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24 March 2015

Esperance Street named for the A-Z?

A crop of remarkable news! 

At a party on March 26th in King's Cross the results of a public competition will be announced to rename the streets of the recently recreated urban centre there. A competition to rename the streets received 10,000 entries. Lucy Neal sumbitted the suggestion Espérance Street in honour of the Espérance Club 1895-1914 and it has been shortlisted. Watch this space!

The Camden Journal was quoted as saying The Esperance Club was a pioneering social club established by Mary Neal and Emmeline Lawrence, two leading suffragettes.

Also, over the other side of the world, in Australia, it has been decided to create a new award, the Mary Neal Award,  that recognises the part played by women in Morris dancing. The first award will be given at the Australian National Folk Festival in April 2015, Squire Tim Beckett says: 

'Greetings colleagues: in recent years there’s been an increasing understanding in Australia of Mary Neal’s fundamental contribution to the Morris revival so that the common toast at Morris Ales in Oz is now to the glorious memory of Cecil Sharp, Mary Neal and Lionel Bacon: a trinity of respect!

Over here, Morris is generally mixed with women and men sharing squireships, fores and bag duties; many of our sides would simply not exist without the contribution of women and we would like to acknowledge this by establishing an annual award for Women in Morris, voted by all the sides. We would dearly love to name this award in honour of Mary Neal.'

In addition to the BBC's featuring of the Espérance Club in Lucy Worsley's programme Dancing Cheek to Cheek in Autumn 2015, this is wonderful news.