Well let me start by saying Happy New Year!!
I hope you all had a brilliant festive season.
It has been a wonderful few weeks of 2018. We have many fantastic groups of incredible women interested in getting involved in our movement!!!
I have been collecting messages from interested parties and Mary Turner is in the process of organising meeting up with the groups to discuss their input in the Patchwork Banner.
We are all booked up in the Spennymoor Settlement on the 24th February to get together and work on the project and I am so excited to see as many of you as possible.
I would like to personally and publically thank our Secretary Lynn Gibson for all the Hard Work she has done. She has started the drive for funding which we will need to achieve all the things we want to. She has been an organising genius and I am grateful to her for everything she is doing.
I am still finding it hard to believe that my little idea from so long ago has taken on a life of its own and engaged so many women who want to have a voice and celebrate women. I have had to call myself “founder” recently and it made me laugh. We are all part of this movement to get women supporting women on the Durham Miners Gala agenda and I am truly inspired by each and every one of you.
The Durham Miners Association have provisionally said they would love to support us. Lynn and I will be attending a meeting about this but it looks good so far.
Also, Redhills have asked us if we will exhibit our banners the week before the Gala in Redhills Hall. This is a huge deal as this year they are focussing on celebrating women.
Speaking of redhills, I am considering buying a seat there in our name. It costs £100 but i won’t spend that without the ok from the majority so let me know what you think. There is a sponsor a seat to keep Redhills funded, it is a huge part of mining history and having a Women’s seat would be a big deal.
Our bank account is set up. At the moment there is nothing in it and it is just in my name. For transparency and for security I am looking for someone who will be a treasurer/signatory on the account. Kathryn Beetham or Maria Cansella may be able to do this but please contact me if you would like this position.
BIG NEWS, Laura Pidcock MP has told me she would be “THRILLED” to speak at Wharton Park (where we will be starting our march) on the morning of the Gala, for us and promote the Women’s Banner Group.
Now the patchwork banner part is well underway, It is important that we start moving with all the other things we need to do.
I am looking for people to head up or be involved in the following working groups:
- Acquiring women’s banners we can use for the march (will involve hunting for very old ones)
- Finding a band!!! This is very important, we do need a band. Traditionally brass but i am very open to suggestions. We have already had a few but we need to start contacting bands and musicians about playing for us through the march.
- Fundraising, I would ask that every group involved hold a raffle or a coffee and cake morning or something, no matter how small, to try to bring some much needed money in to pay for everything. I do intend to complete applications for many sources of funding but please do get in touch if you know of any or would like to help with this.
- International Women’s Day, I would love us to be able to send a banner or a team of people to the TUC section to promote us and our ideas. Jessie Jacobs is the TUC guru and will be able to advise us more on this. If you’re interested please get in touch and I will make a list and we will go from there.
If you do email about any of these working groups, please put the group in the subject box.
Please keep in touch. I am always here. I am so excited and eager to have you all on board and to be working with you all.