Members’ news

My news: Presenting Campaigning Bradford Women, interactive sessions with schools highlighting little known and/or forgotten women who strove to create and improve conditions for children, women and men. Suffragettes accosting Asquith, teenage trade unionist/mill worker, first British-born MP in the commons, one of the first females on BBC Board of Governors and more.

Possible thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bradford Council

– Irene Lofthouse

I have been restoring Art Deco tables, mending toy churches and applying gold leaf in real churches and er, making Valentines Day cards.

Keeping warm and sleeping a lot. Writing the following among other things;

Finding a voice

In a tremulous tone
she reads out The Promises
one by one
in the quietest voice imaginable.
You could hear a pin drop.
Each syllable a struggle
between what is on the page
and what she might dare to believe.
The head-turned audience in silence
willing on each word and line
– their own certainties rendered
utterly fragile, so suddenly vulnerable,
by little more than a whisper.
Her voice comes from faraway
not in a good place
and between her eye, brain and tongue
are pauses of dissociation, testing new terrain
to see if it will bear the weight of commitment;
is this text to be trusted?
‘We. Are. Going. To. Know. A. New. Freedom.
And. A. New. Happiness.’
Words entirely alien to her experience;
the sheer power of vocalisation.
In real time an applied psychology experiment
unfolds in front of our eyes;
on a tightrope of self-doubt
so tightly drawn as to bind a spell.
’Sometimes. Quickly. Sometimes. Slowly.’
– at which the entire AA meeting has collectively
forgotten how to breathe.
Immersed in her fortitude.
Media makes verisimilitude of real life and pain
but here it is for all to hear
raw, keen, towering and mightily uncertain
disguised as the quaver of a small woman’s voice.
I hope I never forget such strength.

– Ben Archer

And just to prove that the number 26 can be found anywhere, here’s a pic Lindsey Russell found when out running in the Borough of Macclesfield on Bin Day!

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