Lottery funding for Lady Rhondda project

The 'Bird in a Cage' project will celebrate Lady Rhondda’s contribution to the suffragette movement and the Women’s Social and Political Union in Newport.

The nine month project by Winding Snake Productions will include community lectures and school workshops for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils in Newport to increase curriculum content on the suffragette movement, particularly on a local level and on the life and achievements of Lady Rhondda.

Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “Although Lady Rhondda was a formidable force in her time and played a key part in the women’s rights movement, her story is not well known. This project will help all of us, and future generations learn about her fascinating story.”

Lady Rhondda
Margaret Haig Mackworth, or Lady Rhondda, was responsible for bringing prominent suffragettes such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Annie Kenney to speak in Wales. She was a strong campaigner for women’s rights, taking part in protest marches and being imprisoned for the chemical bombing of a post-box in Newport. She went on to found the feminist magazine, Time and Tide and challenged the House of Lords to allow her to take up her seat following the inheritance of her father’s peerage.

Despite her historical importance, public awareness of Lady Rhondda is limited, particularly in the Newport area and this project will raise awareness of her contribution to public life within the county. Through workshops and lectures in local schools and communities, the project aims to bring her life to light and share her story, and local suffragette history, with a wider audience.

Jessica Morden, Member of Parliament for Newport East, has worked to highlight the contribution Lady Rhondda made to women’s rights and said: “Lady Rhondda made such a vital contribution to the women’s rights movement in Wales and it is so important that future generations learn about her life and understand the significance of her work. This project will hopefully encourage and inspire a new generation of young people in Newport to engage with her history.”

School participation
The schools that will take part in the project will be Lewis Girls School, Hengoed and Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd who will, with the help of Winding Snake Productions, take part in history, creative writing, art and animation workshops.

Amy Morris, Winding Snake Productions, explained why these schools were selected to take part in the project; “The aim of these workshops will be to get pupils engaged with their own cultural heritage and to learn about a strong, positive role model whilst also providing them with film production skills. We hope that awareness of Lady Rhondda will increase in Newport as a result of this project and through our work with Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd, we will work towards creating a bilingual website to act as an online learning resource on Newport’s heritage.”

Notes to editors

Plans for the project include:

  • 22 history, creative writing (suffrage verse), art (suffragette art), storyboarding, script writing and animation workshops, at Lewis Girls School, Hengoed and Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd
  • A film and website to be created as a learning resource for Key Stage 2 and 3 children for schools in the Newport and Caerphilly area
  • The website will allow access to wide range of users and will contribute content to other collections such as Women's Archive, local libraries and Cwricwlwm Cymreig
  • The website will also host findings from community and local history groups, to widen knowledge and user base
  • Agored Cymru accreditation workshops at Lewis Girls School to gain accreditation in Welsh history study
  • Production of an animation film by pupils to be available as DVD and on website
  • Preparation and hosting of a dedicated bilingual website as a comprehensive online learning resource
  • Visits to Parliament for the students
  • Adult education lectures

Further information

For further information please contact Naomi Williams on 029 2044 2020, email: naomi@positifgroup.co.uk.

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