Wigtown 'Her-story' Workshop, Dumfries and Galloway

Overview
This workshop involved a partnership between the Wigtown Women's Walk group (which has recently launched their Women's History Walk) and Glasgow Women's Library (GWL) National Lifelong Learning group.
A key aim was to raise awareness of local women from the past and engage more of the community - especially girls and younger women - with the walk group and in storytelling activities.

The session was publicised as a "bring and tell" session with community members encouraged to bring  objects connected to a female relative or a local woman. Participants told their stories and these were recorded using ‘netbooks' or digital recorders. Additional activities for young people included creating ‘a map' of local women (photo above) and a storyboard or writing a story, poem or drawing (photo left).

The group also brought archive recordings, films and photographs for viewing. It was an all-day informal drop-in session with refreshments provided by the local ‘ReadingLasses' bookshop.

Success Factors
* The session attracted younger women and girls aged from 6 to 15 years who brought their knowledge of local women.
* Local women and visitors brought beautiful objects from hand-made christening caps to toys and photographs - stories were shared and cake was eaten! (Photo left - Renita's quilt)
* The event raised awareness of local women's history and introduced residents to both the Glasgow Women's Library and to the Wigtown Women's Walk.
* Participants gave permission for recording and these are now part of GWL archive. Some of the stories and video footage is available on the website. Click here for YouTube video shot at the Wigtown Community Festival workshop.
* A key factor in the workshop's success was help from the walk group members in publicising the event.

Quotes
"I enjoyed recalling past memories."
" The best bit was bringing my daughter and having her hear me relate 'Elsie's story'. We need more of these events!"
"The best bit was learning about what the local women did and hearing everyone's stories."

Email: Morag Smith,  National Lifelong Learning Development Project, Glasgow Women's Library, 15 Berkeley Street, Glasgow G3 7BL. Tel: 0141 248 9969


Women's Library Website : Watch the GWL video about how to become a volunteer guide in your area - One Small Step. Photo: A still from the video - Enjoying a women's history walk in Kelvin Way, Glasgow's West End.