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Neston Ladies Club Exhibition Launches Amidst Tears and Laughter

Published: 30th May 2014 12:25

'Overwhelming' was the verdict from Neston Female Society's Honorary Secretary Robert Halsall this week at a special event held to launch two key elements of the Neston Ladies Club 200th Anniversary Heritage Project.

At the launch of a dedicated Exhibition at Neston Library, there was barely a dry eye in the house as the invited guests watched the first public airing of the video for 'It's Ladies Day,' the anthem written and recorded with local schoolchildren in honour of the anniversary.

Paula Prytherch, Artistic Director for Hip & Harmony CIC, co-ordinators of the Heritage Project, presented Robert with a first-off-the-press copy of the limited CD of the song.  Wiping away tears, Robert said: "You've done us proud, I'm just overwhelmed."

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchLaughter and tears after viewing the video for 'It's Ladies Day' - Paula Prytherch and Robert Halsall.  Photo by Linda Pelling.

Paula explained that the song's lyrics came entirely from local children who took part in workshops earlier this year: "Steve Daintree (local musician and songwriter) and I went into the schools and talked to the children about the occasion and asked for their ideas.  They came up with these wonderful words which we then crafted into a song with the musical expertise of Patrick Dineen, a Liverpool based producer.  He also worked with us on the recording at Neston Town Hall and mixed and produced the final track."

The launch event was attended by the current Neston Female Society Committee, local Councillors and council staff, members of a variety of local community organisations and members of the public who have been involved with the project. 

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchMembers of the Female Society Committee enjoyed the launch. Photo by Linda Pelling.

Welcoming guests to the event, Hip & Harmony CIC  Director Carrie Spacey said: "I am particularly delighted to see the current Neston Female Society committee members here.  They placed a great deal of trust in us by giving us their blessing to explore ways to commemorate the 200th Anniversary.

"We hope that what has been produced does justice to the traditions of the Society and we thank them and their predecessors for their dedication and hard work - without them, we would not be standing here together this evening."

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchOpening the Exhibition, Mayor of Neston Cllr Janet Griffiths with Carrie Spacey, Paula Prytherch and Susannah Hill. Photo by Linda Pelling.

Neston's new Mayor, Cllr Janet Griffiths, officially opened the Exhibition, which will run until the end of July.  She said: "I have learned things already this evening, I'm told that the origins of the Society have nothing to do with the Napoleonic War, which is what I believed until today, so there you go - it's well worth visiting the Exhibition to learn more about this wonderful slice of local history."

Local residents have been working closely with Susannah Hill, Library Manager, and Cheshire Archives and Local Studies to research the history of the Female Society and Ladies Club Day.  The panels they have created make fascinating viewing.  A large number of photographs are available to view, along with newspaper clippings from over the years and artefacts brought in by members of the public.  Also on show is a film reel containing footage from over the years that has been produced by Dave Bladen and Jody Rimell at Elite TV and Video.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchCAN Group's Eileen Miller (centre) and Zaria Shreef (right) pictured with local film-maker Kiran Fulton. Photo by Linda Pelling.

Speaking of some of the other elements of the project, Carrie said: "Our friends at CAN Group have been into schools to work with children on a hundred designs for pennants for brand new bunting which will go up in the town before the big day.  They have also been working with the Female Society and Flower Society to co-ordinate Flower Stave Workshops - teaching people how to make the staves in the traditional way.

"In addition to celebrating the anniversary, the underlying aim of the Heritage Project has been to help educate people, particularly children, about the origins of the Female Society and the reason the Ladies Club walk takes place each year.  I hope that when people hear the Anthem, see the Exhibition, enjoy the Bunting and the Souvenir Brochure, they will agree that this has been achieved."

The Heritage Project has been made possible thanks to funding from Neston Town Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and local Councillors Louise Gittins, Kay Loch and Andy Williams (donations from their Members' budgets).

The Exhibition is available to view until the end of July during normal Library opening hours.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchSteve Daintree and Dave Bladen have both assisted on the Heritage Project. Photo by Linda Pelling.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchSmiling now, but in the next shot, the tears are in evidence!  Photo by Linda Pelling.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchPhoto by David Sejrup.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchGuests enjoyed a delightful fingerfood buffet provided by Tracey's Food Hall.  Photo by Linda Pelling.

Celebrating Neston Ladies Club Day - Exhibition LaunchThe Exhibition is on at Neston Library until the end of July.  Photo by David SejRelated content:

Neston Ladies Day 2014 - the day itself

100 Voices Sing Out for Neston Ladies Day

First reviews coming in for Neston Players' A Walk Through Time - it's a hit!

Neston Ladies Club Day 200th Anniversary - Heritage Project Update

For more information about the Neston Ladies Day 200
Heritage Project, click on the logo below to visit the website:

Neston Ladies Day 200 Heritage Project
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