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.


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.

Oxygen. Celebrating women's voices

Imagine that fifteen women gather. They have a conversation that maps eight geographic arteries across England and Wales, like points on a compass. These arteries reach out towards a singular destination like roots forming a tree. The destination is Hyde Park. At Land’s End, a group of women start putting one foot in front of the other. For them there is no going back.

It’s June 1913 and the Great Suffrage Pilgrimage begins.

Oxygen by Dreadnought South West

Tomorrow, on 19 June, an amazing thing will happen. In the footsteps of our female ancestors, Dreadnought South West will perform Oxygen, a brand new play by Natalie McGrath, along an historic route from Land's End to Hyde Park exactly 100 years after the greatest march from Land's End to London since 1497.

An episode will be symbolically performed at Land's End before the first full performance will take place in the Plen-an-Gwarry in St Just. Oxygen runs for 90 minutes with 21 episodes. The full-length play will be performed at venues along the route, with episodes taking place at various points in public, non-theatre spaces as trailers for the full production.

View the itinerary and book tickets.

The play focuses on two sisters, and what happens to their relationship when one of them decides to take the militant path and the other chooses to participate in the peaceful pilgrimage. An ensemble piece that will be infused with the real stories and experiences of those who took part in the march, the play will also feature music composed by Claire Ingleheart, who has worked with Wildworks Theatre and Kneehigh.

Dreadnought South West is a new organisation that works with arts and heritage to champion women’s voices and stories. As the play tours from Land’s End to London, retracing the steps and thoughts of 100 years ago, it will be accompanied by a series of responding events, discussions and land journeys that celebrate the courage of those who participated in the pilgrimage, and questions how women’s lives have changed since 1913.

Oxygen & Dreadnought SW Media Pack

The Hypatia Trust has been a supporter of Dreadnought South West since its inception. Natalie McGrath, the playwright, was a Hypatia Resident Scholar last summer. We are delighted to be supporting Dreadnought South West.

History, drama and entertainment rolled into one.

As a tribute we have donated copies of Katherine Bradley's classic study on the Suffrage movement in Cornwall, published by the Hypatia Trust, to be sold to benefit their further work.

You should be able to buy a copy at one of the performances so what are you waiting for! History, drama and entertainment rolled into one.

Keep a lookout here for our guest historian, Eleanor Tench, who will be publishing a series of short articles on women and the vote and politics in Cornwall.

Land's End to London, 1913 (credit: Jill Morison)

The Pilgrimage through Cornwall

You can book tickets from the Hall for Cornwall box office or risk buying at the door.

Date Ticket Prices Full/ Episode Time Venue Address Normal Box Office
Wed 19/06/2013 FREE Launch/ Episode 12pm Land’s End Custom HouseLand's End


TR19 7AA

Unticketed EventPlease make your way to the Custom House for 12pm to witness the launch of this amazing journey and to see several episodes from the play Oxygen performed.

Parking: For free parking at Lands End please visit

and claim your 'Locals Pass'

An informal walk is scheduled to take place after the launch from Lands End to St Just.  This event is not being organised by DSWA and we would advise that you take part at your own risk.

*Please remember this is an outdoor event, please dress accordingly

Wed 19/06/2013 £10/£7 Play 6.30pm Plain-an-Gwarry St Just Cornwall

TR19 7HU

www.hallforcornwall.orgThen type 'Oxygen' into 'Search Events'

01872 262466

*Please remember this is an outdoor event, please dress accordingly and bring a rug to sit on

Thu 20/06/2013 £12/£8 Play 8pm The  Acorn Parade StreetPenzance

TR18 4BU

www.hallforcornwall.orgThen type 'Oxygen' into 'Search Events'

01872 262466

Fri 21/06/2013 £10/£8 Play 7.30pm The Tolmen Centre Fore StreetConstantine

TR11 5AA

http://constantinecornwall.com01326 341353

Sat 22/06/2013 FREE Episode 11.30am Lemon Quay Lemon QuayTruro


Unticketed EventPlease make your way to Lemon Quay for 11.30am to see several episodes of the play Oxygen performed
Sat 22/06/2013 £10/£8/£6 Play 7pm Sterts Theatre LiskeardPL14 5AZ 362382 or 01579 362962
Sun 23/06/2013 £12/£8/£6 (children) Play 2.30pm Heartlands Robinson's ShaftDundance Lane


TR15 3QY

www.hallforcornwall.orgThen type 'Oxygen' into 'Search Events'

01872 262466


01209 722320

Tue25/06/2013 FREE Episodes 4pm Mount Folly BodminPL31 2DQ Unticketed EventPlease make your way to Mount Folly for 4pm to see episodes from the play Oxygen performed.
Tue 25/06/2013 £12/£8 Play 7.30pm Shire Hall Mount FollyBodmin

PL31 2DQ

www.hallforcornwall.orgThen type 'Oxygen' into 'Search Events'

01872 262466

Thu 27/06/2013 FREE Episode / Boundary Crossing Noon St Germans / Plymouth Saltash / Plymouth Unticketed EventDetails to follow

Tallys an Tir - Connecting up with Cornish stories

Women's Land Army recruitment poster (credit: Home Sweet Home Front) This last month we have been doing a lot of research and discovery. Some of us are on steep learning curves, trying to get our heads around subjects with which we were previously unfamiliar, such as me trying to understand traditional medicine in Cornwall. Through our work we have been discovering the wide range of projects promoting, educating and entertaining people about different aspects of Cornish heritage.

