Banknotes: storm in a tea cup?

Filed in May 2013 by on May 2, 2013


Last week Kay Renner and I ran a series of schools workshops in Northumberland, as part of the 2013 Emily Inspires! programme of events.

An element of the workshops explored what it felt like to challenge the status quo, as suffragette Emily Wilding Davison did one hundred years ago.

It would be easy to dismiss the debate surrounding the removal of the Elizabeth Fry £5 banknote as a storm in a tea cup, but the Women’s Room petition reminds us that images make powerful statements.


A picture is worth a thousand words.


If the Elizabeth Fry banknote is removed from circulation, the only woman on an English banknote will be there by birthright alone; all the men will be have been chosen on merit.


What does it say about our society?


Link to the ‘Keep a Woman on English banknotes’ petition page:

Having previously researched and written a play about Elizabeth Fry I am keenly aware of her contribution to society (including prison reform, access to libraries and the professional training of nurses).


In this anniversary year of Emily’s iconic Epsom Derby protest in the name of equality and women’s suffrage, let’s do her justice by continuing to promote positive female role models.

After all, a sea of plastic celebrities is no match for Emily, Elizabeth or any number of remarkable women.


To Freedom's Cause flyer


TO FREEDOM’S CAUSE,  my play about Emily Wilding Davison, will open in Morpeth on 14th June 2013 as part of Emily Inspires!

The play will then go to various venues in the North East as well as the Georgian Theatre Royal and the Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden.

TO FREEDOM’S CAUSE is the powerful story of some of the people who came into contact with Emily, who changed her life and whose lives she changed.

Its focus is on the months leading up to and the long lasting effects of her tragic decision to step in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby.

For more information about the play click here.

Follow the play @2FCPlay


Can Emily Wilding Davison inspire you to write? Find out more information about the national writing competition via








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