2020 WHN Community History Prize Winner
Doing It Ourselves: The First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery, Walthamstow – Volunteers and On the Record
This volunteer-led oral history project collected and archived the history of the First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery, a ground-breaking parent-led co-operative nursery in Walthamstow, London from 1977- the early 1990s. Created by a group of local women, the co-operative was based on feminist principles and created a unique experience for both parents and children.
Doing it Ourselves involved a team of volunteers, women aged 17 – 70, to record and preserve this important history. The project culminated in a creative exhibition at a local community centre and successfully engaged local parents with the history of the nursery and the idea of parent-led co-operative childcare. A permanent archive documenting the First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery is now based at Bishopsgate Institute. A podcast, produced by a young volunteer, is available online at
A Land Girl’s Tale – The Devil’s Porridge Museum
Bettie is a former World War Two Land Girl in her 90s. This project involved young women interviewing Bettie, they were then involved in editing the footage and creating animations of different parts of Bettie’s story. The completed film premiered at the local cinema to an audience of over 60 people.
The Story of Forgotten Stars: Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney – Behind The Lines theatre company, Effingham Local History Group and Tollington Press
Theatre company Behind The Lines worked with Effingham Local History Group and Tollington Press to research and publish a biography of Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney. A show, re-imagining the Blaney & Farrar double act toured the UK before culminating with a community party in Effingham to celebrate the book’s launch.
The Extraordinary Women of Winckley Square – The Friends of Winckley Square (FoWS)
This project was highly commended
The project was designed to redress the previous imbalance in the documented history of Winckley Square, Preston. Previously the documented lives of former residents meant men. The project ‘Extraordinary Women of Winckley Square’ culminated in Guided Walks, Talks, Debate, Articles, Broadcasts and full colour Exhibitions attracting large visitor numbers.
Ayahs’ Home Project – Farhanah Mamoojee
The project started off with a Blue Plaque application for the Ayahs’ Home Hackney, a home for abandoned Asian nannies, employed by colonial families, in the 18th/19th centuries. This expanded into a community event focusing on educational talks, by academic Rozina Visram and spoken word poetry by the Universe Collective. See https://www.instagram.com/ayahshome/
Women Reflecting on Women – are we there yet? – Skippko Arts Team This project was highly commended
Skippko artists have been working collaboratively with community participants from across Leeds, most with no prior experience of heritage work, to research and record the histories of working-class women. Participants looked at Leeds Suffragettes before exploring women’s stories in their own families, that would otherwise be unheard and unrecorded.
Florence Lockwood of Linthwaite – Pride in Linthwaite CIC
A permanent information panel installed near to the historical home of the local noted suffragist, Florence Lockwood.
Remembering Resistance: A Century of Women’s Protest in the North of England – Lancaster University This project was highly commended
Remembering Resistance is a NLHF project which has brought to life the last 100 years of women’s activism in the North of England. Through a collaborative programme of engagement events and activities, the project has developed a rich picture of when, where, and why women have fought for change.
Pioneers in Science: Four Local Women who changed our World – Teversal Heritage Group
We all know about famous male scientists, but women scientists have often been neglected and forgotten. It was a surprise to learn, that over 300 years, four women pioneers of science lived within 20 miles of our village. This exhibition helps us to remember and be inspired by them.
The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote – Surrey Heritage, Surrey History Centre
A project to explore, reveal and celebrate Surrey’s significant role in the fight for women’s suffrage through volunteer-led research, archive cataloguing, school workshops, a museums audit, and a wide range of outreach events, to enable a diverse audience to discover and be inspired by the story of Surrey’s campaign.
Restoration of the Statue of Sarah Siddons – Heritage of London Trust
Heritage of London Trust restored the marble statue of iconic 18th century actress Sarah Siddons on Paddington Green, which had been badly vandalised. The Trust engaged local school children and the public with all aspects of the project, from the significance of Sarah Siddons to the process of conservation.
Feminist Public Sculpture in Leeds – Leeds Arts University in partnership with Leeds City Council
An innovative public sculpture exhibition championing the achievements and recognition of women in Leeds and beyond. The aim is to establish a more balanced gender representation within public sculptures. We showcased maquettes by four shortlisted artists alongside select examples of recent feminist public sculpture projects from across the UK.
I Dig Canals – Alarum Productions Ltd This project was highly commended
A community oral history project working with volunteers to capture accounts of women’s involvement in campaigns to restore UK canals post-war to 1970s, focusing on the Black Country. The project has created a new publicly available resource of 19 oral histories, a book, 15 podcasts and a short film.
Connective Conversations and Afrocentric Commemoration WW1 – Afrocentric Commemorations Collaborative
Afrocentric Commemoration WW1 was initiated to address the lacklustre commemoration of the contributions made by African soldiers and carrier corps. The focus of the project aimed to privilege the experience of women, particularly mothers. The main thesis of the project is that mothers are the unspoken presence in all wars