What an amazing discussion we have just had at Mid Pennine Arts, talking all things Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. It was great to hear from all of our volunteers the snippets of information that they have discovered about this amazing mill worker turned bestselling author. The enthusiasm and drive that we have had from our volunteers so far has been amazing and reflects Carnie’s determination, it is great to see the project develop in this way.
We began by reflecting on Carnie’s writing, but where to begin was the question? In particular, it was interesting to look at her writing in the Daily Herald as this very much highlight’s her humour and feistiness. As well as the Herald Carnie wrote for a number of other newspapers including Christian Common World, The Women Worker, Clear Light and The Weekly Telegraph. How did she find the time we may ask, whilst writing several books, poems and having a family of her own?
We then moved on to looking more closely at Carnie’s poetry, unpicking one poem in particular ‘Why?’ from one of Carnie’s poetry books ‘Voices of Womanhood.’ This is one of a number of poems being considered to be put forward to feature in the National Poetry Archive and YOU can join us in making this decision via our Facebook page.
It was also a great opportunity to discuss with the volunteers another outcome of the project, a production piece. It was great to hear everyone’s different ideas regarding this and we started to form a storyboard of key events and stages in Carnie’s life that we regard as being important. This is something we will share at our next event ‘Searching For a Factory Girl’, so watch this space!!
We were also really excited to discuss our next Radicals Research Trip with our last being a visit to the Royal Exchange Theatre to see Queen’s of a Coal Age. We are hoping to take our team of volunteers to the People’s History Museum to see one of their current exhibitions ‘Represent’, which reflects on those who campaigned for better representation; most famously the suffragists and the militant suffragettes. We look forward to getting this organised in the next few weeks!