As I sit here on my sofa with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning I’ve got chance to reflect on our time in London. Two weeks ago today 10th June 2018 we would have been taking the long coach journey to London. Banner in tow and excited faces throughout.
We have been working closely with Artlink and some of The Boulevard and Sullivan Centre students have been attending Textiles workshops for six weeks to design and create a banner celebration women gaining the vote 100 years later. We have worked with a local textile artist who has taught us techniques, skills and we have learned about the history of the Suffragette movement. We have learned about the struggle that women went through to be able to feel accepted by society and the chance to have their opinion heard and valued. We have learned the difference between the Suffragettes and Suffragists and how both groups of women lead movements that will forever be a part of our history.
This is why we went to London. To show our support 100 years later, to those women who believed in women’s rights. After all, without them, we may not be where we are today. We may not be able to have well-paid jobs, attend university or even have our opinion accepted within society. This is why we participated in this opportunity. This is why we marched.
After arriving in central London on a hot and sunny Sunday lunchtime we unraveled our banner and stood proudly amongst the 100’s of men and women showing support for the cause. We participated in the march wearing a white scarf as part of an aerial view flag. We even took part in a TV interview for the BBC! Busy streets and music playing, the atmosphere was alive. You could almost imagine what it would have been like over 100 years ago. People walking up to us asking to take photos of our banner. Yes, OUR banner. Stopping us in the streets congratulating us on our hard work. Socialising with people from around the country coming together to support each other. It felt amazing and very proud to represent our part of the country.
The march finally came to an end next to Westminster. Everyone smiling and happy to have taken part. Feet aching and in need of refreshments, we eventually headed home, taking the long coach journey back to Hull.
Writing this and remembering our day with all of the staff, students, and guests that took part still make me smile. An AMAZING day and an amazing experience for everyone. Proud is an understatement. To see our students taking part in something that will be written in history, an opportunity that as the only settings in Hull asked by Artlink to work together and show off our skills in the capital city, is an experience that we will all remember forever. An experience that we can teach others, the creativity, the culture, the skills learned, the taking part and the day itself.
Thank you to everyone that took part. To everyone that helped create the banner, to the staff and students who couldn’t make the march but supported in their own ways. Thank you.
I’ll leave you with one last thought. Celebrate who you are. Celebrate where you have come from and celebrate where you can go. Life is a journey. Not everyone can take the same path but everyone can support others along the way and stand up for what you believe in. Most importantly be yourself.
Miss Smith