Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Textiles and Women's Rights.

Yesterday we went back to Scaplen's Court for their "Textiles Through The Ages" day. It was a very different experience to the previous two weeks; we didn't learn much of the history, but we did get to spend plenty of time actually getting hands on with the textiles. Grace did some tie-dying (although the children weren't actually allowed to touch the dye....) with beetroot and vinegar, we had tried rag rugging and even Jude had a go at some sewing.




Tie Dye!

Rag Rugging

Jude's sewing

Grace has become quite interested in watching "Horrible Histories" on TV, and spurred on by what I felt was quite a vapid portrayal of the Suffragettes, we watched this British Pathe clip of the 1913 Derby where Emily Dickinson was trampled by the King's horse. It feels quite amazing to be able to see real video of events of over 100 years ago. Grace was happy to humour me , and at the very least went away knowing that the Suffragettes were more likely to have been formidable middle-aged women, rather than girl-band beauties. We also watched this clip and she was amazed at the sheer number of women marching who had been imprisoned for the cause (as depicted by the arrows they carried). It was one of those learning moments where we learnt as much and more than Grace; I discovered that there was just one year between women (over 30) achieving the right to vote, and the first female MP being elected. She was Nancy Astor, the mother of Winston Churchill. Grace asked whether Great-Nanny was born in the First World War; it is interesting watching her trying to "place" history within a framework she understands.

Today the girls went to Nannie's house and came home full of their exciting morning playing crazy golf. When we got home we found this postcard on the mat.

Flat Grace is a self-portrait Grace drew and posted to a friend in America, with instructions to take Flat Grace on an adventure, send Grace a postcard about it and then post Flat Grace on to another person. We are hoping Flat Grace will see 20 people before coming home, and we intend to put up a world map and mark on it all the places Flat Grace has been, and the things that she has seen.

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