Tag Archives: Dorset Women’s Week

Another brilliant Dorset Women’s Week in 2018

A massive thank you to everyone involved in running events during Dorset Women’s Week 2018  which resulted in another brilliant week!

The week ended with another fantastic Dorset Women’s Day!  Thank you to all the amazing workshop leaders; stallholders; and performers!  And thank you to everyone who came along despite the wet weather.

Congratulations to prize winner Sally who won the box of Lush goodies for giving us feedback on the day.

We hope you all enjoyed it.  Please see below for a selection of photos from Dorset Women’s Day.

Update to Dorset Women’s Week Programme: Boadicea of Britannia Street

Please note the fundraising event of the Boadicea of Britannia Street for DAIT will now be on SUNDAY 4th MARCH  at  4pm still at Cerne Abbas Village Hall.
Tickets can be bought via Molly on 01305 268572 or at Cerne  Village Stores.
One of the actors had to pull out due to circumstances beyond her control another actor is stepping in but is unable to perform on the 8 March so the date has been changed for this performance.  There will therefore be no performance on 8 March.
Check out the WAND Facebook page for any further updates to Dorset Women’s Week or Dorset Women’s Day.

Dorset Women’s Week 2018 – Programme Published

WAND is excited to publish the Dorset Women’s Week 2018 Programme!  The week runs from 3-10 March and culminates again in Dorset Women’s Day.

We have lots of fantastic events and opportunities during the week including events at Bridport Art Centre, The Successful Women Conference and a session ‘Post-Domestic Abuse: Creative Strategies for Coping with Life’ being run by our patron Tracey West. See programme for details.

Dorset Women’s Day is on on Saturday 10 March (at the Dorford Centre, Dorchester) and has a wide range of exciting workshops including cross stitch, bookbinding, healthy eating and how to sleep well to name just a few!  Following the success of last year we have the Borough Garden’s House as our additional location again which will host workshops including African drumming, belly dancing and yoga. You’ll need to book at the Dorford Centre for workshops at both locations. 

We have some brilliant performances in the main hall throughout the day, along with stalls selling a range of products and information stands. See the Programme for more details.

Our amazing catering team will be selling drinks and delicious sandwiches and cakes. We also have our Rummage Room so come and have rummage and pick up some new to you.  If you have anything you’d like to donate please bring it along on the day.

A huge thank you to everyone who is giving up their time to run a workshop, perform, have a stall as well as the brilliant team behind the scenes making this a fabulous day.

This year is extra special as we celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage.  WAND patron Tracey West says:

“‘Suffrage’ is the right to vote in public affairs and political elections. It commonly marks the long and winding road that describes female emancipation and universal suffrage for women, which is being highlighted throughout February across the country.

WAND is hosting a week of inspiring events that chime with the passion roused within the suffrage movement. It happens to coincide with the centenary of The Representation of the People Act, 1918, the commencement of which finally allowed British women over the
age of 30, who met certain property qualifications, to vote for the first time. They went on to exercise that right at the general election later that year.”

We hope you can join us!

If you have any queries please email wanddorset@gmail.com or call WAND on 07956 896114.


100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

WAND Patron Tracey West gives a summary of the suffrage movement as we celebrate 100 years of The Representation of the People Act, 1918 which was passed on 6 February 1918.

‘Suffrage’ is the right to vote in public affairs and political elections. It commonly marks the long and winding road that describes female emancipation and universal suffrage for women, which is being highlighted throughout February across the country.

WAND are hosting a week of inspiring events that chime with the passion roused within the suffrage movement. It happens to coincide with the centenary of The Representation of the People Act, 1918, the commencement of which finally allowed British women over the age of 30 who met certain property qualifications, to vote for the first time. They went on to exercise that right at the general election later that year.

The suffragettes were a phenomenally fearless and driven group of ladies. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they rose up in a variety of ways that included lobbying MPs and disrupting the House of Commons and Parliament. By 1903, Emeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, decided the movement needed to be more radical if change was ever going to come and their campaign became positively militant. Property and art were frequently destroyed and their members were regularly incarcerated. They protested frequently by embarking on hunger strikes, to which the authorities retaliated by force-feeding them; this evil process was only suspended due to the outbreak of war in 1914.

Tragically, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison gave her life to highlight the cause by throwing herself under the king’s horse in the 1913 Derby. Her half-brother, Captain Henry Davison, gave evidence about his sister at the inquest, saying she was, “A woman of very strong reasoning faculties, and passionately devoted to the women’s movement”.

