Granite Land

An Exhibit of Photographs by Jenny Leathes, ARPS, MA 1960-2014 Saturday, March 14- March 28, 10 am-4pm Helston Museum Jenny Leathes was an extraordinary woman with a passion for life and all it offered. She was a mountaineer, skier, sailor, cyclist and marathon runner, and a photographer with a drive to document the world around her. Her photos of granite in Cornwall, along The Tinner's Way, and elsewhere are a testament to her keen eye for detail in the world she chose to live in.

Her body of work includes her documentation of the River Dart from its source to outflow, as well as the studies of lichens and vegetation on Dartmoor.

Jenny died last year, after a long battle with cancer, and this exhibit is both a memorial to her life, and a tribute to her passion for recording her world.

Come and view this exhibit, view it with wonder, and capture a little of the essence of her work. We hope it will inspire everyone to see the world with new eyes, to absorb a little of the sense of wonder with which she explores the landscapes of her life.

You done good, Jenny. Rest in peace.

Jenny bequeathed her archives to the Hypatia Trust, and we at the Trust are privileged to sponsor this exhibit as a personal and professional tribute to a master of her art.

'Granite Land' by Jenny Leathes can be found in the Hypatia Bookshop.

Dreadnought Southwest's new Production!

Dreadnought Southwest’s new production! As we approach the general election, Dreadnought South West Association is going on the road with a new play - 'The Orchard' - starting in Redruth on 2nd March.

Part of the Rebellious Sounds project, which is looking at stories around women's activism across the South West, 'The Orchard' imagines a meeting between Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst, the moderate and the radical, and explores what happens when opposing political forces come together.

Dreadnought will host a series of unique Œscratch¹ performances of 'The Orchard' across the region. These scratch performances are similar to script-in-hand or rehearsed readings of the material so far, and Dreadnought is inviting audiences to have their say in this pre-election time and to add their voices to the creative process through lively Q&A sessions and debates on the issues contained in the play; the importance of using the vote, democracy, equality, women¹s voices and the paradoxes of leadership.

Nine million women did not use their vote in the last UK general election in 2010. What will happen this May?

As well as the performances, there will be a series of free workshops and events taking place - details of which will go up on the website soon ( - but I have attached the e-flyer for your information. Please feel free to share widely!


Hypatia Trust and The Friends of the Morrab Gardens: Joint project

Hypatia-in-the-Gardens: A partnership project between the Friends of the Morrab Gardens & The Hypatia Trust Objectives:

  • To re-vitalize & make operational the Old Stables of Morrab House, Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall for:
  • Educational & creative projects in horticulture, natural history and botanics for all ages: an open air laboratory for citizen science
  • Development & maintenance of green-spaces for public benefit
  • Provision of an administrative unit and research library for two civic societies: The Friends of the Morrab Gardens and The Hypatia Trust.

Hello Guys 'n' Dolls

Words in the Air poetry app

Update for National Poetry Day, October 2014 Words in Air App

Words in Air is a new app that offers you a unique way into poetry: poetry-in-place, in the palm of your hand. Enjoy a poem instantly, on the very spot which sparked its creation. Discover new poems — and poets. Re-discover familiar places through a poem. See which poem was inspired by a place nearest to you, across the UK. Stand in the place where these poets stood, and gain a deeper insight into the poem, and the place. Words in Air will pinpoint the place for you that sparked each poem. Visit, virtually and for real, to gain a deeper understanding of the creative process, through the revealing relationship between poetry and place.

The app also features Cornish poets. See Words in Air on the iTunes store, or read our summary of the app from 2013.

There will be a new poetry group forming for 2015 at Trevelyan House, Penzance and online - please be in contact if you are interested in joining, locally or from a distance.

Download a PDF demonstration of this app.

Rotary Ramble - finished!

