Designed to last: women’s suffrage

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools

Sunday afternoon and I am admiring  the work of our young designers who are hard at work on their BAC pieces in a Design all-in weekend: here is Gus G’s chandelier type light fitting inspired by the shape of a dried cow parsley head; there is Cannden’s shoe rack, cunningly moulded  (with help from the vacuum –shaper) into a suave shoerack; here is Sam A’s dress with a touch of snakeskin-like PVC;  over there is Thea L’s intergalactic-themed one; Hannah M has been inspired by the idea of a sea slug; Hamish G’s vest (gilet perhaps) is inspired by the German 1960s Memphis Group and Anton’s natty trousers have 1960s adverts welded into them.  And here is Tess’s elegant two-piece dress – in green, white and violet, the colours of the Suffragette movement to Give Women the Vote that resulted in the Representation of the People Act receiving royal assent on 6 February 1918.

I trust that the families who were so instrumental in the founding of  Bedales would be proud of all this fine work – particularly Tess’s commemorative work and, thinking more broadly, of the role played by Bedales men and women in their work for equal rights for women.  Here is an article in the Petersfield Post (Bedales’ founding families influenced Suffragist moves).

Ruth Whiting (Head of History 1963-2000) is doing important research into this, in particular the role of Amy Garrett Badley.  Her blog describes the absorbing story that Ruth is uncovering.  More is to come, including the account of Emmeline Pankhurst’s talk given in the Bedales Dining Hall.