October Update

Hello all,

I wanted to contact you today with a little update and to see how you all are!

First of all let me start by expressing my deepest regret to our WASPI members who got the news today that the Judicial Review into their pensions redress has been lost.  Your campaigning and passion have been infectious and I sincerely hope all your hard work will be recognised and some sort of justice will be forthcoming in the near future.   Anything the Women’s Banner Group can do to support you is available.

Secondly, The Big Meeting documentary in which the Women’s Banner Group feature heavily has been given critical acclaim during the first month of its distribution.  Film-maker Dan Draper has been touring the country with the film and carrying out Question & Answer sessions at the events.  I am so proud that we were able to be part of the project and that our first year has been documented so well for all to see.

I am holding a screening in Trimdon Station Community Centre on Thursday 17th October, and I would love it if some of you wonderful women could come along.  It will be a fundraiser for my local Labour Constituency and will involve Q&A with Dan, Stephen Guy (Sherburn Banner Group), Alan Mardgum (DMA General Secretary) and me.  Tickets available here:


Finally, and MOST importantly…..


We have had a sneak peek from the Durham Bannermakers and it already looks amazing.  I am so excited to be able to unveil it on International Women’s Day 2020.  Huge well done to you all for everything you have done, this banner will be one of a kind and the first dedicated to women, to you and all your hard work, to our history and our efforts over decades and our future women who will continue our fights and celebrations.

I hope to see you all again very soon.

Love and Solidarity sisters

Laura xxx

April Update

Dear All,

I hope this email finds you well and I hope you have enjoyed some of the Easter sun we have had.

I wanted to get in touch to give you another little update on what has been happening with the Women’s Banner Group lately.

Blue Plaques

On Friday 30th March we held a hustings to debate and decide on a woman to be recognised on County Durham’s Blue Plaque Schemes.

The event ran in conjunction with Dr Sarah Marsden from Lancaster University, and her project Remembering Resistance, in which she seeks to remember and document the struggles and protests involving women from history across the UK.

As you know there is a serious lack of recognition for the achievements of women in our region, and beyond and this was set to be another step to rectify that.

It was incredible to hear about all the women who were ultimately nominated. Women who should be remembered, women you may not have but certainly should have been aware of.

The winner abolitionist and chartist Elizabeth Pease Nichol, submitted by students from Belmont School was actually located in Darlington and so not eligible for our County Durham Scheme. However we are in touch with Darlington Council to try to get a plaque there for her.

The next winner(s) were in fact a 3 way tie and so we have submitted applications for all three:

The 17,000 “Aycliffe Angels” who worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory during the war; decorated war nurse Kate Maxey; Bella Lawson (the founder and organiser of one of the first child welfare clinics in the County)


Remembering Resistance


School Workshops

We are proud to announce our school workshops will be going ahead very soon. Emma Shankland of Durham Bannermakers along with the help of some of our members have put together an extremely interesting and exciting workshop to deliver around selected schools in County Durham entitled “Let Them Be Heard”, aimed at encouraging young people to debate and to be involved in shaping their own futures.

Thank you to all those who have worked so hard on this project and who are giving up their time, enthusiasm and expertise to deliver such an important message to our young people.Film Screening

Amber films are holding an event at the Side Cinema in Newcastle which will showcase our film alongside another of their fantastic pieces of work, Entitled Women on the Move the event looks set to be an emotional, heart-warming and empowering session. Please see the link below for further information and do get along if you are able.Facebook Event


Ticket link

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/of-whole-heart-cometh-hope-cant-beat-it-alone-tickets-59836861664?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listingYour Ideas

The Women’s Banner Group is only possible because of the interest you have all shown. Please continue to support each other and do get in touch if there are any ideas or projects you would like us to become involved in or help out with, we are here to support each other and I look forward to working with you in the near future.

Huge thanks

Laura xx

Laura’s August Update

Hello Ladies,

I am so sorry It has taken me this long to write to you.  There is a LOT to catch up on!

How was Gala Day for you??

I hope it was as amazing and special and memorable for you as it most certainly was for me.  My pride levels went through the roof marching with you all and being part of something that is true history.  We were mentioned in many of the speeches, We got our banner blessed in a highly emotional Cathedral service and best of all the sun shone down on us.  I can’t wait to have you all and many more standing shoulder to shoulder in the 135th Gala!!

And so, after a much needed break, the Women’s Banner Group are back and raring to go.

At this point I would like to pay particular homage to some women who really have given blood, sweat and tears for the cause, The “committee” as they were dubbed!  Lynn Gibson whose organisational skills are unparalleled and whose meticulous planning and unwavering support got me through some crazy times, meeting her has given me a real lifelong friend.  Mary Turner, whose creative knowledge, flair and inspiring ideas created possibly the most beautiful women’s banner ever created. Her ability to get the best creativity out of women, some of whom had never done anything like this, was amazing.  Heather Wood, whose reputation precedes her, whose grit, passion and fighting spirit helped propel the Women’s Banner Group to a much wider audience; with a kind and big heart her involvement and leadership in helping families survive and her unflinching determination to fight for what is right, is the essence of what the Women’s Banner Group is all about.  Samantha Townsend who is the font of all social media knowledge and I am grateful to have had someone to help get our message across.

The Committee”

Of course there is an extended group of wonderful women who stood by me and supported me and I am so thankful to them for that. Lotte, Fleur, Barbara, Fiona, Emma to name a few.

But equally each and every one of you reading this ARE the Women’s Banner Group, are as important and essential as anyone else.  

This year I am so keen to get more and more women involved in planning, organising, bringing ideas and supporting others.  As such we have started a discussion group for everyone to have input. I am excited to hear your ideas and passions.

>>>CLICK HERE<<< to request to join

We aren’t going anywhere, everyone that was on the committee will still be involved in many of the projects and leading some also.  However, now that the group is established and gaining momentum, we are hoping to move to a wider range of women to be leaders, to be supportive, to bring suggestions to us.

If you don’t use Facebook, please always feel free to contact me via email, follow our blog, or follow us on instagram or twitter!

We have a new mission statement, pinned to the home page of our website one I hope everyone involved can get behind.  If you do have a project in mind and it fits in with this mission I am sure we can get behind it in some way.

I can’t wait to see what this year is going to bring.

Much Love and Solidarity

Laura xx