Thank you to all who generously sponsored me on the recent Rotary Club Ramble. The weather was excellent - sunny, warm, with a nice breeze, and the views of the coast and cliffs were stunning. I completed the walk in two and a half hours, and staggered in at the end, hot and sticky, thirsty, and with sore feet. However, on the plus side, I saw three Clouded Yellow butterflies, and one Grizzled Skipper Butterfly, as well as a good assortment of birds. So thank you to all who sponsored me, and to the Rotary Club of Penzance for organising the Ramble (with Marshalls and drinks of water, and directional arrow notices at crucial points.) Your generosity raised over two hundred Pounds  for Hypatia, and just over 50 pounds for the Rotary Club. Thank you!! We will be using the funds raised to hold the one-year memorial Exhibit of Jenny Leathes work, combined with a workshop for students on the importance of various aspects of science in our lives.

Gender Bias in Scientific Careers


Gender bias exists whether we recognise it or not- the evidence is staggering. I have been asked to write a series of posts looking at some of the evidence and how this is impacting women in science. I am researching for a PhD in the evolutionary ecology of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, and I am also a mother. Starting a family has totally changed my perspective on pursuing an academic career. I have been watching the adoption of the Athena Swan charter at my university with great interest and I have recently been on a working group looking for potential sources of gender bias within PhD recruitment and marketing. I was recently reading a book about gender identity where the authors explained it is worse to be a “sissy” than a “tomboy” because, “Women constitute half the world’s population, perform nearly two-thirds of its work hours, receive one-tenth of the world’s income, and own less than one-hundredth of the world’s property,” (United Nations, The World’s Women trends and statistics 1970-1990). Although hopefully a slightly dated worldview, this sort of history shapes our opinions and biases.

So what is happening for women in science? Research has shown how important it is to work in schools promoting and inspiring gender equality in the sciences. However, it is equally important to recognise that girls have been choosing to study science for generations and have then been leaving scientific careers. As a recent government report notes, Emphasis is often placed on inspiring young girls to choose science, which is commendable, but such efforts are wasted if women are then disproportionately disadvantaged in scientific careers compared to men. It is disappointing that biases and working practices result in systematic and cumulative discrimination against women throughout STEM study and academic careers.

Genders are equally represented when you average across STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at undergraduate level (although there are significant differences between specific subjects- as shown below).


Image from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) equality in higher education 2013 students report


As careers progress women are being lost via the ‘leaky pipeline’ as they become disillusioned with the career.

Data from ECU equality in HE 2013 reports

Why do women leave science? Only 14% of university vice-chancellors are female and 16% full-time professors in STEM are female, compared to 26.7% in non-STEM subjects. Whilst non-STEM subjects fare better this is a long way from equal representation, highlighting that the issues for women in academia are not restricted to the sciences The likelihood of choosing and sticking with a career is correlated to being able to relate to role models in senior positions. Work-life balance, short-term contracts and unstable employment are also important factors cited as causing the high attrition rate of women in scientific careers.

Universities are tackling gender equality but there is clearly still a long way to go.

This is a guest post and the Hypatia Trust hold no responsibility for opinions within it, which remain with the author.

Hypatia Trust Sponsored Walk 2014

Cornish Clifftops

cctbn-donatenowsafeandsecureHelp us encourage students to document the world around them. Through a sponsored walk in September 2014 we are hoping to raise enough money to buy some digital cameras for use in a workshop for students in the spring. The workshop will focus on the importance of documentation in any scientific or academic project.

The students will be asked to take the cameras for a week, and to document something to illustrate a theory, an aspect of climate change, a snapshot of flora in Cornwall as it is currently, or any specific thesis that intrigues them. Their work will be pulled together at the end of the week at the culmination of the upcoming Jenny Leathes Photographic exhibit to be held March 13-22, 2015, at the Helston Museum.

The walk takes place in September, and a couple of members will be walking 7.5 miles in aid of the Hypatia Trust. The walk is organized by the Rotary Club of Penzance, and will be taking place along the cliffs and footpaths, and the weather, of course, will be perfect.

For those who would like to sponsor Polly Attwood, please donate via our campaign page on Charity Choice and help us reach our target.

75% of the money raised will go to Hypatia, and 25% to the Rotary Club for the charities that they support.

If you prefer, you can also support us by sending a cheque, made out to ‘The Hypatia Trust’, and sent to the Hypatia Trust, 16 Chapel St, Penzance, TR18 4AW

Any donations towards the mounting of this exhibit, or towards the workshop would be most gratefully appreciated!

Click here to Donate

We need more women in Science and Engineering!

