Extraordinary women are one of the main themes of Heritage Open Days across the country. Here in Norfolk we have a wealth of extraordinary women to celebrate, ranging from a first century warrior to medieval mystics and from women fighting invasion and in
VOTES FOR WOMEN
In this year of the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote, the stories of our suffragettes and campaigners take centre stage. There is Dorothy Jewson, who joined the suffrage movement in Norwich and went on to be the city’s first female MP in 1923. In the same year Norwich elected Ethel Colman as its first female mayor. One of the women who took the fight for votes for women on to the streets was Violet Aitken, who smashed windows in Whitehall and was imprisoned and force-fed.
FOLLOW FEMALE FOOTSTEPS
Follow in the footsteps of mystic and writer Julian of Norwich, prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, anti-slavery campaigner Amelia Opie and many more notable Norwich women.
The Women of Norwich Walking tour begins at the Forum. It takes walkers through the city centre, and the lives of women who achieved worldwide fame, and of some of the city’s less well-known female achievers. Thursday, September 13, 2pm, book at theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods
A FAMILY OF REFORMERS
Elizabeth Fry lived in Earlham Hall, now part of the University of East Anglia. Tour the 17th century mansion and learn about its former famous residents on September 9 and 16. Book at theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods
FIRST FEMALE MP
Dorothy Jewson was Norwich’s first female MP, elected to Parliament for the Labour Party in 1923. She was also a teacher, campaigner against poverty and for women’s rights, pacifist, trade unionist and Quaker.
Learn about her life and legacy, alongside that of organic farming pioneer and Soil Association founder, Eve Balfour, at The Greenhouse Gallery, Bethel Street, Norwich, September 6-15, 11am to 4pm.
Margaret Harker ran a hospital during the First World War, worked with the herring gutting girls of Great Yarmouth and was a Red Cross pioneer. Find out more at her parish church in Blofield, near Norwich. Lives of Service also recognises the sacrifice of the 32 Blofield men killed in the First World War. Saturday September 8 from 10am to 4pm.
Olive Edis was Britain’s first official female war photographer. She took some of the earliest colour photographs and had studios in Cromer, Sheringham and London, where she took pictures of everyone from fishermen to royalty in the early years of the 20th century.
See her pictures and hear about her life at Cromer Museum on Thursday, September 13, 10am to 4pm. The talk, at 11.30am, should be booked call 01263 513543 or email cromer. firstname.lastname@example.org
See performances celebrating the lives of some extraordinary women at St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth. Tour the theatre and learn about its history and transformation from a baroque chapel to a theatre and watch some short shows on Saturday, September 8, 11am-2pm.
Do you have an extraordinary woman in your family history? Share your stories at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library on Saturday, September 8, 10.30am-4pm.
The celebration of local women, past and present, will include the chance for you to add your photos and stories. Learn how to organise and preserve your work and find out more about your family’s past from experts at the Norfolk Heritage Centre.
The library is also hosting an exhibition, Women of the Second World War, at which you can meet Donut Girls, GI Brides, Women’s Army Air Corps personnel, Land Army Girls and American Red Cross workers. September 6-8 and 13-15.
Olive Edis Picture: Cromer Museum
Picture: Steve Adams