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With my Alarum Productions hat on... since 2019 we've recorded oral histories with around 25 women who campaigned, boated through all manner of rubbish, spent their weekends and holidays on working parties - often falling love in the course of them - all to restore dank, rubbish filled ditches to navigable waterways. We now have a show I Dig Canals telling some of those stories that we will be touring on the Grand Union this year (and assorted other places) so hope to perhaps meet some of you at one of those, but you can also hear the voices of the women via two series of podcasts on Soundcloud. The first covers stories of the Black Country - Dudley and Netherton tunnels, the Stourbridge 16, the Staffs & Worcs... the second, which we are currently adding to each week focuses on Birmingham - Gas St basin, Farmers Locks, Icknield Port Loop and the Mainline in the 1970s. And you can find it all here:
Between April 22nd and August 5th I will be touring a show celebrating women at work on the wartime waterways - it focusses mostly on the trainees (who were later nicknamed the Idle Women) because we are recreating the journey that they regularly worked: London, Birmingham, Coventry, London. We will be celebrating 75 years since the scheme started with Eily (Kit) Gayford and Molly Traill working with Ciss and Albert Sibley before going on to train many others. We have around 50 shows booked so I won't fill the forum with individual events, I think you'd get a bit sick of me! By way of an outline: End of April/early May - Limehouse, Mile End, London Canal museum, Cavalcade, Horsenden Farm (Perivale) Rest of May - GU Hillingdon, Ricky, Linslade, Milton Keynes, Stoke Bruerne, Stowe Hill, Weedon, Birdingbury Wharf June - Saltisford Arm, Hatton flight, Minerva wharf, Titford, Tipton and then onto the B'ham & Fazeley (still confirming venues there) and Tamworth. July - down the Coventry to Hawkesbury junction and the Greyhound, Rugby, Hillmorton, Braunston and back down the GU finishing at the Pirate Castle on August 5th. All the details are on our website: www.alarumtheatre.co.uk And you can see a short film about the project on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADjsDWKA4kY&t=1s We will be accompanied by NB Tench owned by Alex Bennett with Heather Boyce as skipper (Alex will be joining us as much as she can) and we are looking for women who would like to join the journey and help crew - it might be a day, a few hours, or longer, whatever suits you. If you'd like to recieved details of this as they become available please go to our website and sign up to the mailing list. It's a volunteer position but we are able to pay travel expenses to get to us and we'll feed you lots of tea and cake. Look forward to meeting lots of forum members en route! Kate