Trowel Blazers

Why? Because our whole world – our bodies, our environment, climate, travel, food, clothing, medicine, entertainment, travel, communication – all is science. When we think of technology, how much do we really understand? Not just how things work, but what are the consequences of the decisions made by politicians, owners of businesses, companies, - oil, steel, cars, construction, energy production, logging, agriculture – to name a few. Can we be sure that the people making decisions that affect all of us, directly or indirectly, have a clear understanding of consequences and outcomes?

Until we have a population that is sufficiently literate in science, politicians will continue to form policies with little or no regard or understanding of long-term outcomes.

So- we need a scientifically literate population upon which to draw the leaders of the future. Not just the politicians, but all those in positions to help shape company policies across the spectrum of business and industry.

Ok. So we need to ‘up our game’ when it comes to educating and to encourage – actively encourage, not just sit back and hope – students to take the courses that will prepare them for the future, and give them the basis for choosing from the very varied menu of scientific careers.

And, yes, encourage and support girls who choose those more demanding courses – physics, chemistry, maths, meteorology. Without that initial grounding in scientific disciplines, no-one can choose to major in those subjects in University or college.

We must, somehow change the culture that tells girls that those courses are ‘too hard’, that ‘girls aren’t good at maths’, that ‘there are few job prospects for you in those fields’.

To do that, we need to present girls (and boys) with examples of how exciting science is – get them hooked on astronomy or marine biology, the excitement of archeology, especially partnered with emerging technologies.

We are going to need people who understand climatology and its effects on how we can feed a world that is undergoing climate change (man-made or not, climate change is a fact that we must deal with – the sooner the better.) So let’s get our youngsters pumped up about the many exciting and fascinating careers open to them in science and engineering.

We came across a wonderful blog called Trowel Blazers - check it out!  It is run by a group of four female scientists.

There are many women in scientific roles, and this site highlights them in a lively and attractive blog.

Also check out the British Science Association website, and the Met Office website – they both have some fascinating material that could spark a latent interest or enthusiasm.

Let us celebrate those women who have become leaders in their fields, and hold them up for our daughters, sisters and mothers to emulate.

Getting women's history out of the ghetto

Our review of an important volume of essays on the impact of the Suffrage Movement on British politics after 1918 has just come out in the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History. One of the editors Julie Gottlieb had the opportunity to respond and we're really exciting about the opportunity to get new women's history back on the mainstream agenda in time for the 2018 centenary of the Representation of the People Act and 90 years since the universal women's franchise was granted.

Should we be returning to women's history and is there scope for getting women's history "out of the ghetto" and into the mainstream? Both reviewer and author ponder this question.

Read the review and the response.

The Aftermath of Suffrage: Women, Gender, and Politics in Britain, 1918-1945 edited by: Julie Gottlieb, Richard Toye Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, ISBN: 9781137015341; 268pp.; Price: £19.99.


Two new additions to the Elizabeth Treffry Collection.

'Granite Land'. by Jenny Leathes, a photographic study of the granite of Cornwall, showing, in detail and up close, the beauty of the bones of the land. Granite is everywhere we look here in Cornwall, but Jenny's photos make us look at it again, and let us recognise its intricate and complicated beauty. We have copies of the book for sale in our online shop (for those who have not had a chance to buy it). The second addition to the collection is a charming children's book by Jenny Steele Scolding. 'Percy Pengelly and the wibble-wobble' is a cute story of a Cornish ex-tightrope walker who is searching for the perfect next job. He finds it, and his adventures on his first day of work will delight children everywhere. Delightfully illustrated by Andy McPherson. Copies of this book will soon be available in shops throughout Cornwall.

Jenny Leathes, photographer and artist, died on April 12.

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Jenny Leathes. Jenny was an extraordinary woman, talented, vibrant, courageous and an inspiration to all who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers go to her family and all those who were close to her. When it became obvious that her cancer was winning the battle, and that she did not have much time left, Jenny decided to bequeathe all her archives and remaining work to the Hypatia Trust, so that her work would find a suitable home. We plan an exhibition of her work for next spring, as a memorial tribute to her and the amazing life that she led. We also have her book, 'Granite Land' in our online bookshop for any who have not yet had the opportunity to acquire a copy. Jenny's driving curiosity and attitude of wonder at the world around her took her on many journeys and she has recorded the sights and intricacies of that world in her work. We will all miss her and her talent for seeing the world in a new and exciting way. Her studies of Dartmoor are unprecedented, and her skill with the camera is a gift for all of us. Rest in Peace, Jenny - You done good.

