This is Delia el-Hosayny, standing alongside the museum display that chronicles her achievement.
Delia was Derby's first woman bouncer! And she's one of twenty or so Derbyshire women celebrated in an excellent 'History Makers' exhibition which has just opened at Derby Museum and will be on for almost five months.
The display includes newspaper cuttings about Delia's career as a bouncer - some dating back to her first job at the Saracen's Head:
And there's also the coat which was her work attire, making her look official - and formidable:
I went to the exhibition launch last night because Freda Bedi, whose biography I have written, is - rather splendidly - one of the Derby women given special attention!
Freda Bedi married a Punjabi fellow student and made her life in India where she was variously a pioneering leftist, a prominent nationalist and a path-breaking Tibetan Buddhist nun. What a life!
The Ballad of Reading Abbey
I bet you didn't know Reading had an abbey! I didn't until I was in Reading with a couple of hours to spare the other day.
The abbey is in ruins, but ruins to relish. And it's right in the heart of the city. It's free too!
This was once one of Europe's largets royal monasteries, encompassing a much bigger area than is now taken up by the ruins.
Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121. And he was buried there fourteen years later when the abbey was still under construction.
And it does have a ballad, after a fashion. It's believed that one of the earliest of English non-devotional songs (to survive that is), Sumer is Icumen In, was composed at the abbey almost 800 years ago.
And if you are wondering what that song sounds like, well, here you are!
Inevitably, the abbey got knocked about a bit during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, and suffered again in the following century during the Civil War.
The ruins have been very nicely spruced up as well as opened up - do give it a gander!
What a smasher! As suburban non-conformity goes, Muswell Hill Baptist Church is much above average. It's surprisingly spacious and was designed by George Baines, who specialised in non-conformist chapels and churches.
The church was built in 1900-01 and is deservedly Grade II listed.
The wood-lined twin peaks of the roof are spectacular, and so too is the curved balcony. No wonder the hard-to-please Nikolaus Pevsner commends the church's 'good interior'.
There's a lot of attention to detail in the design, and the stained glass - while simple - still manages to catch the eye.
I popped in over the weekend when I noticed the 'Open House sign outside. I'm glad I did!
It has an octagonal tower with a twee little spire. And if you need some more encouragement to pop in, have a look at these:
Visiting the Whittington hospital the other day, I spotted for the first time a simple and efffective statue by the main entrance on Magdala Avenue.
It was inaugurated a year ago and celebrate the contribution to the NHS of midwives and nurses from Africa, the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries.
There was quite a crush of local celebrities to unveil the statue - the photo below is from the Islington council site, but in a triumph of municipal efficiency, those featured aren't named. But you will recognise one of them at least (he's the local MP).
Jak Beula of the Nubian Jak Trust, who designed the statue, is the guy in the maroon-coloured suit.
According to the Guardian, at the time this statue was installed there were only two statues in London representing black women. Where? Well, there's a statue of Mary Seacole, the Jamaican nurse who cared for soldiers during the Crimean war, at St Thomas’ hospital, and “Bronze Woman” in Stockwell inspired by a poem by Cécile Nobrega.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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