Her Little Hillman Imp
There is no one greater and no one lesser. This is the philosophy Gail Crimmins’ mum lived by and one that continues to shape her own life.
Her story sees her delve into the memories of her childhood using the symbolism of the two up two down homes her family lived in to consider how the architecture offered by important people in her life has changed her.
“I am always very interested in women’s stories,” she says. “We don’t celebrate those women enough or we don’t let those stories be known in a way in which we deal with male stories.
“Because women have traditionally been involved in a domestic setting, they were not always known out of that familial setting, so sharing this in a public space is about repositioning the notion of strength and strong women, what we contribute, how we contribute.
“My mother was not alone in her steadfast belief of equality and hard work and that everyone was as important as each other so that we could each achieve anything we wanted to. I have just allowed her story become known.
“Every woman has a story and if we are going to grow in understanding and compassion for ourselves and each other then these stories need to be told. They are a texture of our culture, of our time and who we are.”
Extract from Gail’s story:
My mum wasn’t middle class, wealthy or learned, she didn’t have a physical space of her own in which to think, read or write, but both literally and figuratively my mum’s car led her, and so all of us, to new places and spaces of work, learning, thinking and being. Her car was a room of her own. I learned everything I needed to know about the importance of courage, hard work and independence from watching my mum drive around in her little Hillman Imp. I learned that you cannot just be a woman in your world, you have to be a woman in the world.
Gail Crimmins’ mother’s Hillman Imp. Gail is a contributor of the Telling Lives project.