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'Women need to get recognition they deserve" - rebel plaques raise thousands for domestic abuse charity

PUBLISHED: 11:21 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:16 19 September 2019

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

Archant

It is a guerrilla art project which celebrated the forgotten women of Norwich.

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle IversonOne of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

And as well as highlighting these important figures, it has raised £3,000 for a domestic abuse charity.

The money, raised by sales of badges of the plaques, will go towards Leeway.

In May 2019 eight plaques were put up around historic sites of Norwich by a collective of women called Rosie's Plaques, who are also part of the Common Lot Theatre Group.

They were alternative "blue plaques" and inspired after the Common Lot discovered only 25 out of more than 300 official plaques around the city commemorated women.

Baroness Patricia Hollis, who died in 2018. Picture: PABaroness Patricia Hollis, who died in 2018. Picture: PA

Some 3,000 badges were made, based on the plaques, and sold in aid of Leeway.

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The donation is being made in memory of Baroness Patricia Hollis, a former Norwich City Council leader, who died in 2018 and was involved with setting up Leeway in 1974.

Siobhan O'Connor, from The Common Lot, said: "Patricia was one of our role models of radical women in the city, and we wanted to honour her. We know Leeway was close to her heart."

Her partner, Alan Howarth, said: "Patricia would have been fantastically proud of what this campaign has achieved: bringing just recognition to past generations of path-breaking women in Norwich, and in the process raising an impressive amount of money for Leeway, which does superb work supporting people who are victims of domestic abuse.

"I so much appreciate that this donation, to a charity with which she had a long-standing involvement, is made in Patricia's name."

Alison Treacy, from Rosie's Plaques, said: "This represents an awful lot of badge making. We were surprised and delighted how people took the plaques and the badges to heart. It shows there is a real movement now to make sure women get the recognition they deserve."

After the plaques went up anonymously, it attracted major interest via social media.

Other women celebrated on the plaques were Labour Party MP Dorothy Jewson who won a seat for Norwich in the House of Commons in 1923 and Emma deGuader, who protected Norwich Castle aged 16 from King William I in 1075.

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