Long before the suffragettes came along, Elizabeth Heyrick was another lady of guts and substance. She was a political reformer in the anti-slavery movement and in 1824 she published a pamphlet: ‘Immediate, not Gradual Abolition’. She campaigned passionately in favour of the emancipation of slaves in the British colonies, thereby rocking the boat and challenging the system. William Wilberforce was a man onside with the idea of change. He batted on the same team and went on to become the voice of the abolition movement in Parliament. Yet commenting about Elizabeth Heyrick, he disparagingly said, “For ladies to meet, to publish, to go from house to house stirring up petitions – these appear to me proceedings unsuited to the female character as delineated in Scripture”.

Emeline, Emily, Elizabeth and countless other women have endured unimaginable pain and hardship as a result of their tireless activism in the fight for women’s rights. They’ve bravely stuck their heads above hostile parapets calling for social reform and trying to evoke positive change. Speaking as one who has tried to do it in respect of domestic violence, I can tell you it usually comes at a price.

History more frequently recounts the actions of suffragettes who were unashamedly physical activists. It talks far less about suffragists, who also campaigned vehemently for women’s right to vote, but they adopted a completely different strategy to draw attention to the cause.

Under the leadership of Millicent Fawcett, a peaceful corps of women were consolidated. Millicent headed The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies for over 20 years, which was founded in 1897 via the merger of the Central Committee, National Society for Women’s Suffrage and the National Central Society for Women’s Suffrage.

They truly believed they’d achieve their end using peaceful tactics with non-violent demonstrations, via petitions and the lobbying of MPs. Millicent believed that if their organisation was perceived to be intelligent, polite and law-abiding, they’d prove themselves ‘responsible enough’ to participate fully in politics.

Millicent’s peaceful methods were unquestionably pivotal in helping to secure the vote for six million British women and a statue of her holding a placard that says, ‘Courage calls to courage everywhere’ is being erected in Parliament Square, London. She used these words in an address she gave following the death of Emily Wilding Davison.

As history sprinkles a layer of dust on the stories of these important women, we must remember our right to vote was hard won – that ‘X’ really matters.

Suffragettes of Note

Ethel Smyth: composed the suffragette battle anthem, The March of the Women. She responded to Emeline Pankhurst’s call to break a window in the house of any politician who opposed votes for women and along with 100 women, she was arrested and served 2 months in Holloway Prison. When Thomas Beecham went to visit her, he found suffragettes marching in the quadrangle singing, as Smyth leaned out of a window conducting the song with a toothbrush.

Kitty Marion: a successful music hall artiste, she worked her way up from the chorus, to named parts, to stand-in for a lead role, before falling out with her employer. She continued to seek work in the music halls and discovered that some employers expected sexual favours in exchange for the best jobs. Marion became a prominent activist in the suffrage movement, frequently engaging in protests and was arrested numerous times. Her activism led her to be force-fed more than 200 times in 1913 alone.

Edith Rigby: joined The Women’s Social and Political Union and was spat at in the street by her neighbours. She marched on the Houses of Parliament in 1908 and was arrested with 56 other women. She served a month in prison and took part in hunger strikes and was subjected to force-feeding.

Mary Leigh: an active suffragette, was incarcerated at Winson Green Prison. She protested by breaking her cell window, whereupon she was moved to the punishment cell and immediately commenced a hunger strike. Her account of being force-fed is harrowing. She documented: “I was then surrounded and forced back onto the chair, which was tilted backward. There were about ten persons around me. The doctor then forced my mouth so as to form a pouch, and held me while one of the wardresses poured some liquid from a spoon; it was milk and brandy. After giving me what he thought was sufficient, he sprinkled me with eau de cologne, and wardresses then escorted me to another cell on the first floor. The wardresses forced me onto a bed (in the cell) and two doctors came in with them. While I was held down a nasal tube was inserted. It was two yards long, with a funnel at the end; there was a glass junction in the middle to see if the liquid was passing. The end was put up left and right nostrils on alternate days. Great pain was experienced during the process, both mental and physical. One doctor inserted the end up my nostril while I was held down by the wardresses, during which process they must have seen my pain, for the other doctor interfered (the matron and two other wardresses were in tears) and they stopped and resorted to feeding me by spoon.”


Thank you to everyone involved in Dorset Women’s Week 2017

WAND would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making Dorset Women’s Week a success!

The week ended in Dorset Women’s Day which was fantastic!  Thank you to all the workshop leaders (especially those who stepped in at the last moment due to sickness), to the stall holders, and the amazing performers!  And thank you to everyone who came along.

