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Foreword by Linda Ebbatson, Leader of Chester-le-Street District Council:

I am delighted to present this amazing archive which celebrates the lives and achievements of the wonderful women of Chester-le-Street - from the ordinary to the quite extraordinary.

Throughout time, the vital role that women have played in our social and evolutionary history has been largely unrecognised. Yes, we have probably heard of Florence Nightingale and Grace Darling, but such heroines are few and far between. Compare them with the number of masculine heroes that pepper our history books.

The women of Chester-le-Street may not have led armies, but they faced tough battles every single day – running homes, giving birth, raising families and managing tight budgets. They fought poverty, infection and male domination. This archive is a tribute to them, and to the women of today and tomorrow who continues their struggle for true recognition.

As well as providing a lot of extremely interesting research material, this archive includes a truly inspirational DVD. My hope is that it will inspire today’s young women to go on to reach their full potential, and hopefully also to inspire today’s young men to support them in that journey.

Endorsement from Wendy Craig:

‘In my career as an actor I have had the opportunity to explore and celebrate the lives of many women in different and sometimes difficult circumstances. It does not surprise me in the least that women from the environs of Chester-le-Street are high achievers. I grew up amongst them, and found them to be feisty, confident and determined to be successful, if just to show the softies in the South what northern women are made of.

‘What Wonderful Women’ is publicly celebrating the achievements of these talented and ambitious women from Chester-le-Street who have succeeded in many different walks of life. I am proud to be part of this project’.   

 

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