A 19th Century Hypatia - Elizabeth Catherine Thomas Carne (1817-1873)

E Carne portraitDuring the 200th birthday celebrations of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, its first woman member (c. 1860) was celebrated. Melissa Hardie took this bi-centennial occasion to present a study of Elizabeth C T Carne and her scientific and artistic circle of relatives and associates. A local and national celebrity in her own time, Carne has all but dropped off the pages of history and documentation in ours. She is set to be re-introduced into the annals of social ecology and natural history.

Transactions Vol XXIII, Part I is available now from our bookshop at the cover price of £10.

Rug Exhibit at Archie Brown’s

Rug Women exhibition at Archie Browns Café, Penzance  

This exhibit is on display at Archie Brown’s on Bread Street in Penzance. Who are these women? Mesdames Myrtles is the name of the group of women seated in front of their rugs, created to recognise and celebrate the work of women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Myrtles joined with the Hypatia Trust’s History 51 Project to highlight the often untold and unremembered history of women in the Duchy. They researched and found evidence of the lives of those women, and depicted them in hooked rugs. They had all joined the rug-hooking group to rediscover and preserve the ancient art of rug-hooking, and have added a new dimension to the craft by using it to illustrate the lives of those women who are our forebears.

So, what, exactly?...

From left to right, we have:

Brigitte Kaufhold, and above her is a depiction, in a hooked rug, of’ Mary’, with the words on her apron:

Every Thursday, Mary loaded her jingle in Pendeen with eggs, butter and cream, and set off for Penzance market.

The detail achieved in these rugs is amazing.

Next in line is Sue Dove, with her illustration of ‘Miss Myrtle, the Governess’. She is the only figure not wearing an apron, letting the world know that she was not a domestic worker.

Third from the left is Dr. Tehmina Goskar, Project Manager for History 51, sitting in for Pat Sales, who is the rug-hooker who created the figure of ‘Morwenna – the Balmaiden’. Her apron gives the names, ages and occupations of some Balmaidens for whom we know some details.

Martha Buckingham, 14 yrs old, on May 1st – Griddling. Mary Johns, 14 yrs, ) months old on March23rd – Picking. Jane Uren, 16 yrs old – Cobbling. Grace Bowden, 17 yrs old, 9 months.

Ollie Pickford is next in line, showing her depiction of one of the Land Girls who worked on the farms during both World Wars. Her apron says, ‘Join the Women’s Land Army’. The Land Army was founded in 1917, then reformed in 1939, and the work of this army contributed to the survival of families and farmers during the wars. There were 80,000 girls/women enrolled by 1944. Their song was:

Back to the land We must all lend a hand To the farms and the fields we must go There’s a job to be done Though we can’t fire a gun We can still do our bit with the hoe. Back to the land With its clay and its sand You grow barley and wheat And potatoes to eat To make sure that the nation keeps fit. We will tell you once more You can help win the war.

Diane Cox, who chairs Mesdames Myrtles, is next with her rug of a woman who, though not working ‘outside the home’, was still working long hard hours every day. Her apron reads:

Wash on Monday Iron on Tuesday Mend on Wednesday Churn on Thursday Clean on Friday Bake on Saturday Rest on Sunday.

I very much doubt that there was much rest on Sunday – there is no mention of raising the children, gardening, feeding the animals (if she churns on Thursday, there must be a cow to be milked).

Next we have Rachel Redwood with her illustration of Rachel Anne Richards, who joined Queen Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Corps on November 13th, 1919. She grew up in Newlyn and trained as a midwife.

Last in the line is Sue Tregear. She chose to focus on Betsy Lanyon of Newlyn and Penzance. Betsy was a fishwife, responsible for the gutting, cleaning and salting of fish, carrying heavy baskets in all weathers, thus being an integral and vital part of the fishing industry and economy of the region.

