Production News

On March 17, 2015 by

Hearing Elsie’s Voice for the 1st Time!

On sat 28th – the only day I’ve had free in the whole of February, I travelled to Holborn to The Women’s Library, to hear my great, great aunt’s voice for the very first time.

For years I’ve imagined this Victorian voice, telling me of her involvement with Sylvia Pankhurst’s suffragettes but instead I sat down to a voice not unlike EastEnders star, Dot Cotton.

My great, great aunt was an Eastender through and through so I don’t know why I was surprised. Soon the voice of the 88yr old Elsie became more than a voice to ponder over, she became the star of my next documentary. For someone as unassuming as ‘Old Els’ who threw away all letters from Sylvia as she had too many, I wonder if she’d laugh at all this bother! But I’m determined to bring her past to life, even if she wasn’t, as she often worries and stops mid-sentence to ask her interviewer if what she is saying is interesting. There are many stories to tell and I will tell them if it’s the last thing I do, as I really think that Elsie’s story is a story about all of the working class women of the movement, the story that we never get to hear and one that shares an experience of two world wars, a fight for equality, some heart-stopping moments and some quite simply, glorious family memories.

There’s a lot of research to be done; newspaper archives, locations, court records, lawyer-logbooks, event recollections – so much to do!  But if there’s one thing I learned from my last documentary, it’s that I love research. Fact-checking is just that little bit harder this time around. Wish me luck!

Keep checking back for more about #TheAccidentalSuffragette



‘The Accidental Suffragette’ – The Idea 

I can’t say much about the project, but essentially, the film will tell the untold story of the ordinary working class women of the East London suffragette movement, under Sylvia Pankhurst. My great, great aunt Elsie, was a nanny, then a cook. She was clumsy and careless but when she met Sylvia Pankhurst, she became involved in one of the the most significant movements of the 20th century. The film focusses on ‘Old Els’ as well as exploring some of the lesser known demonstrations of the era. It’s so exciting to discover so much about the movement and I hope that others will sympathise with the working women who gave just as much to the fight for suffrage, as the more celebrated suffragettes.

I began by touching up an old photo of Elsie on photoshop, but until we’re further into development, it’s all I can share!

Expected production dates – Summer 2015

Elsie - Before & After 2mb













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