After much thinking, background research and sound boarding we finally submitted our bid and, the Heritage Lottery Fund said, yes!
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the evolution of a Project into which so much work has already gone and yet The Project itself has hardly started. It is very 'early days' but we are extremely excited by what we have already uncovered.
The starting point of Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation is fittingly the 1866 Petition to Parliament, (the 150 anniversary was celebrated in June 2016!) but as the Project idea evolved we realised just how much information we needed to include and wondered why more work has not been undertaken before. Our Project started with many initial questions including 'Why do we know so little about the lives and contributions of women and girls to Derbyshire heritage and community?"
Another initial question was "What has already been done to uncover 'that contribution'?" A question to which we surprisingly found the answer to be ...very little. Aside from a few well known individuals such as Florence Nightingale, Alice Wheeldon, Hannah Mitchell and the lesser known Anna Seward - very little is known about Derbyshire women's HERstory and even less about the many amazing Derbyshire women and girls who were at the forefront of the fight for 'Votes For Women', the Trade Union and other socio-political movements. Certainly there had been no comprehensive attempt to examine Derbyshire HERstory County-wide.
Furthermore, If it is at all possible, even less work has been undertaken to uncover the work of women who were active in what we presume (although we have already uncovered evidence that the presumption is well-founded and is indeed, not a presumption at all...hint, hint) to have been an active Derby/Derbyshire's Women's Liberation Movement.
We are already realising that there is far more to uncover than a single project can do full justice in a two year span...and again we say watch this space! In the meantime, we 'march onwards' looking forward to sharing what we uncover every step of the way. We hope you join us on this exciting journey of discovery as we attempt to start to uncover, unravel and share 100 Years of Derbyshire Women's Social - Political Activism....
Thank you to the HLF for funding our Project and to our amazing partners for agreeing to offer assistance, expertise, space and other forms of support to help us to realise an amazing Project.
Derby City Council, Derby Museums, Derbyshire Records Office, Derby Women's History Group, Parliamentary Outreach Service and University of Derby.