Blue stones placed across Norwich to honour incredible women
- Credit: Rosie's Plaques
Painted blue stones have been placed across Norwich to celebrate the achievements of local women on International Women's Day.
The Rosie’s Plaques project are behind the scheme and they have said it was a convenient way to highlight those women "who built our city".
International Women's Day was celebrated on March 8 on a global scale to celebrate the contributions women have made to society.
Rosie's Plaques, part of Common Lot Theatre, said they hope people will look out for the stones and wish to find out more about the Norwich women, having previously erected guerrilla blue plaques during 2019 to address the lack of women being officially represented.
Those who were honoured through the stones were:
- Princess Sophia Duleep Singh (1876-1948), who grew up at Elveden Hall near Thetford, and who was an active member of the women's rights movement.
- Sarah Glover (1786-1867), who was born in The Close and invented the 'the Norwich Sol-fa' system which was used to help teach music to children.
- Barbara Ross (1929-2015), who founded the Norfolk based Gender Identity Services, to provide support and counselling to trans gender people.
- Connie Adam, an international fencing champion who took up the sport at 60 and retired aged 91
- Dr Joyce Lambert (1916-2005) was brought up in Brundall and graduated in botany from University College of Wales, before showing the Norfolk Broads were not formed by nature but rather were the result of medieval peat-digging.
- Emma De Gauder, who in 1075 defended Norwich Castle at the age of 16, successfully holding the castle for three months before she eventually sued for peace with
William the Conqueror’s men.
- Amelia Opie (1769-1853) was an English author who published numerous novels in the Romantic period and a leading abolitionist in Norwich.
- Antoinette Hannent (1905-1976), born in Ber Street, was of Italian descent and was well-known for jazz singing, as well as being the landlady of The Jolly Butchers following the death of her husband.
- Connie Adams is a Norfolk metal sculptor, presently focusing on recreating natural forms through wire and scrap.
- Mabel Clarkson (1875-1950) was a Labour politician who was Lord Mayor of Norwich from 1930-1.
- Dorothy Jewson (1884-1964) was elected the city's first female MP in 1924, and was one of the Labour Party's first female members of parliament.
- Mary Chapman (1647-1724) founded the former Bethel Hospital in the heart of Norwich who welcomed vulnerable people for care.
- Ethel Colman (1863-1948) was a philanthropist and the first woman to be Lord Mayor of Norwich in 1923–4.
- Patricia Hollis (1941-2018), Baroness Hollis of Heigham served on Norwich City Council and successfully persuaded the Lords to reject George Osborne’s proposed tax credit reforms in 2015.
- Lady Sainsbury and her husband Sir Robert donated her vast art collection to the University of East Anglia and was awarded an honorary degree in 1990. She died at the age of 101.
- Estrella Catalan was emergency department nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital who died with coronavirus in February at the age of 52.
- Delia Smith is a celebrity cook, television presenter and a majority shareholder of Norwich City Football Club.
- Margaret Fountaine (1862-1940) was a diarist, lepidopterist and adventurer born at South Acre whose Fountaine–Neimy collection of around 22,000 butterflies was bequeathed to the Castle Museum in Norwich.
- Daisy Ashford (1881-1972) was a writer most famous for her 1919 novel The Young Visiters, concerning the upper class society of the nineteenth century which she penned as a nine-year-old.
- Emma Fletcher is a long-serving senior fundraising and events manager for Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.
- Jackie Thornton is head of development at the Community Sports Foundation who was involved with designing The Nest.
- Margery Baxter was an outspoken Lollard from Martham who was tried for heresy in 1429 after speaking out against multiple church practices.
- Mother Julian of Norwich (1343-after 1416) was a medieval mystic and anchorite who wrote Revelations of Divine Love, the first book written in English by a woman.
- Lady Evelyn Suffield
- Professor Sarah Gilbert is the vaccinologist in charge of the development of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine after graduating from the UEA in 2016.
- Maud Balaam was one of the first civilian victims of Norwich to die from enemy action during the Second World War at the age of 40.
- Boudicca was queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire around AD 60.
- Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) was a pioneering campaigner for better conditions in prisons during the Victorian Period.
- Lorina Bulwer (1838-1912) was a needleworker who was placed in a workhouse in Great Yarmouth at the age of 55, and went on to create pieces which have featured on the BBC and which can be found in Norwich Castle Museum.
- Enid Ashby Otun was the first chief pilot in Nigeria and had a successful career in the aircraft industry.
- Elsie Tilney (1893 - 1974) was an English Christian missionary who spent the early part of the Second World War assisting Jewish refugees in Paris. She also hid a young Polish Jew in her bathroom for six months to save his life.
- Joanna Scott's will dated 1709 led to the creation of the Foundation of Joanna Scott and Others which now make grants for education to young people aged under 25 in Norwich.