These rugs not only showcase a craft practiced for centuries, but pay homage to the lives of women who have sustained their families , and contributed to the society and culture of this county. They did not win medals for their work, they did not make it into national history books, but deserve respect and recognition for the part they played in our history. The Hypatia Trust would like to thank Mesdames Myrtles for their whole hearted interest in this project ,and their creative and inspiring way of illustrating and highlighting these women, by using this ancient craft of rug-hooking.

Thank you, Mesdames Myrtles! Proper job!

Kneehigh joins the cause of Cornish women's heritage

We were delighted to see that the wonderful people at Kneehigh, Cornwall's National Theatre, is marking this year's International Women's Day on 8 March with a great post about the women of Cornwall who have shaped our history and culture. A special thank you to Sarah Newton MP for prodding Kneehigh in this, and our, direction.

Read and comment on Kneehigh's post on Cornish Women.

Don't forget that History 51's Facebook page which is dedicated to sharing news, views and information on women's heritage in Cornwall is open to anyone to join in.

Mary Kelynack heads up Kneehigh's list of Cornish women.

Visitors from Japan

A visit from Japan (Left to right): Polly Attwood, Emi Nishiyama, Melissa Hardie, Mrsrko Hioki, Etsuko Yasukawa, Masako Hioki and Toshiro Sato.
A visit from Japan (Left to right): Polly Attwood, Emi Nishiyama, Melissa Hardie, Mrsrko Hioki, Etsuko Yasukawa, Masako Hioki and Toshiro Sato.

On February 13th, Hypatia was visited by five members of the Tokai Foundation for Gender Studies, from Japan. They are in the process of setting up a Gender Studies Library for their Foundation, and were touring Britain to get a sense of what was happening in similar organizations here. They visited the Women's Library at the LSE and the Feminist Library in London, before travelling to Exeter to view the University Library there (which includes the collection given to them by Hypatia), and then - not without difficulty - continued on to Penzance by train and bus. We showed them our current collections, and had a long and lively talk, comparing notes on the situation of women both here and in Japan, and discussing their hopes and aspirations for their new facility, the difficulty of fundraising, our current activities, and ways in which we might help each other in the future.

They are an inspiring group of people, and there seem to be several opportunities for us to work with them in the future. We finished up with lunch at the Lost & Found Cafe, and then said goodbye to our new friends as we saw them back to the train on their way back to London. What a hope-filled thing it is to hear of others engaged in the same work as us!

We wish them all the best for their trip back to Japan, and their work in forming a new library.

Tanner Project to catalogue Cornish women's library


The Hypatia Trust has launched a new project to catalogue the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Thanks to a £5000 grant from the Tanner Trust, this important collection of 3000 books and archives will be catalogued to modern library and archive standards. The collection currently lives at Trevelyan House on Chapel Street in Penzance, the headquarters of the Hypatia Trust.

Dr. Tehmina Goskar will direct the Tanner Project which formally begins this week. She said, "Building on the success of History 51, our public engagement project to promote women's heritage in Cornish communities, the Tanner Project will ensure that the books, papers and ephemera we collect and that get donated to Hypatia will be properly recorded so researchers and students can use this important resource. Properly documented, the Elizabeth Treffry Collection could be the seed of a future women's library in Cornwall."

Researchers can visit the collection by email appointment but access may not always be possible during the cataloguing process.

Silent Auction & Founder's dinner

Thanks to all who came to the Silent Auction and Founder's Day dinner last week. It was a great success, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Thanks to all who donated items for the auction - we made nearly seven hundred pounds, money that will go to the establishment of the Hypatia Art Archive here at Trevelyan House. At the dinner that followed the auction, a toast was drunk to the success of the evening and the formation of the Art archive, Jo Schofield astonished those present with her Native American calls, and Polly read her 'Thanksgiving doggerel' on the activities of the past year.

We at Hypatia wish all our friends and supporters a joyous holiday season, and a happy 2014.