Congratulations to Sheonagh Ravensdale and Angie Rolph who won the prizes for giving us feedback.

We hope you all enjoyed it.  Please see below for a selection of photos from Dorset Women’s Day.

Dorset Women’s Week 2017 – Programme Launched

WAND is excited to launch the 2017 Dorset Women’s Week Programme!  The week runs from 4-11 March and culminates again in Dorset Women’s Day.

We have more fantastic events and opportunities this year during the week including a Guided Tour of Arne Nature Reserve, Feminine and Fabulous confidence building workshop, Well Women Yoga and free swimming and exercise classes at Oxley Leisure Centre.

Dorset Women’s Day on Saturday 11 March, at the Dorford Centre has a wide range of exciting workshops including bike maintenance, flower arranging, assertiveness, African drumming, a ukulele crash course, ballet, and permaculture principles, to name just a few!

We have some brilliant performances in the main hall throughout the day, along with stalls selling a range of products and information stands. See the Programme for more details.

Our fabulous catering team will be on hand to sell drinks and delicious sandwiches and cakes. We also have our Rummage Room so come and have rummage and pick up some new to you.  If you have anything you’d like to donate please bring it along on the day.

A huge thank you to everyone who is giving up their time to run a workshop, perform, have a stall as well as the brilliant team behind the scenes making this a fabulous day.

Women’s Week is support by our WAND patrons:

“It’s Dorset Women’s Day again, how fabulous! We meet once more ladies, in the wake of the most powerful women’s marches on the planet too. All across the world, the value of sisterhood was shaken up that day and continues to be fully realised.

Women are incredible humans; we’re equals, we have value, we have a voice and we shouldn’t be afraid to use it to protect our rights and to make the world a better place. I look forward to seeing you all today and celebrating the very best of West Dorset’s women.” Tracey West

“Congratulations and thanks to WAND for using today to bring focus and attention to women locally and across the world. It has seldom been more important to preserve our gains and continue to champion women in all walks of life and connect with women of other cultures, and not just on International Women’s Day but on each of the remaining 364 days of the year, every year. But for now Enjoy the Day!” Harriet Waters

We hope you can join us!

If you have any queries please email wanddorset@gmail.com or call WAND on 07379 426525.


WAND AGM 2016 – “Keep Young and Beautiful”

WAND AGM 2016This year we are excited to welcome Trisha Lewis to our AGM who will be giving us important advice from a 1950 women!

The AGM is on Wednesday 13 July from 6pm to 7.30 at the Borough Garden’s House, West Walks Dorchester, DT1 1RE.

Come along for a delicious cream tea, hear about what WAND has been up to over the last year and join us for some important advice from an earlier era.




A very amusing look at the health and beauty and relationship advice for women during the 1950s! Trisha (as 1950s woman) shares advice from REAL books and magazines – advice that she is going to pass on to her daughter who is having… um…. ‘marriage difficulties’. 

A Fantastic Dorset Women’s Week 2016!

Credit: Claire Vera

Credit: Claire Vera

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in Dorset Women’s Week 2016 – what a week!

We talked about knickers and body confidence; we learnt to deal with stress and make jewellery; heard from (or about) some inspiring women; and we ate cake!

The week ended with another amazing Dorset Women’s Day!  Over 400 women came through the door and there was a brilliant atmosphere.

Also thank you to everyone who gave us their feedback on the day – we’ll use this to help plan next year!  Congratulations to Mrs D Harris from Weymouth who was picked out the hat as the winner of some fabulous prizes.

“This is a great event, lots of information, classes to try new things and meet interesting people. wil come again next year.” Danielle

“Brilliant Day.  Whoever got Kate Adie should be congratulated.” Jemma

“Fabulous feel good event.2 Jackie

So again a massive thank you to the organising team, the volunteers helping on the day, all the workshop leaders, the stall holders and everyone who came on the day (and the week) to make it such a special time.

See some highlights below from Dorset Women’s Day!

A thank you to Claire Vera for the following photos.

Dorset Women’s Week – programme launched!

Dorset Women's Week Poster 2016WAND is thrilled to launch the Programme for Dorset Women’s Week!

Running from 5 to 12 March it is in celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2016.

The week begins with a performance from Rosemary Hawthorne – aka the Knicker Lady! Rosemary, much loved actress, fashion historian and author, will be bringing her famous collection of knickers – and other things to the Brownsword Hall in Poundbury (Dorchester) on Saturday the 5th March from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets at £12 are available here.

