Programme of events will honour suffragette

A programme of events to honour a North Tyneside suffragette and community activist is launching on International Women’s Day (March 8).

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 4th March 2022, 4:46 pm
The Old Low Light Heritage Centre, on North Shields Fish Quay.
The Old Low Light Heritage Centre, on North Shields Fish Quay.

Organised by volunteers at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre on North Shields Fish Quay, they include a special display about Norah Balls plus two talks.

Norah, the daughter of a North Shields mariner, became an active member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), led nationally by Emmeline Pankhurst.

She later became involved in many other aspects of community life focusing on supporting and improving the lives of girls, women and families.

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She helped set up the Girl Guides in Northumberland, was a founder member of Tynemouth Business and Professional Women’s Club and served as a councillor and a magistrate.

She spent her retirement in Bamburgh, later moving into a cottage in the village and died in 1980 aged 94.

Nina Brown, a volunteer and trustee at the Old Low Light, who curated the display and coordinated the programme of events, said: “Women today stand on the shoulders of women like Norah Balls.

"During my research, I discovered a champion for women, with great courage for a cause, adventurous and with a strong belief in service to her community.”

She added: “During a recent conversation with her great nieces and great nephew, they described her as having a humble presence, just getting on and accomplishing things, one of life’s great givers.”

“Deeds not Words”, researched by Nina Brown, will be officially opened in the Heritage Gallery at the Old Low Light on March 8, at noon, for invited guests.

Alongside the display will be “The Walking Coat of Significant Stories”, a project led by North Tyneside Women’s Voices in 2018 to celebrate the centenary of the start of women’s voting rights.

The Heritage Gallery is usually open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, £4pp (Old Low Light members free).

The “Deeds not Words” talk by Nina Brown on Norah Balls will take place at the Old Low Light on March 12 at 11am.

“Gan on Hinnies” by local author Pat Stevens, a talk exploring how the women of Tyneside helped win the vote, will take on Saturday, March 26, at 11am.

Tickets for each of the talks are £4pp (Old Low Light members free) and can be booked at https://oldlowlight.co.uk/whats-on/