Hypatia-in-the-Woods update



Dear Members, Friends and Supporters, It's been a season of change for Hypatia-in-the-Woods. We are all still adjusting to the death of our founder, but we continue to find our way and have had a packed year of the most amazing Holly House residents: visual and tactile artists, poets, and writers of fiction and nonfiction. A number of our residents have shared their talents with readings in various venues and with workshops at the Shelton Timberland Library, from basket weaving to contemplative writing, and we thank Pat Chupa and the library staff for coordinating those activities. One of our earliest residents, Christine Finlayson, wrote to celebrate the publication of her book Tip of a Bone, released last month by Adventure Publications, available as a trade paperback at bookstores and as an e-book online. She will do a workshop or craft talk for us early next year; stay tuned. While Elspeth's property is up for sale, and the Holly House property may have to be sold as well, we are continuing our residency program and will soon be assigning dates to the first recipients of 2014 residencies.

ELEGANT EVERGREENS, OUR ANNUAL FUND-RAISER With the approach of the holidays, we will once again embark on a fund-raiser in conjunction with Lynch Creek Farm, a local firm that produces beautiful evergreen decorations. There are wreaths and centerpieces designed to help you decorate for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year's; all these products are shipped free and make lovely gifts. We get a generous 20 percent of each order made on the FlipGive/Lynch Creek Farm website, and there's also a donation button. It's at —and you are welcome to share this site with others looking for a way to simplify their holiday shopping or decorating.

STAY WITH US! RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP ... If the holidays approach, can the new year be far behind? The end of 2013 is the right time to renew your annual membership in Hypatia-in-the-Woods ($25 to P.O. Box 58, Shelton WA 98584). We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you in advance for your interest and support.

GRANT WILL HELP WITH THE POPE PRESS PROJECT We are happy to announce that Hypatia will receive a Freas Foundation grant of $4,500 which will enable us to participate in the setup of a wonderful endeavor. J. Hukee, a young letterpress artist and a friend of Elspeth's, is setting up Elspeth's printing equipment in a studio in downtown Olympia where she will offer studio access, letterpress printing instruction (including workshops for Hypatia) and hand-printed cards and broadsides. Pope Press Olympia Letterpress and Book Arts will open its doors soon at 607 Fifth Avenue SE. We anticipate offering residencies in letterpress printing as a part of this project.

POETRY TRAIL HAS A NEW HOME The Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Trail, which was located on Elspeth's property, has been moved in anticipation of the eventual sale of her property. Its new home is on the award-winning, wooded grounds at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

AND BEARS NEED NEW HOMES TOO One of Elspeth's projects for Hypatia was the knitting of outfits for stuffed bears of all sizes. Many of them have already found new homes, but there are more just looking for someone to love them. If you would like to adopt a bear as a reminder of Elspeth and her commitment to this resource organization for women in the arts, please contact Colleen Keoski by email at or via Hypatia's mail at P.O. Box 58, Shelton, WA 98584.

friend on Facebook | forward to a friend Copyright © 2013 Hypatia-in-the-Woods, All rights reserved. We send news of events and what is happening at Hypatia-in-the-Wood to members, volunteers, residents - past, current and future - and others who requested. Our mailing address is: Hypatia-in-the-Woods PO Box 58 Shelton, WA 98584

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Woman with a Cause. Emily Hobhouse Remembered

Emily Hobhouse (Liskeard Museum)
Emily Hobhouse (Liskeard Museum)

On 16 November, the Hypatia Trust, in association with Liskeard and District Museum, is organising a free community history workshop called Woman with a Cause to explore and celebrate the life and achievements of Cornish human rights campaigner Emily Hobhouse.

She was branded “that bloody woman” by some, but Emily Hobhouse is a forgotten Cornish hero. She raised the travesty of human rights abuses in South Africa during the Boer Wars before such issues became headline news. While she was pilloried by her own townspeople in 1900 for highlighting the abuses in concentration camps, in South Africa there is a national monument to her campaigning work. More than 113 years later we are setting the record straight in her hometown.

Eleanor Tench, who will be giving the keynote presentation at the workshop said, “Emily was a fascinating woman whose work is deserving of far more recognition. I'm honoured to be helping to tell her story to more people, especially to be able to speak about her in her hometown, on the stage where she once spoke. Working on this project has been inspirational.”

