Happy New year! Last year was an exciting year and you can’t have missed that it was a year when we celebrated 100 years of some women getting the vote. Teams of Snapping the Stiletto volunteers worked with our partner museums throughout the year to uncover stories of Essex women and their achievements over the last 100 years.
This year we are telling these stories across Essex starting with an exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum opening this Saturday (12th January) and staying there until March 16th. See our exhibition page for details of where else the exhibition will be over the coming year.
This exhibition contains stories both researched and told by Essex women. They chose the title ‘Essex Women; Adversity, Adventure and Aspiration’. Project volunteers and the Project Team consulted local groups to steer the research and volunteers worked hard with our partners to find these stories. A team of volunteers have written much of the text, chosen images and come up with interactive ideas all designed to celebrate 100 years of change for women.
Volunteers attending a text writing workshop
Come along and find out what it has been like for women serving in the police and Fire services, working the land during wartime and moving here to support our health services.
Women Police Officers. Image courtesy of the Essex Police Museum
Discover Essex businesswomen and engineers.
A worker at the EKCO factory in Southend. Image courtesy of Southend Museums
Grace Chappelow campaigning. Image courtesy of Chelmsford museum
Find out more about Essex women who campaigned for lots of different causes and let us know who is your strong Essex Women!
(The exhibition will be on display at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey from Saturday 12th January until Saturday 16th March. It will then visit other venues around the county – dates and details can be found here).
The Essex Fire Museum in Grays has a great collection of historic fire engines, firefighting equipment, uniforms and photographs that tell the story of how firefighting has changed over the years. Today’s blog is a guest blog by Snapping the Stiletto volunteer Becky Wash who signed up to help the museum investigate their collection to look for stories of women in the service over the last 100 years.
Volunteering at the Essex Fire Museum
Although I work full-time, I saw that the Essex Fire Museum was offering one day volunteer opportunities so I signed up to take part.
We started the morning with a discussion about the history of the fire service and the role women played. I asked questions and listened to interesting stories retold by Fire Museum volunteers, which we noted as potential stories we could use for the project.
I got to look within the museum’s displays to find objects and create a list of items that may be suitable for display in the exhibition. We also took photographs of suitable artefacts.
Then I searched through the handwritten accessions registers, searching for more suitable artefacts that could help tell the story of women in the Essex Fire Service, and created a list.
We then visited the museum store and I got to see first-hand, how the objects were stored, and we were able to handle some of them.
We decided that we would like to scan some of the paper documents and photographs and I hope to return to assist with this in the near future.