Cumbria Crack

Women of Cumbria Festival celebrates local heroes

[I]CONIC local females are celebrated in exhibitions across the county, a century after women were first given the right to vote.

The Women of Cumbria Festival which involves 11 museums across Cumbria, aims to showcase and celebrate the history of pioneering women hailing from the county.

As part of the collaboration The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, is launching an exhibition on January 13 paying tribute to local hero Dame Edith Mary Brown, a medical pioneer who helped to bring modern medicine to the Indian subcontinent.

Dame Edith was a trailblazer in women’s healthcare and education. One of the first women to attend Cambridge University, she later went to India as a missionary, where she founded a medical school to teach and provide healthcare for women.

Dame Edith Mary Brown

Nicola Lawson, Assistant Curator at The Beacon Museum, said: “Dame Edith is perhaps not well known beyond medical circles, but her courageous outlook towards her life’s work took her far beyond the remit assigned to women of her era.”

The creative project brings together organisations such as Girlguiding, Women’s Institute, Trefoil Guild and Soroptimists International.

Community groups around the county have worked with artist Karen MacDougall to create a banner inspired by their local museum’s collection.

These banners will be on display at the museums in 2018 and will also be taken on parade in Carlisle on Saturday, March 3, 2018 – just before International Women’s Day.

Museums across Cumbria will be participating in the project, and details of all the exhibitions can be found via the Celebrating Women of Cumbria page on facebook.

The Whitehaven exhibition is free for Copeland Pass members until February 25, and runs until March 25. All residents of Copeland can sign up for the pass for free when visiting the museum.

For more information on any of the above contact The Beacon Museum on 01946 592302 or visit

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