Women's Memorial, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Women's Memorial, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Human rights campaigner Emily Hobhouse (Liskeard Museum)
Human rights campaigner Emily Hobhouse (Liskeard Museum)

Sally Hawken, Liskeard Town Councillor, is amazed that so little commemorates Emily in Cornwall. “I am delighted the History 51 project is working with Liskeard's excellent museum to bring to public attention one of our most famous daughters. Liskeard must make more of its connection to Emily Hobhouse, an internationally important campaigner who has a public monument in South Africa and nothing in Cornwall. This workshop is a fabulous opportunity for townsfolk and visitors to find out more in the very place where Emily certainly stirred things up, our own Public Hall.”

The day will start at 9.30am by gathering at Liskeard Museum for a special view of the new Women at War exhibition, followed by the lecture at the Public Hall opposite the museum at 10am. After a break the audience will be invited to take part in a practical workshop examining sources from Emily’s time to judge whether she was treated fairly. The workshop ends at 1pm. There is an optional tour of St Ive Church, where Hobhouse was born, at 2pm.


Booking is essential and must be made with Liskeard Museum either by phone: 01579 346087, email: using the subject Emily Hobhouse Workshop, or in person.

The Hypatia Trust’s History 51 project promotes women’s heritage in communities across Cornwall and has been made possible through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories programme. To keep in touch please join us on Facebook too.

Hidden History - Women in Industry

Photo (3) (1)
Cutting patterns at Flawns, Porthmeor Road, St Ives, 1958 (credit: St Ives Archive)
Cutting patterns at Flawns, Porthmeor Road, St Ives, 1958 (credit: St Ives Archive)

The Hypatia Trust and its History 51 project, to promote women's heritage in Cornwall, is delighted to support this fabulous event on 25 October at the Western Hotel, St Ives, to celebrate the women of St Ives's historical textile industries.

Please come along to this free event and support Cornish women's heritage in St Ives.

St Ives is well known for its fishing, mining, artists and tourists, but for about forty years it was the home of a vibrant textile industry based in former pilchard cellars near to The Island.

The industrial manufacture of textiles is not usually associated with a seaside town in Cornwall. The majority of the employees were women who went into the factories when they left school at the age of fourteen. Maybe for this reason the work that they did has almost been forgotten. The Town Council, by the 1970s, had removed all traces of industry from the centre of St Ives and transferred it to new industrial estates.

And the buildings themselves were demolished to make way for luxury accommodation to expand the tourist industry.

St Ives Archive is part of the wider History 51 project in Cornwall initiated by the Hypatia Trust with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate the role of women in a number of key aspects of Cornish life.

What better project for St Ives than to highlight and bring to life the story of these factories and the people who worked there?

On Friday 25 October at the Western Hotel, Royal Square, St Ives, between 11.00am and 3.00pm volunteers from the Archive will be hosting an event and workshop to which as many employees as possible are invited from the various textile companies located Downlong between the 1930s and 1970s: Crysede, Hamptons, Flawns, Berketex and Fryers.

Members of the public and visitors to the town are very welcome to see this display of St Ives hidden history.

Let's make one giant net for St Ives!

One of the key events will be an opportunity for everyone to assist in the making of a ‘camouflage net’ of memories. These nets were originally made at home, during the war, by young women and children, based on the nets that were made by their fishermen relatives. Camouflage nets had strips of material inserted into them (scrimmed) so that they could be draped over objects that needed to be hidden from the air.

On this occasion, strips of calico with individual memories and images will be sewn into the net, and these will be a lasting reminder of this chapter of St Ives history. As the original nets were used to hide objects, the new net will remind us that women’s working lives are also often hidden.

The Archive will present this fascinating history through personal memories, photographs, memorabilia and a display of the fashions of the time. One of the companies, Flawns, was owned by John Lewis, which has been very supportive in providing images and information from their extensive archive.

The day will be filmed and refreshments will be served. It is hoped that the resulting camouflage net will be on permanent display, ensuring that this important period of St Ives history is never forgotten.

Women making camouflage nets at Hamptons factory on The Island, St Ives, during World War 2 (credit: St Ives Archive)
Women making camouflage nets at Hamptons factory on The Island, St Ives, during World War 2 (credit: St Ives Archive)