Other Dorset Women’s Week activities include: the opportunity to visit the Dorset History Centre and discover some surprising stories of women who have lived and worked in Dorset. You are also invited to a friendly evening session at the Winterbourne Hospital when you can get free advice and information on a range of women’s health issues. Or you could attend an empowering workshop to build your body confidence, join a stress busting workshop and learn techniques to manage your stress levels. Perhaps you would like to learn how to craft a beautiful necklace or spend an afternoon watching the film Suffragette. WAND also encourage you to join in with a very relaxing yoga class, attend a talk to hear the reflections of a female chief constable or join a unique session where you can develop your assertiveness skills through working with horses. If music is more your thing there is an inspiring concert programmed with singer-song writer Magdalena Atkinson. Plus you could take part in an uplifting guided nature walk with the RSPB or participate in some really super sports and leisure activities in Gillingham, Portland or Sherborne.

Dorset Women’s Day

Dorset Women’s Week culminates with the 11th annual Dorset Women’s Day to be hosted by WAND! This will take place at the Dorford Centre Dorchester on Saturday 12 March from 10am – 3.30pm. Regular attenders of the event will know that it offers something for everyone and this year is no exception. The day will be packed with a varied and exciting range of workshops and including: photography, crochet, mindfulness, jewellery making, laughter yoga, painting, singing and card making. Plus Gabriela Lerner, established Raw Food Nutrition and Health Coach will introduce you to the amazing health benefits of raw food and how you can easily integrate raw food into your diet.

A highlight for this year is that the esteemed author and broadcaster, Kate Adie who became a familiar figure to viewers through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent, will be giving a talk entitled “A correspondent’s life”. Kate will share with her audience insights into her career, including how she came into journalism and key and historic moments she has faced. Reserve a place at Kate Adie’s talk here.

There will also be a range of stallholders promoting everything relating to womanhood with the opportunity to find some wonderful hand made items.

And following the success of last year, the RUMMAGE ROOM is back again! This is an opportunity for people to donate any unwanted woman’s clothes, accessorises and books (all clean and in good condition) and pick up something new to you. Proceeds will go to WAND to support other events.

WAND patron Tracey West – broadcaster and author says “as a proud Patron of WAND You have no idea how excited I am that this year’s Dorset Women’s Day is upon us. In recent months, I have been personally reminded of how hard it can be to dust yourself down from a painful past and to find your mojo again. Rising up above a difficult situation that you are seemingly unable to influence, is exhausting – I am sure our special guest this year, Kate Adie, will testify to that – but rise up above it you must. Dorset Women’s Week offers a crash course on precisely how to do it. You need a sprinkling of uplifting friends and sisterly support, you need creative projects and free workshops to immerse yourself in and kindred spirits within your circle who will not judge you. You need a boost to your self esteem and to believe in yourself again – get involved in Dorset Women’s Week and feast on the positive energy that surrounds it! I look forward to seeing you there”.

Admission to Dorset Women’s Day is free and is open to women of all ages and backgrounds.

Free crèche facilities will be available together with the opportunity to purchase delicious home-made cakes and refreshments lovingly prepared by WAND volunteers.

For full details of Dorset Women’s Week activities please check the Programme and contact the organisers directly.

Please note that free hard copies of the programme will also be available from the following locations (from 19 February):

  • Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and other local Libraries
  • Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centres
  • Bridport Arts Centre
  • Dorchester Town Council
  • Bridport Town Council
  • West Dorset District Council
  • Sherborne Town Council
  • Oxley Sports Centre – Sherborne
  • Riversmeet Leisure Centre – Gillingham
  • Waterstones – Dorchester
  • Local Village Halls
  • Other locations – keep your eyes peeled

All details correct at time of press but may be subject to change.

The Knicker Lady! Tickets now on sale

The Knicker LadyWe are thrilled to announce that tickets are now available for the first of our announced events for this years Dorset Women’s Week – a performance from Rosemary Hawthorne aka The Knicker Lady!

Rosemary, much loved actress, fashion historian and author, will be bringing her famous collection of knickers – and other things to the Brownsword Hall in Poundbury (Dorchester) on Saturday the 5th March from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 and are available via Eventbrite at www.theknickerlady.eventbrite.co.uk

Rosemary is happy to amuse, as she lifts each spry or weary vintage garment (it could be a hat, dress, bag, pair of boots, vest… suspenders) and, holding them aloft, makes a passing comment that has an audience in fits of laughter.

Rosemary Hawthorne has been described as ‘The Joyce Grenfell of Knickers’ and as ‘…having the style and timing of pure comic genius’.

For more information about the event please contact Emma Scott on 01305 252204