Peterborough Women’s Festival had added significance this year coming a century after women finally got the vote, and this year’s event proved to be a fitting celebration.
In the same week of International Women’s Day, a series of productions, stalls and talks on a wide range of issues proved enjoyable for both women and men.
Hazel Perry, secretary of festival organisers the Peterborough Trades Union Council, said: “The festival goes from strength to strength. However, we would encourage more local women to get involved.
“They could do this by having a stall at the Town Hall event, or by offering to organise a fringe event in the week before or after the Town Hall event weekend, or by joining the organising committee.”
The festival began on the Friday with the play ‘We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!’ at Broadway Theatre. The packed out performance was centred on Jayaben Desai who led the Grunwick strike in the late 1970s.
The dispute saw a group of South Asian women take to the streets in revolt at poor working conditions at the Grunwick film processing factory.
Saturday saw the main event at the Town Hall with more than 30 stalls demonstrating the variety of campaigns, hobbies and jobs that women in Peterborough are involved in.
These included the WI (Women’s Institute), who bought some old banners to display on their stall, and sponsors Trinity College London.
The talk from Eastern Angles on the Freemans Five who fought for equal pay proved very popular, filling the meeting room, while Moonrose Studios also supplied models dressed as women from history.
Hazel added: “These were a great addition to the event and made it really colourful and spoke to people outside to get them to come in. The event continues to go from strength to strength.”
MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya also attended the event.
In the evening, underground folk superstar Rowan Godel came from Oxford to perform at the Ostrich Inn, North Street, for a women’s social.
Women wanting to get involved in next year’s festival should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dates for next year’s festival will be announced very soon on the Peterborough Women’s Festival 2018 Facebook page.