One of those is Tallys an Tir - Traditions and Stories of the Land, an initiative of the Institute of Cornish Studies and connected with the well-established Cornish Audio Visual Archive. Using oral history, storytelling and walking in the lanscape, the project in its own words aims to:

...capture and share stories that consider our relationships with the Cornish landscape. From farming with horses to foraging for goosegrass, furze stogs for firewood to folk songs, thrashing days to childhood games, crying the neck to croust time.

Women's work has been integral to farming, managing the land and conserving it for millennia, right up until today. Cornwall is blessed with a number of women famers, conservationists and cultivators and have been producing the food we eat and taking care of the land we live on. So this project has an important role to play in the continuity of the relationship between women and the land in Cornwall.

Tallys an Tir embraces digital storytelling to reach its audiences such as through its blog and I was particularly impressed with how it combined animation, archive photgraphy and oral history to produce short but deeply compelling videos about some of its subjects such as this testimony from Penzance-based Yorkshire Land Girl, Mickie.

We can learn a lot from this project and hope to produce even half as exciting videos from our activities! Enjoy this.

Book Review: 'A Guide to Cornish Fish' by Jenny & Bill Scolding

Jenny & Bill Scolding A GUIDE TO CORNISH FISH

Isbn 978-0-9572851-0-1  email:

Cornwall: Serpentine Design 2012

From ‘bait to plate’ was the challenge, and this little guide more than meets that objective. Written by Hypatia member, Jenny, and designed together with photographs by Bill, the two lay open the dangerous, tough, obsessive way of life that has become an innate part of Cornish existence through the generations.

Anyone with an eye to selecting, preparing and cooking FISH should not be without this book. There a pictoral catalogue of the fish from which you can spot the ‘one’ type that interests in a glance: sharks, flatfish, skates and rays, white fish, oily fish, gurnards and mullet, bream, bass and wrasse, rockpool fish, long fish, shellfish, exotics and those of all shapes and colours. But expanding on this are the people and organisations they founded to back up and give support to the ‘way of life in fishing’.

Of special interest is the section that the author shares about the ‘Trail-blazers’ like Jonathan Couch, the man of science who spent his life observing fish habits, and those (including women like Nora Bolitho) who founded the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.  Here there is history, art, description, and a review of the fishing gear that is (and was) employed in trapping and catching.

--Melissa Hardie



New Horizons on the Cornish landscape

Book cover, New Horizons by Jane Gosney, 2012 We are delighted to announce the publication of the Hypatia Trust's latest book on Cornwall and its first ever ebook, New Horizons by Jane Gosney. Stalwart supporter of the Hypatia Trust and its publishing work, Jane has generously donated proceeds from the sale of New Horizons to the Elizabeth Treffry Collection campaign. Melissa Hardie MBE, Chairman-Founder of the Hypatia Trust said of this gift:

We are indebted to her for this pioneering and exploratory 'new light' on the arts scene of West Cornwall.

Online donor reward

Donors giving £10 or more to the cause of women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can request a FREE copy of New Horizons.

To obtain your copy as a donor reward, simply contact us after you have made your donation via Charity Choice ensuring you use the same email address so we can identify your donation and send the book to the correct place.

New Horizons is £7.50 and available as an ebook from Hypatia's Online Shop.

Inspired by Penwith

Travelling to the South side of Penwith gave me a new outlook. Penzance offered somewhere to learn new skills and a place to spend some alternative thinking time. (Excerpt from New Horizons)

Jane Gosney, lighting designer, photographer and artist describes her inspiration for writing New Horizons:

"I had first published photographs from my visits to Cornwall in “Reflections on Light” in 2002 (an anthology of photo essays about my work as a lighting designer and photographer which can be found in the Elizabeth Treffry Collection at the Hypatia Trust).

My images were often used to illustrate articles I had written in the press but I had never used words to “paint a picture”.

The invitation from Melissa Hardie to write a five thousand word monologue as the first 21st century contributor to the Patten People series was especially welcome as my work is a balance between new technologies and art.

“New Horizons” describes my life as a designer in London, idyllic summers with my mother in St Ives and my relocation to Cornwall in 2007 where my creative work has diversified. Shared memories of simple pleasures are recounted : sadly adjusting to a loss is also part of the story.

I would like to thank Sophie Bowness and The Hepworth Estate for permission to reproduce a photograph from The Hepworth Garden as one of the six full colour illustrations included with my own digital artwork."