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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Shoulder to Shoulder - Tea Towels and Votes for Women

It's 40 years since I first learned about the Suffragette Movement through the TV mini-series "Shoulder to Shoulder", starring Sian Phillips as Emeline Pankhurst, Patricia Quinn as Christabel Pankhurst and Angela Down as Sylvia Pankhurst.  The series dramatised the lives of the Pankhursts during the campaign for votes for women.  It was a shocking revelation to an impressionable teenager, with a social conscience,  to find that women were imprisoned, went on hunger strike and were forcefed because they wanted to take part in a democratic society.  I know I am not alone in being deeply affected by the series, many of my contemporaries also remember the impact it had on their awareness of the fragility of their rights.  Many more battles for equality have been fought, some have been won, others are still in progress, but we all owe a debt to the Suffragettes for the sacrifices they made to allow us to vote.

The Radical Tea Towel Company make a range of products, including teatowels, with political messages, so when they asked me to choose one to review, I had no hesitation in picking out this feminist tea towel is based on a 1911 design by Margaret Morris in the Suffragette colours of purple, green and white. The design was intended to illustrate the song sheet of "The March of the Women", composed by Ethel Smyth and dedicated to Emmeline Pankhust. Smyth reputably conducted the anthem with her toothbrush from a window of Holloway Prison! A perfect feminist gift and radical kitchen accessory for the modern suffragette.

I have voted in every election since I got my vote and I put that down to that TV drama in 1974 which left an indelible mark on my consciousness and made me thankful that there were women brave enough to challenge the status quo and risk their health and their lives to secure that vote for me. I believe it's time that this series was re-made to remind another generation of young women that voting is a right that was hard won.  However, if that doesn't happen here is a little taste from YouTube Shoulder to Shoulder Episode 2

The Radical Tea Towel Company tea towels are good quality, thick 100% premium cotton and are  stitched on all four sides.  The tea towel measures approximately 48 x 76cm. Machine wash at 40 degrees max.  Ā£11.95

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At 22 May 2014 at 09:17 , Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I too vote because if I didn't it would disrespect all the hard work these woman went through to give me the right to vote. Fab tea towel!

At 22 May 2014 at 15:54 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

ABSOLUTELY fabulous and I MUST buy one of those tea towels for me and Hannah - excellent post Janice! Karen

At 23 May 2014 at 13:05 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What a gorgeous tea towel Janice. We voted yesterday, but apparently there wasn't much uptake. Always a shame. I think people are quite disillusioned. Such a same, especially when women went through so much to get their sister the vote.

At 23 May 2014 at 15:16 , Anonymous Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy said...

I voted and I made a huge effort to encourage everyone else to vote as well.

At 23 May 2014 at 16:58 , Blogger Simplyfood said...

Hats off to these women. Nice teatowel and good quality too.

At 25 May 2014 at 09:54 , Blogger Fab Food 4 All said...

I love this tea towel Janice - excellent theme and colours:-)

At 26 May 2014 at 14:31 , Anonymous Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry said...

I real do love this tea towel Janice. Second time I am checking out this post. Nice find.


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