As part of the photography scavenger hunt I've already shared some images of a recent trip to Beamish a few days ago, so it's about time I shared the main reason we were there on that particular day ... to experience the special events of their Suffragette Celebration Weekend.
|A shop window in The Town:|
suffrage version of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance [yes, there is such a thing! Who knew?]
And then we laughed at the ridiculous reasons given in the Anti-Suffrage leaflet we picked up in one of the houses in the Pit Village such as
- "Women are not physically strong enough to enforce the law, so should not make the law";
- "There are more women in the country than men. If granted the vote, the sovereignty of the British Empire will pass from the hands of men into the hands of women."
- "Women are ruled by their womb not their brain so are prone to insanity and hysteria".
Plus ... you know you're in for a good day out when you get a text message from your Dad warning you not to get arrested!
But as we moved into the town things got a little more pro-active ...
... an offer which Mam joined in with:
And you thought my Dad was joking about us getting arrested ... ;-)
It seems like he knew what he was talking about because soon afterwards, as we rested in the park, one of the ladies from the campaign for a peaceful approach to getting the vote brought her petition round ...
|Here she is debating with a pro-suffrage gentleman!|
When she approached us - my Mam, sister and I [James, in some sort of perfect metaphor for the men of the day ... was half-asleep on the grass next to us!] - she offered us the petition and we almost did sign it ... after all we'd seen her weaving her way through the crowd, picking up signatures from everyone who she'd asked.
But then ... she said it was for the peaceful protest and 'not like those silly suffragettes'!
Which is when we all refused to sign!
She then [rather wonderfully] chastised us all and asked if we'd been involved in the bombing of the Co-Op!
We laughed and it was a lot of fun ... however ... once she'd left that's when things started to feel a little edgy ... my sister turned to me and asked "Do you think we really would have been suffragettes?" and, to be honest, I just didn't know the answer to that.
I'd like to think I'd have been bold enough ... but would I? Would you?
And how fortunate are we that, because of the women who went before us, not so very long ago, we don't have to make that decision?
All this was brought into even sharper focus when, after we'd been to the park, we decided to visit the tea room for a completely innocent cuppa [honestly officer!!] ... and yet we found ourselves on the edge of a argument between a suffragette and the local townswomen.
And, as us British do in the midst of all this hubbub over tea ... everyone just kept calm and carried on, until ...
[Somehow I don't even think a text message from her Dad would have dissuaded her from doing it]
But as we sat there drinking our tea, we were also clock watching. Because we had a funeral to go to ...
I've just realised that today - as is the case each 1st Sunday of the month - my friend Sian is hosting Storytelling Sunday on her blog From High in the Sky. Her overarching theme for this year's stories has been 'Pick Your Precious' where you write about an item that really means something to you.
And so Sian - while this isn't an 'official' Storytelling Sunday post - in light of my subject matter today - I'd just like to just document something 'precious' and that's my right to vote.
See you all soon.