Category Archives: Suffragettes

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.



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Snow! Centenary and A Song

We woke to snow! What a treat for us here in Cornwall and it was all gone by lunchtime. Click on any photo for a wider view.


Today is the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was legislation that enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. I have been publishing Suffragette Diary as my contribution to the Cause. Today has brought some special news and a song.

In my post yesterday, I shared my research which had led me to think that the anonymous Suffragette was, in fact, Gladys Roberts.  To my delight, that has been confirmed today by a researcher friend. Thank you, Lesley . And that is not all……

Lesley has also discovered information about my Great Granny, Mrs Wiseman, whom we knew had been force fed in Holloway for which she received the Holloway Brooch but we knew no more.   Now we know what Mary Wiseman did. At 53, she was an activist in Manchester and joined several other women in London in an attempt to present a petition to the Prime Minister. When the police tried to prevent the women, they ‘obstructed’ and some hit the police. For this they were arrested, taken to the Magistrate’s court and imprisoned.  One of the cuttings mentions Winston Churchill watching from behind the railings!

Cornishman 8 April 1909

Newspaper image ©The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (

I had a message as I started to transcribe the Diary from a songwriter who wanted to use it in creating a song about Suffragettes. ‘Of course,’ I said  and here is the song, many phrases of which you will recognise if you have read the Diary. Thank you, Matt, it’s brilliant!


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Tulips, Sash and Preview Performance

We found some beautiful tulips on the table when we arrived in the kitchen this morning, left by our lovely daughter to wish me the best for this evening’s Preview performance. They are purple and white with green leaves – just perfect!  Keen eyed readers may notice that I bought that beautiful Kingfisher tea-set that I was ogling in the antique shop!

In the performances of ‘Until the Day Break’ I am singing ‘March of the Women’  with nine others and it is just brilliant! I have a facsimile Suffragette sash given to me years ago by my Mum but don’t want to risk the silk in the rain so today I went to one of my favourite shops and bought ribbons and this afternoon, I stitched up a sash.

The song was written by Ethel Smyth and was sung in Holloway by the imprisoned suffragettes, conducted by Emmeline Pankhurst through the bars of her prison cell using a toothbrush as her baton. I like to think that my Great Granny, Annie Wiseman, who was also imprisoned in Holloway for her part in the movement, was there at that moment and was singing March of the Women. I am singing it in the show with the passion that she must also have had and I can feel her pride.


The Preview performance went very well. Everybody loved it! The first night is on Thursday.

Some actors before the show





Emily Davison, Sheep and Robert Browning

On this day in 1911, the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was found in a cupboard in Westminster where she had hidden herself. She did this to record her address on the night of the census as being ‘The House of Commons’ thus making her claim to the same political rights as men. This is just one of the many acts of the suffragettes which led to universal suffrage in 1928.

 Emily Wilding Davison died in June 1913 from injuries sustained when she stepped in front of the King’s horse at the Derby to draw attention to the public injustice suffered by women. For readers who may be new to my blog, my Great Granny was a Suffragette who was awarded the Holloway brooch after her imprisonment and force feeding in Holloway Prison. We are very proud of her part in the movement.

Aren’t these sheep just delightful? The shepherd dyes them with safe colours to amuse passers by. Not sure if this is ethical but it did make me smile.

Today’s poem is  Robert Browning’s “Home Thoughts From Abroad” which I learned by heart as a child. He was in Italy when he wrote this poem.

OH, to be in England

Now that April ‘s there,

And whoever wakes in England

Sees, some morning, unaware,

That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf

Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,

While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough

In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!

Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover

Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—

That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,

Lest you should think he never could recapture

The first fine careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,

All will be gay when noontide wakes anew

The buttercups, the little children’s dower

—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!


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Singing, Periwinkle and Raindrops

1  I had my daily dose of singing today at a wonderful workshop run by my lovely choir leader, Claire Ingleheart. The songs were  about the Suffragettes and were both rousing and moving. The work shop is linked with a scratch performance tonight of a new play-in-progress by Natalie McGrath who wrote the wonderful Oxygen which you can read about here.

Singing daily

Singing daily

2    We are having days of sunshine and showers, heavy ones with hailstones but the flowers are still beginning to bloom.



2   The new leaves on the Honeysuckle caught the raindrops perfectly.

raindrops on new honeysuckle leaves

Raindrops on new honeysuckle leaves






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Knitting, Sailing and Sunshine

1    What a cracker of a day this has been!  After an early trip to the osteopath, off to singing with The Suitcase Singers where five more wonderful knitters had their pieces finished for me to join to the growing Peace scarf, our contribution to Wool Against Weapons’ 7 mile scarf. I sang and joined and finished just in time for the last song, the very moving ‘Oxygen’, written by our wonderful leader, Claire Ingleheart, to honour our Suffragette sisters. It is 101 years ago today that the first Cornish contingent set off walking from Lands End to London to demand the vote for women. See this post for last year’s event.

The Suitcase Singers surrounded by our 21 pieces

The Suitcase Singers surrounded by our 21 pieces

Our knitting went around more than once

Our knitting went around more than once

More pieces

More pieces

Our roll of pieces

Our roll of pieces by the Penryn River

2    After that rousing and exhilarating sing, I met the lovely Mr S and we went off for the final three hours of our sailing course and at the end of a truly gruelling session, we have both passed our RYA2! No photos! Too busy!

3   This evening I have laid out our 21 pieces in the evening sunshine in our garden and rolled it all up ready to be collected and taken to Stroud tomorrow. I have marked the end and the beginning with Purple, White and Green ribbons to further honour our Suffraggette sisters with the inscription – “Knit, Natter and Sing Redruth, Cornwall”  Hopefully they will help us to identify our bits of the scarf in photos from 9th August when the seven miles of knitting will be spread out from Aldermaston to Burghfield.

21 pieces all over the garden

21 pieces all over the garden

Re-rolled and Suffragette colours attached

Re-rolled and Suffragette colours attached


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Courgette Flowers, Old Family Recipe and Oxygen, the Song

1   The courgettes are really taking off. I’m so looking forward to being able to harvest some.

Courgette flowers

Courgette flowers

2   Our eldest daughter is with us for a week as she walks some of the coastal path with a friend. She asked if I had any Picnic Pie in the freezer – a staple of walks and picnics for our family for as long as I can remember. This afternoon, I dug out my Granny’s Recipe book, a note book given to her in 1903 and found the recipe for Picnic Pie from 1946 and made one ready for tomorrow’s walk.

Original recipe from 1946

Original recipe from 1946

Picnic Pie

Picnic Pie

3   While we were in London, Claire’s three choirs performed in Carn Marth Quarry near Redruth. Here, you can hear one of the songs, music by Claire Ingleheart and lyrics by Natalie McGrath, written for the play, Oxygen, about the Suffragist March from Lands End to London..   It was filmed by Tina Wheeler, with apologies for the noisy crowd, unruly children, dogs hitting tripod, and the wind.    The tour of the play is coming to an end and it has had brilliant reviews.
Rather belatedly,  I want to thank El Guapo for his delightful post when I asked him for help to put the word out about the play for me.


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