Nice article from the BBC about Caroline Phillips. At the bottom of the article is a link to a section on the BBC Radio Scotland programme Time Travels. Susan Morrison interviews me and Jenny Pape from Aberdeen Art Galleries and Museums about the archive of Phillips' correspondence.
Here is an updated list of talks and other appearances that will be happening during the summer and early autumn:
June 13 Talk at the Maritime Museum on Caroline Phillips' correspondence, some of which will be on display at the museum in the summer months.
August 7 I will be appearing on a panel discussing 'Fierce Females: From the Suffragettes to #MeToo Movement, how have females tackled inequalities and power dynamics and imbalances in society over the past century?' at the Just Festival, Edinburgh. The venue is St John's Church Café at 6 pm.
August 15 I will talk on The Scottish Suffragettes and the Press at the National Records Office, Edinburgh. Further details and booking here: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/visit-us/events-talks-and-visits
August 22 I will be talking about the Scottish suffragettes at Elgin Library.
September 15 I will be talking about the suffragettes at the Garioch Women for Change conference, Logie Durno Hall.
October 20 I will be talking about the Scottish suffragettes and Aberdeen at the Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Association.
I am very pleased to be able to reveal that some of Caroline Phillips' correspondence is being taken out of storage at the Aberdeen Museums' Hub and will be on display in a special exhibition at the Maritime Museum in June. I will be talking about Caroline Phillips at the Museum in a lunchtime talk on 13 June. Further details here: http://www.aagm.co.uk/WhatsOn/Events/36475-LunchtimeTalksMayAugust.aspx
The NuArt Festival in Aberdeen in April 2018 included these brilliant ceramics by Carrie Reichardt. It was amazing to work with Carrie on her artworks. Caroline Phillips' image and record as Aberdeen suffragette is now part of the very walls of Aberdeen.
Last week saw the celebrations for the centenary of (some) women achieving the parliamentary week. And it was amazing!! There were events all over the country - including Scotland - and lots of press coverage. The photo below is from another sold-out talk at the Central Library in Aberdeen.
In addition, there was coverage about the Scottish suffragettes on the BBC, STV, The Herald, Scotsman, The National, Aberdeen Press & Journal, The Sunday Post, The Aberdeen Evening Express and Original 106. So great to see such attention being paid to the stories of the Scottish suffragettes. Of course, this was also the week that the flu finally got me and removed my voice - several of the interviews I gave were distinctly husky!
Caroline Phillips seems to have fallen out of favour with the WSPU leadership by 1909, and her various suggestions of meetings and other events were ignored or dismissed. Instead, Christabel Pankhurst wrote complaining that not enough Aberdeen suffragettes were travelling down to London to take part in militant operations such as the smashing of glass windows.
Nonetheless it seems to have been a total shock when Phillips received a telegram on 5 January 1909 that stated that Sylvia Pankhurst was being sent to Aberdeen to take charge of the WSPU branch. Caroline Phillips’ association with the suffragettes ended soon after Sylvia Pankhurst arrived in Aberdeen. A letter from Sylvia Pankhurst to all branch members made it clear that the local branch, with its claims to independence, was to be closed and all members would now be directly enrolled in the national organisation, and organised from headquarters. A new office was to be set up and a new organiser appointed. While there was a final sentence applauding the ‘excellent work already done by the local workers’ Caroline Phillips was not mentioned by name.
As we come to the end of 2017, and the start of 2018, the excitement surrounding the centenary of women achieving the vote is ramping up. I give you the Christmas decoration of the year - the suffragette. Available from the National Portrait Gallery.
We had a fantastic event for school pupils studying Higher History here at RGU last Wednesday. Many thanks in particular to Karen Shaw, the project administrator, and some of my fourth-year students, who dressed up as suffragettes in order to help with the organisation.
Some of the comments from schools who participated: "We found the lecture very interesting, it was particular insightful to find out about the role of Suffragettes in Scotland and in the North East as that is not something that is covered in the Higher textbooks. We will certainly be using the knowledge we learnt and the book during the Assignment section of the Higher course work and it will also be beneficial for them during exam preparations too."
"All my pupils enjoyed the talk and said that it made the history ‘more real’, one pupil commented that she thought history happened in other places, not in Aberdeen. The presentation also helped those who had chosen to study the Votes for Women topic for their Assignment. It was also a lovely detail to have helpers dressed as Suffragettes."
It was a full house at the Aberdeen central library last week for the launch of our exhibition and the book about Caroline Phillips. In fact, the event was so overbooked that I have agreed to do another talk there in February. Lots of good audience questions at the end, and connections made to some of the campaigns on women's issues that are happening now.