February 28, 2018

“That couldn’t possibly be a prison?” was the first thought going through most of our minds as the presentation paused on an image of the main avenue at Styal. Red brick houses, manicured tree-lined lawns and not a thing out of place. Once a former orphanage, Styal opened as a female prison with the first female prisoners transferred from Strangeways back in 1962. 

Eddie Tarry, Community Engagement Manager, was here to talk to us about the realities of inmate life and what exactly happens on a daily basis. He also shared stories on inmates he had worked with, ones he had helped and ones that would never leave the walls of Styal, and what life had in store for them. 

The word that comes to mind when most of us think of prisons, is surely ‘punishment.’ However, this talk delivered a few home truths, gave us the human factor, as Eddie’s word of choice was very much ‘rehabilitation.’ The statistics he shared were shocking; 46% of women admitted had suffered from domestic violence, 53% of wom...

February 19, 2018

On Thursday 8th of February, our Bookish Broads were invited to the Bolton Octagon Theatre to watch Jane Eyre, courtesy of Manchester Airports Group. None of our group had ever visited the Octagon Theatre before and a couple had never ventured to Bolton, so it was a night of firsts! Before the play started, we were treated to complementary drinks and snacks in the hospitality suite, which helped us to forget the dreary Mancunion rain outside.

As we took our seats in the beautiful Octagon Theatre, we were met by Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director, who explained that Jessica Baglow who usually played Jane Eyre, had sadly taken ill. In true theatre spirit, the company rallied together, deciding that 'the show must go on'. Newman took to the stage to play Jane Eyre, and did so magnificently. From her first line, to the iconic "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me", Newman triumphed. The final, enthusiastic applause, was filled with disbelief that this was not her day job! Like Jane Eyre, t...

February 13, 2018

You may have noticed us talking about our upcoming collaboration with Runaway Brewery on our social media. We've created a limited edition Lady Grey (W)IPA to mark 100 years since some women were able to vote, and will be launching it in time for International Women's Day! We're really excited to be able to create something locally that celebrates women in slightly different way to traditional perceptions of the WI. The beer will be available in various pubs and bottle shops across Manchester and features our logo on the bottle. 

Last week members were invited to go along to Runaway and help with the brewing process. We got stuck in mashing in, weighing out the hops and digging out the mash, and celebrated with a few beers afterwards. It was amazing to be part of the process!

We're holding a launch party on March 10th at Runaway Brewery and everyone is welcome - check out our facebook event for all the details.

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