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The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey

Author: Sarah Rudy Published: 11th July 2017 16:12

The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey - Theatre on the Canal and One Day WorkshopEmma Smith an actual Idle Woman photographed at Stoke Bruerne - in 2008.

A chance to see a double bill of theatre, poetry and music to whisk you back to the days of World War II when a shortage of crews to keep the working boats going brought a new breed of boater to the canal.

Young women, later nicknamed ‘Idle Women’, took on the challenge of managing a pair of 72ft narrow boats and 50 tons of cargo.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the start of the women’s training scheme, Kate Saffin and Heather Wastie of Alarum Theatre will be bringing Isobel’s War and Idle Women and Judies to the beautiful setting of The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne on the evening of Wednesday 19th July at 7.15pm, one of the many stops they will be making while recreating the journey the women took (London-Birmingham-Coventry-London).

Travelling with the show will be historic narrow boat Tench steered and crewed by women. The performance is FREE (just pay what you can).

Did you grow up near the canal? Perhaps you have memories of the towpath, the boats, fishermen in the 40s, 50s or 60s. Perhaps you moved to the area recently and are enjoying walking the towpath and watching the changing seasons and different activities.

You might be a boater, a walker, a fisherperson, a cyclist...during the day we are offering a free one day workshop at Stoke Bruerne museum between 10-4pm on Wednesday July 19th to share those memories and observations and create a story, a poem or a song from them. You will be working with an award winning Black Country poet, Emma Purshouse and former Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Heather Wastie (also a musician and song writer) and Kate Saffin, writer and storyteller.

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Sue C
At 12:49 on 19th July 2017, Sue C commented:
I highly recommend the performance of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways. If you can't get to the Canal Museum tonight, there is another opportunity on Friday evening in Cosgrove, during the narrowboat festival. Kate Saffin is a superb storyteller and Heather Wastie performs her poems and songs in the second half of the show with great gusto and skill. Very interesting stories, well researched and presented, shedding light on a forgotten element of women's contribution to the War Effort. www.alarumtheatre.co.uk

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