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

EDP Norfolk - - HERITAGE -


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 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


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


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. mu­[email protected]­folk.gov.uk


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

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