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National Trust Heritage Open Days

Fulneck, where Elizabeth went to school, is a Moravian settlement between Leeds and Bradford, set in the beautiful Tong Valley. The settlement has a rich history underpinning today’s vibrant community. Each year the history takes centre stage as the doors are opened wide for Heritage Open Day to which all are very welcome.

This year the national theme of imagination, innovation and invention offers us plenty of scope to illustrate the contribution of folk from Fulneck to so many aspects of life. Included in the exhibition will be artists, musicians, engineers, and women’s rights campaigners, to mention just a few.

The story of an engineer who helped to speed up our rail travel. And for the young at heart, Thomas the Tank Engine is somewhere to be found. Ever visited Milton Keynes or Welwyn Garden City? New town developments were influenced by Moravian settlements. There is art to delight the eye and music will fill the Church during the day, showing the power and beauty of the organ built and installed by Johannes Snetzler in 1748.

Fulneck organ

Fulneck Organ

My own contribution to the exhibition explores how two Victorian feminists had strong Moravian links. Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy attended Fulneck school and Josephine Butler’s mother was descended from Moravians.

You can find out how a Moravian educator and philosopher influenced Elizabeth’s approach to teaching. John Comenius believed that school should be a cheerful place that encouraged curiosity. He designed one of the first picture books for children.

As adults Elizabeth and Josephine worked together to improve educational and employment opportunities for women and to challenge the degrading Contagious Diseases Acts that were described at the time as state-sponsored violence towards women.

Josephine spent many years caring for prostitutes in Liverpool and was a leading figure in the European-wide campaign against people trafficking. Both women were passionate in their beliefs about women’s rights and took actions that still reverberate positively down the years.

All are welcome to the Fulneck Heritage Open Day on Saturday 17 September, from 10.00 to 16.00. In addition to the exhibition you can join a tour of the settlement, wander through the museum and rest over refreshments, hopefully in the sunshine.

Here is a link to a choir singing ‘all are welcome’

Please buy my book – available at all the usual bookshops. I am now offering talks about Elizabeth so please pass my details to anyone you know who organises talks for groups. Book groups may be interested so again, please pass on my details. All donations raised from talks and profits from book sales will go to charity.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome.

Heritage Day 2017

Heritage Day 2017