An old girl of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle, who was a British suffragette and socialist, is now commemorated through a blue plaque, mounted on the school gate post in West Street.
Connie Lewcock, nee Ellis, was born on the 11th April 1894 and lived at 7 West Street in Horncastle, the only child of Thomas Henry Ellis and his wife, Emily Mary, née Lessware. Connie won a scholarship to the grammar school in Horncastle where she remained until she was seventeen.
Aged 14, Connie became an ardent women's suffragist after hearing a speaker on the promenade at Dunoon, who made her feel “that equality and freedom were the most important things in life”, she later recalled in an interview, in 1976. As a school girl, she saved up money in order to travel to London and take part in a suffragette procession and demonstration in Hyde Park. Inspired by the "Votes for Women" campaign Connie joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).
As a suffragette, Connie was responsible for burning a wooden railway building at Esh Winning, in an attempt to raise awareness for the women’s cause. She had designed a system where a jar of flammable liquid was set alight when a candle burnt down. This meant that by the time the wooden building was alight she was miles away establishing an alibi; she later described the event as the “perfect crime” as the Police could not make formal charges as she had over thirty witnesses who could testify that she was with them at the time of the fire.
In 1918, after being engaged for four years, Connie married William Best Lewcock at Horncastle Congregational Church; they had three children, Sheila, Peter and Cynthia. Connie’s later life was dedicated to serving the public as a councillor; from 1960 she represented the Benwell ward on Newcastle City Council, acting as chairman of the housing management committee and the parliamentary and general purposes committee and vice-chairman of the finance committee. In 1961 Connie was awarded an OBE for her public service. After a fall, in 1980, Connie died at Newcastle upon Tyne General Hospital.
On 10th May 2018 Connie Lewcock's family received an honour on her behalf from the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Linda Wright, and from the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Jill Green. Connie is commemorated too with her own plaque on the "Local Heroes Walk of Fame" which runs along the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. And now she is also celebrated in Horncastle, at her old school, QEGS, where the blue plaque, unveiled by Cynthia, her daughter, together with four generations of her family, memorialises her contribution to others.
The Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition took place the weekend of the 22nd-24th March. It was perfect walking weather and all the groups navigated safely through the Lincolnshire Wolds. The cloudless nights saw the temperatures drop below freezing and so there were early starts all round on each day ensuring lots of good walking time could be had by all. Looking forward to the presentations.
Ethan, Year 11 student and air cadet with 17 (Coningsby) Squadron, is pictured with Headteacher Mrs Payne, holding two recent awards. As well as being awarded Cadet of the Year 2018, Ethan was recently presented with a certificate of merit by the Regional Commodore. This was as a result of first aid given by Ethan to an elderly lady who collapsed at the RAF Coningsby firework display. Summoned by members of the crowd, Ethan assessed the situation and sent another cadet for assistance while he put the lady in the recovery position and cleared and ensured the area around her was safe until an off-duty paramedic came to the scene. Ethan would like to be a paramedic in the future.
The Lost Words
Mr Binns, volunteer with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust kindly brought us a copy of ‘The Lost Words’ a beautifully illustrated book created by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris in October 2017 to celebrate once-common “nature” words – from acorn and wren, to starling and dandelion – that were dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary some ten years before. The book takes twenty of the words that have been falling out of use amongst children - such as adder, kingfisher and bramble - and brings them back to life, through the magical paintings of Jackie Morris and the 'spell poems' of Robert Macfarlane.
On the weekend of 11th – 12th October, Georgina Hadley took part in one of the five International Irish Dancing Championships that are held each year. Georgina produced an outstanding performance, gaining a position that placed her in the top twenty competitors on the international stage. A personal best gave Georgina 12th place overall (and also 4th British girl). Her hard work, determination and intensive training (up to 18 hours per week) has seen her gain 62 ranking places in just a year. She has qualified to represent England at the World Championships to be held during the Easter Holidays in USA next year.
Irish Dancing is an athletic art form that teaches true competitive spirit, resilience and determination as well as great comradery, respect and hard work. Georgina’s successes proves that nothing in life can be achieved without effort! Well done, Georgina. Below is a photograph of Georgina performing in the competition.