No Petticoats Here is a project that tells the stories of remarkable women of the First World War through song.
These songs recognise the extraordinary and inspirational achievements of women working in many spheres. From the women footballers who kept the sport alive during the First World War to the aspiring teenage journalist who dressed as a soldier and travelled to the Western Front on a bicycle, the women who risked their lives to treat the wounded yards from the German Front Line, an inventor and engineer, a master spy and the women who made the weapons of war.
Since the summer of 2015 I have been uncovering the stories of extraordinary women and their remarkable achievements. During the early stages of my research I read that Dr Elsie Inglis, in her efforts to set up Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the Great War, was told to ‘go home and sit still; we don’t want any petticoats here’ by a Member of Parliament. ‘No Petticoats Here’ was born.
The research, songwriting, composition and delivery has taken fifteen months and has taken me from Portsmouth to Pervijze and from Ulverston to Ypres by way of many museums, battlefields, private collections, libraries and research centres.
Alongside writing my own songs, I have developed songwriting workshops to explore the folk tradition and the ways stories can come alive through song. In August 2015 I piloted these workshops at SOCO Music and Salisbury Arts Centre. The workshops are now available to book for schools, community organisations and festivals. Please email me to discuss how these workshops can be adapted for your organisation.
A performance typically consists of two sets of forty-five minutes each, with songs being interspersed with anecdotes and explanation. To book a performance of ‘No Petticoats Here’ for a concert or festival, please email.
For more information on the project and the women whose stories I have told please visit my dedicated website www.nopetticoatshere.co.uk.