and it became associated with the suffrage movement more generally. Info from the British Library

In 1911 it was sung on Pall Mall in celebration of the release from prison of a number of activists. The following year, the conductor Thomas Beecham (1879–1961) apparently heard it sung in Holloway Prison, where Smyth and Pankhurst were imprisoned and it is said that Ethel Smyth conducted the imprisoned women singing at their windows, using her toothbrush as a baton.  Some of you know that my Great Granny was a Suffragette imprisoned and force fed in Holloway. I like to think she may have known and sung this song.

Two of our lovely choir members with whom I sing in the tenor section. I have permission to use their photos in my blog post.

There was a rueful smile when I saw this cartoon.

Covid rules in England say choirs can only sing outdoors in groups of no more than 30, all socially distanced. Have you seen/heard any football matches recently? 🙂

 

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Steely Sea, Posters and A Poem

We decided that our walk today need to be by the sea but when we got there the sun had gone in, the wind was wild and cold and damp, the sea was grey and we didn’t stay long.

Along the path to the beach is a very pleasing timeline of protest. Today I give you the first few….

I subscribe to Poem-a-Day and today this beautiful lullaby arrived in my inbox. Many of the poems that arrive are not in the public domain and are still in copyright so I can’t share them with you but this one is available so here you are. I think it’s very lovely.

A Mojave Lullaby by Bertrand N. O. Walker

Sleep, my little man-child,
Dream-time to you has come.In the closely matted branches
Of the mesquite tree,
The mother-bird has nestled
Her little ones; see
From the ghost-hills of your fathers,
Purpling shadows eastward crawl,
While beyond the western sky-tints pale
As twilight spreads its pall.

The eastern hills are lighted,
See their sharp peaks burn and glow,
With the colors the Great Sky-Chief
Gave your father for his bow.
Hush my man-child; be not frighted,
‘Tis the father’s step draws nigh.
O’er the trail along the river,
Where the arrow-weeds reach high
Above his dark head, see
He parts them with his strong hands,
As he steps forth into view.
He is coming home to mother,
Home to mother and to you.

Sleep my little man-child,
Daylight has gone.
There’s no twitter in the branches,
Dream-time has come.

 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 15, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

 

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Viola, Path and Mask

The colours in these tiny Violas are fabulous.

The pots up the steps to the garden are overflowing with blooms.

I have a new mask in Suffragette colours.I bought this one from the Radical Tea Towel Company.

Thank you Dear Readers and Followers – I now have 2,500 Followers!

 

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Anniversary, Garden and Singing

Today marks the anniversary of the Great 1913 Women’s Pilgrimage starting in the South West where women walked from Land’s End to Hyde Park demanding their right to vote and to be acknowledged as citizens.

Dreadnought began with this inspirational story of courage and rage, and we marked the centenary of the pilgrimage by touring a new play Oxygen in 2013 to the places the women had stopped and rallied one hundred years earlier. My choir leader, Claire Ingleheart wrote the music for the play, “Oxygen” and many of the choir turned up to sing at Land’s End prior to walking the first few miles of the walk together.

My Suffragette garden has the right colours at the right moment! My regular readers will know that my Great Granny, Mary Wiseman, was a Suffragette,  was force fed in Holloway Prison and received the portcullis brooch from Mrs Pankhurst for her struggles. I am very proud of her, hence my garden and my tattoo.

Here’s a recording of The Ingleheart Singers singing Oxygen in Truro Cathedral. I’m not amongst them  as I was recovering from a replacement hip op but I was able to record it for you.

 

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Mobile, Poem and A Calendar

Our nephew’s wife, our niece-in-law, is an artist with words, otherwise know as a poet, whose work thrills me. She has given me permission to share this one here.  In honour of her poem, Pisces Public Apology, here is a photo of a mobile that my Dad brought me from Mevagissey when I was five years old.  I have treasured them for many, many years.

Pisces in pottery

 

Pisces Public Apology

I’m not a rock, I’m water.
I will never be still, try to understand that.
There will always be a ripple beneath the surface of my clouds

There will always be a reaper in my waves.

I am the child they called Powder Puff,
crying eyes caricature
doggy paddling the riptide
squinting for a dwelling place
in the oasis of my own peace but at the moment,
that pebble
is somewhere downstream.

Try to swallow the fact that I
ingest my surroundings and
spit them out in distillate form and
that could be a shower or
hold on to your hats cos
it could just as well be a storm.

I know that you want me to stop dissecting the particles in search of a source babe,
but isn’t that the definition of
precipitate?

Can you relate to the water cycle,
from pool to vapor to ice and then bled
out by gravity over and over and over again-
Have you ever danced in the rain?
Have you ever tasted water from a glacial stream?

This is a public apology.
Don’t get too close to me.
When you see the water rising,
get to shore or I’ll pull you down.

