#Emilymatters – ‘Tattenham Corner’ by Audrey Ardern-Jones

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T A T T E N H A M   C O R N E R
(For Emily Davison)

By Audrey Ardern-Jones

 

We may cross over a well turned track

touch new grass

as it reinstates itself.

We may cross over a well turned track

turn back a hundred years

on Derby Day

spot a young woman in her prime

who was imprisoned, force fed,

who spoke out, broke out,

shouted out,

who on that day slipped under the railings

into an incoming storm

of horses

galloping round the curve

into the long final straightness.

A moment of history

she braved it

stood like a beacon – there for you and me

with her iconic message

‘Votes for Women’

her last

to a King who should have listened

and then she stumbled

tumbled under his horse.

She never spoke again

never smiled again

never again smelt the freshness of rain

nor heard the June birdsong

outside her window at the Cottage Hospital

a much maligned heroine of her time

a heroine of our time

a voice that lives on

a voice not just for women.

Audrey Ardern-Jones, 2013

 

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Audrey Ardern-Jones, reading Tattenham Corner at Bourne Hall at a special event, part of the 2013 ‘Dying for the Vote’ exhibition, curated by
V. Irene Cockroft.

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Audrey Ardern-Jones‘ poem gives a quiet dignity to such a brave woman, who is still seen by some as an irrational fanatic.

I met Audrey at Bourne Hall’s ‘Dying for the Vote’ exhibition in August 2013. V. Irene Cockroft, the curator, gave me a fascinating guided tour on the last day of the exhibition and Audrey happened to call in by chance. We had a long talk about Emily Davison and also Edith Cavell, two remarkable women who stayed true to their convictions in the face of brutal hostility.

Audrey kindly gave me permission to post ‘Tattenham Corner’ and today, the date of the 2014 Epsom Derby, seemed to be the right time to do it.

 

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#Emilymatters highlights gender equality issues & supports campaigns that seek to redress the balance and was created as part of the social media campaign to promote ‘To Freedom’s Cause’ the campaign for equality – still worth fighting for? event at the House of Commons in February 2014.

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#Emilymatters event included a performance included a performance of ‘To Freedom’s Cause’ & a debate chaired by
Jane Garvey with Chi Onwurah MP, Dr Helen Pankhurst, Yas Necati & Emma Barnett.

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There are some exciting developments in the pipeline, with regards to my Emily Davison play To Freedom’s Cause’ and #Emilymatters, so please do keep in touch.

You can get a weekly summary of worldwide gender equality issues with the To Freedom’s Cause & Other #Emilymatters paper.li newsletter as well as updates on the play and future Kate Willoughby Productions & #Emilymatters projects.

 

Kate Willoughby
Actor & Writer of To Freedom’s Cause

 

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Emily Davison’s legacy is for life, not just for 2013.

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