HERstory in the making
Fashion is in my blood and their stories are in my heart.
My Great, Great Grandfather established a menswear shop in the North East of England in the late 1800s, the shop took his name, E.D. Soulsby.
The stories passed down to me of life in and around the shop inspires my work.
Emily Davison stepped off Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, into Number 29, E.D. Soulsby’s Menswear shop. She walked over to the counter and handed over a pair of gloves to be cleaned and returned later that week. My Great Great Grandfather took the gloves, giving Miss Davison a receipt as he did so.
Just nine months later on 4th June 1913, Emily Davison held a return ticket in her gloved hand as she boarded a train at Victoria station. She headed for the Epsom Derby along with 500,000 people, the King and Queen of England, a mass of film cameras and journalists, all broadcasting to the Empire. Standing at Tattenham Corner, Emily watched the first few horses gallop past her with a thundering of hooves. In a split second she had located the King’s horse Anmer and with a purple, white and green silk scarf held firmly in her hand, she ducked under the barrier and onto the race track. Woman and horse collided.
Emily Davison’s death sparked the momentum that would later win women over 30 the right to vote. It has been said that during the Suffragette movement, the Government dissuaded garment manufacturers from putting pockets in women's clothing. This would stop them from easily hiding and carrying in their garments, aids to make their point in the often violent fight for women to have their voices heard.
Women's rights for a voice and equality is still a fight. So we wear our powerful pockets proudly on our hearts as we remember the who women who fought and are fighting for an equal and fair world.
Quality and love that lasts longer than a lifetime.
My Great Grandfather created this chest of drawers in the early 1900s and it has graced four generations of bedrooms since. This labour of love now sits in my bedroom as a functional item with over crowded drawers. This morning, I found myself sitting on the floor with my back to it, cup of tea in one hand and phone in the other for a FaceTime catch up.
With it in the background I actually looked at it. Every scratch, dint and water mark from 100 years of everyday use shows how something hand crafted with care, quality and love really does go on and on.
At the still point of the turing world
I was on a walk early one cold morning and I stopped to watch the sun rise over the hill. I took the time to pause and take in the simple beauty amongst the turmoil that we find ourselves in at the moment.
I could hear T.S. Eliot's poem 'At the still point of the turning world' echoing in my head. My Dad would recite it as I was growing up and in that moment I could hear it loud and clear, more poignant than ever.
'At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.'