Try to understand that I am not
an empty threat,
you will get wet.

Your nostrils will burn with the flush of salt.

The sun setting in coral tones behind me
says that the only way to make it is to float.

The moon never says anything,
a conductor in silhouette.

It’s just the way of the sea,
the rage is under the surface
and rises up like Neptune –
Is my tongue a wave or is it a blade?

The sun has seen me sleep serene
beneath his rising,
like a mirror in the dark.

He knows I will show you
the red and aubergine vessels,
I will pull on the pumps in
your own heart and you will drown
in love for the rawest remnant of yourself.

I am a teal tyrant to be sure
and yet,
in the summer months all of the earth’s children delight in my mischief.

They say you haven’t lived
if you haven’t at least dipped your feet or
turned your grinning face skyward in the rain.

I am not a rock but I’m a home for
beings too small to even see,
predatory beasts with bloody teeth,
creatures too foreign to even believe.

I’m not a rock, but
anyone will tell you,
I am the blue blanket on this
big round boulder,
the source of life for every form and
the finest refinery of every stone.

A Dear Friend from choir who knows my Suffragette history has given me a Suffragette calendar. The following are July’s picture and caption.

 

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Six on Saturday – My Suffragette Garden

Several years ago we planted a small border with a colour scheme of purple, white and green dedicated to my Great Granny who was a Suffragette, was imprisoned in Holloway, went on hunger strike  and was force fed. In the family but not in my possession, we have the Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and given to all those incredibly brave women who fought for our right to vote.  To honour her, we have our Suffragette Garden.

1.  This was the garden two years ago in Spring, a bit later than now.

purple-white-and-green-garden

2.  Now it is looking tired with just a few individual splashes of colour and it needs renovation. This is my main project for the moment. We want colour all year round. We have Clematis, one white and one purple for later in the year. We have Japanese Anemones and we had Tibouchina Urvilleana but it isn’t looking very well. I’m thinking of a couple of small Hebes, one white and one purple. If anyone has suggestions to help, especially plants that won’t demand too much attention, I’m all ears. The white Narcissi at the road end that were once lovely have almost all come up blind for the second year…..

Not enough colour, lots of clearing  work to be done

3.  There are pops of colour to be seen but fewer Crocuses than two years ago. The birds up-rooted lots of them.

Crocuses

4.  Only one Hyacinth is showing and that one a bit thin.

Lonely Hyacinth and much weeding to be done

5.  The Clematis is showing lots of growth and rather early so we hope there is no cold spell coming to knock it back, fairly unlikely here in Cornwall but by no means impossible.

Clematis growing well

6.   And just to show you – The Holloway Brooch, on which we base our colour scheme.

 

Pop over to The Propagator’s blog to see more contributions to Six on Saturday from gardeners all over the world which are fascinating to read.

 

 

 

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A Celebration of Women

What a fabulous afternoon being a part of celebrating the Centenary of some women getting the vote! We all gathered in Mawnan Smith – The Mawnan Smith W I, singers from my choirs, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and many supporters and we marched along to Trebah Gardens, singing some of the way when we had enough breath! We finished in the amphitheatre  and sang for all the wonderful people who had joined us along the way. Such a wonderful feeling of solidarity, such a deep feeling of community and an acknowledgement that there is still some way to go and that we must carry on where our sisters have fought before. Click on any photo for a bigger view and the caption.

Votes for Women!

 

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Yellow, A Surprise and A Bee

Cornwall is very beautifully yellow at this time of year – Primroses in the hedgerows, Daffodils along the verges, Forsythia in gardens, Dandelions, Celandines and Gorse just everywhere, down every lane we travel along.

We bought the magazine Cornwall Today yesterday because there is a feature on Port Isaac where family will be staying this summer. Imagine my delight to find a short article about me and my Suffragette Great Granny! I had completely forgotten the phone call some months ago!

Article in Cornwall Today, April

Bees have arrived in our garden. They love the Rosemary flowers.

A bee on the Rosemary

 

 

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Paper Bags, Special New Stamps and Alstroemeria

We drove into town today and walked around so I managed some exercise. My ankles have lost their leaden feeling which I woke up with and I am still pain free…………  We were delighted to find that our local Greengrocer now supplies paper bags rather than plastic – brilliant!

Paper bags for produce – hooray!

There has been a new stamp issue today to commemorate the Suffragettes and the Suffragists and their success in winning the Vote for some women. Those who know me, will know that my Great Granny was a Suffragette and those who receive a Christmas card from us will have one of the special stamps on their envelope! I bought enough today for all our Christmas cards.

Suffragette stamps of all the values

Our lovely bunch of Alstroemeria have opened and are brightening the hall. We had sunshine today and it streamed through the house lightening up the blooms.

Alstroemeria

 

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