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Writing contest looks to suffragette’s Northumberland roots

Other posts by  |  Rachel Cochrane on Google+ |  April 9, 2013 | 0 Comments
Emily Wilding Davison

Emily Wilding Davison

With my audio entertainment website, I am currently involved with a project which has become all absorbing. It combines everything I love – writing, giving people a voice, embracing our local history and championing a heroine. is running a national writing competition to commemorate 100 years since the death of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

The contest is now open and closes on May 10, 2013.

I am very privileged to be part of the Emily Inspires! working group who are committed to raising awareness about Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, her passionate fight for the right for women to vote and her Northumberland roots.

Emily Inspires! is a programme of events which will culminate 13-15th June 2013 with Centennial commemorations in Morpeth, Northumberland and will include the première of Kate Willoughby’s play To Freedom’s Cause before it goes on to tour Northumberland & beyond.

Emily Davison was the daughter of Charles Davison, a retired merchant from Morpeth Northumberland, and his second wife, Margaret Caisley Davison from Longhorsley Northumberland. Shortly before Emily was born, the family moved to Greenwich in London.

After high school, Emily won a place at Royal Holloway College to study English Literature, one of her passions, but she was forced to leave two years later after her father died and her mother could no longer afford the £20 a term fee. Her father was buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Morpeth and it was for this sad occasion that Emily visited the town for the first time.

Following the death of her father, Emily and her mother returned to the Northumberland village of Longhorsley and Emily viewed herself as a true Daughter of Northumberland, regularly returning for recuperation between bouts of suffragette action, and to be active in local suffragette activity

Committed to the cause of ‘Votes for Women’, Emily was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned and force fed for her part in demonstrations and activities in support of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

In June 1913, Emily Davison’s name became known around the world when she stepped onto the track at Epsom Derby and was struck by the thundering hooves of the King George V’s racehorse, Anmer, whilst, it is thought, trying to pin the suffragette colours of purple, green & white on the bridle.

Emily never recovered from her injuries and died four days later in hospital. On June 15th her body arrived by train at the railway station in Morpeth, Northumberland where huge crowds gathered to watch the funeral procession as it made its way through the town to St Mary’s Churchyard, where she was buried.

For the writing competition we want you to imagine that it is just after Emily’s departure for Epsom from Longhorsely. We believe that she was driven to Morpeth Station by her neighbour Bob as he certainly drove her on many occasions.

Write your thoughts & feelings through the eyes of one of the following people:

Emily’s Mother Margaret
Neighbour & driver, Bob

You can write a prose, a blog or a letter (max 300 words) or a poem (up to 50 lines).

Go to’s competition page for full details.

For further inspiration I am leading a series of writing workshops in April in partnership with Northumberland Libraries.

Whether you have never written creatively before or are an experienced writer – we welcome your entry!

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Category: North East England Writers

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