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Peace News log archive: August 2018

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

Esme Needham reviews Tessa Boase's new book Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather

ImageTessa Boase
Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism – Women's Fight for Change

Aurum Press, 2018; 336pp; £20

If you asked someone who had never read or heard anything about the origins of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who they thought might have founded it, the chances are they would guess something along the lines of ‘some well-meaning elderly man who was opposed to the shooting of rare birds for sport’, or something like that. But it seems very unlikely that they would come anywhere near the real founders of the RSPB: a group of women who were passionately opposed to the shooting of rare birds for feathers.

They were led by a woman named Etta Lemon who was vocal in her opposition to the feather trade – a trade which caused the deaths of many birds from rare and beautiful species so that rich women could adorn their hats. She called it ‘murderous millinery’.

Lemon was a deeply Evangelistic woman and a talented public speaker, who had become passionate about animal rights after sharing a cross-Channel boat with a herd of terrified cattle. However, despite the rare compassion she harboured in that quarter, she was also greatly opposed to women's suffrage. This book casts her against a rather more famous figure, one whose views were exactly contrary to her own: the notable suffrage campaigner and devoted feather-wearer Emmeline Pankhurst.

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A food-centred gathering at Crabapple Community in Shropshire.

Radical Bakers 2018 wasn’t very radical, unless you count learning how to do things for yourself as radical… There were a range of practical skill based workshops. We had sourdough, baking, brewing, fermenting, infusions, ointments, cold remedies, textiles, woodworking, mushrooms, foraging, a team bake-off and loads more, full programme here.

The event was well-attended and made a small profit in the first year. The people who came were really relaxed and friendly and when we went to clear up, it took about half an hour. Stu, who recycles everything for us, said it was a pleasure to sort.

The workshops were well attended and engagement was high. We had a few people drop out at the last minute and their workshops were covered by volunteers who all did a great job. One of the things we encourage is shared learning with others rather than top-down teaching. There was a hands-on element to most of the workshops.

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