I hope you are all well.
Since my last update we have had a lot more ladies come on board so a warm welcome to you.
On the 20th January, Lynn and I attended the Durham Mining Communities
Banner Groups Association Meeting.
We were welcomed with an encouraging response and all the people we spoke to are excited and really enthusiastic about what we are doing which is great. We are officially affiliated and are a true banner group which is huge as we are, as I understand it, the first group not connected to one pit. This is massive, we are making history here.
We have decided to set up a crowdfunding page to help raise much needed funds for the banners and our group. I have started this and it should hopefully be set up soon. I will be sure to send the link to the page as soon as it is ready so that you can all get sharing.
update: it’s https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wbg
We have had a discussion about starting the day at Wharton Park and the difficulties this may pose, not least the increased confusion between ourselves and the women’s gala. As a result we may look to start somewhere more central. This will also mean that Laura Pidcock gets heard by a lot more people speaking about us which will have a great impact for us.
We have Whitworth Park School Band on board and they are so excited. They will be training on the marching side of things from now until the gala and will have a go at any songs we would like. I don’t want to bombard them but please do let me know if you have any thoughts on pro women songs.
Someone is looking into, and is confident he can get, us to be one of the groups that stops and plays under the county hotel. This again will be a big deal and yet another first for the Gala.
On Sunday 18th February, the members of the group who are going to be organising and running the Patchwork session will be meeting at Kings lodge to discuss logistics. Immediately following the meeting I am having a discussion about exhibiting our banners at Redhills and potentially the Cathedral. All very exciting.
The craft session, as if you didn’t already know, is the 24th Feb at the Spennymoor Settlement. Please arrive between 1.15-1.30. I am so excited to see you or a representative from your group on the day and put faces to all the names.
We have a lot of women’s banners on offer to display as a set with ours. I am unsure yet if we will be able to march with them all. It will depend on
1, how many women we have marching with us and the day and
2, how able we are of carrying them.
It may be more powerful to march just with our community patchwork banner and our official banner, when it is made. This is a conversation we will need to have closer to the time.
I am in the process of designing and paying for our pit token to sponsor a seat at the Miner’s Hall. We have agreed on the following wording
In Unity We Find Strength
Women’s Banner Group
If anyone is really against this please do get in touch before Thursday when I will be ordering it.
Finally, it looks like we will be creating a book about the patchwork banner. More in depth details to follow but for now if each of you as individuals and in your groups could have a think about what this project means to you, what your section represents, why did you choose it? We will also put a list of those who donated to the group in the book too as a thank you.
The following points from my last update are still very relevant:
- 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.
As always, please do get in touch if you need anything at all. If you have any ideas you would like to put to us please do. This is all of our group and we are all actively involved so a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you!!!!