bertha ryland, birmingham, catherine osler, drama, equality, fawcett, feminism, film, hilda burkitt, history, kings norton girls school, militant, protest, re-enactment, suffrage, suffragettes, suffragists, vote, waverley school, women's rights, wspu
Filming Fight for the Right: the Birmingham Suffragettes has now begun in earnest. Last week we filmed two scenes at Kings Norton Girls School, including the opening scene set in a present day classroom.
Yesterday both schools came together at Birmingham Archives & Heritage to film 6 scenes, including one of the most pivotal incidents, when the suffragettes and suffragists march together. We also filmed Hilda Burkitt and Bertha Ryland as they plan their protest for Prime Minister Asquith’s visit to Birmingham, and a scene featuring Catherine Osler, also discussing the visit of Asquith and her outrage at women being prevented from attending the meeting.
On Thursday we will finish shooting scenes that feature Prime Ministers Asquith and Lloyd George and Mrs Osler and Mrs Fawcett. In a few weeks we will film the scenes that show Bertha Ryland planning her attack on a painting at the Art Gallery and the scenes with Hilda Burkitt in Winson Green, undergoing the ordeal of forcible feeding.
Both groups of participants have been absolutely amazing! Their positivity and enthusiasm was infectious (even when standing around in freezing cold temperatures!) and Sima Gonsai and myself have had a brilliant time working with them. The film already looks very special indeed and we can’t wait for people to see it, hopefully towards the end of June. We’d also really like to say a HUGE thanks to all of our supporters, particularly Nikki Thorpe, Don Hazzard and Richard Albutt for their amazing help and support, Matthew Ward, Ellie Dobson & Rosalind Fursland, who were brilliant extras on the shoot, staff at the Archives, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Birmingham City Council for their help with this project – we couldn’t have done it without them.
Fantastic article by Elizabeth Crawford. Elizabeth’s research was invaluable for the Fight for the Right project.
On 13 October 2008 I gave the following talk in King’s Norton, Birmingham. It was part of a series of lectures to commemorate the restoration of the Old Grammar School and the Saracen’s Head, which in 2004 had won the BBC’ ‘Restoration’ television series.
I chose the title ‘From Frederick Street to Winson Green’ because it is interesting to trace the growth of the women’s suffrage movement in Birmingham through the streets and buildings in which the men and women of the city conducted their campaign. We will see that this campaign moved slowly from a domestic environment, from the villas (particularly the drawing rooms) of its main protagonists – into the public buildings and then the streets of Birmingham. And it was in Winson Green, the city’s castellated jail, that in 1909 the campaign which had begun 43 years earlier, took on a completely different and very much…
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Things are hotting up on our project now and filming begins next week! We have now cast our main characters:
From Kings Norton – Ayah and Imogen will play Catherine Osler and Mrs Fawcett, Tabby will play Asquith’s assistant.
The other members of the group will play suffragettes and will be involved in a protest scene that we are going to shoot in Brimingham’s Victoria Square on March 25th so come along and say hello!
Interesting post on Mary Richardson and direct action.
On this day ninety-nine years ago, a group of women suffragettes in London engaged in an action at the National Gallery in London in order to push for their demand for the right to vote.
Mary Richardson, a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a group which had organized and carried out numerous actions in the struggle for suffrage beginning in 1903. Members of the WSPU had been jailed for several acts, involving civil disobedience and property destruction.
In 1913, WSPU member, Emily Davison, had run out onto a horse race track, where the King’s horse was competing, to protest the English government’s failure to grant women the right to vote. Emily ended up being trampled by a horse and die.
The death of Emily Davis raised the stakes for members of the WSPU and women like Mary Richardson decided to raise the cost of the…
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Brilliant post from Birmingham Archives & Heritage in time for International Women’s Day on Friday.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, here is an interesting item (printed) from the archives of the National Council of Women, Birmingham Branch (MS 841).
It is a petition addressed to The Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, M.P. thanking him for previous support and again asking him to give his ‘support and influence as leader of the Conservative Party, to the measure to be proposed by Mr Jacob Bright in the House of Commons for removing the Electoral Disabilities of Women.’ The petition (undated) was probably penned c1870 and contains the signatures of many prominent female activists, – Ursula Bright, Lydia Becker, Margaret Lucas, the Ashworth sisters, Florence Nightingale no less, – many of whom came from non-conformist backgrounds.
From a local perspective, Eliza Sturge, also a signatory, was born in Birmingham into a prominent Quaker family. She was an active speaker for the suffrage movement and secretary of…
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