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MOONRAKER

MOONRAKER

OAKSEY

CRICKLADE

Celebrating women who make our county so great

MALMESBURY SHERSTON

PURTON

BLUNSDON

GREAT SOMERFORD

LYNEHAM

CASTLE COMBE

ROYAL WOOTTON BASSETT

CHIPPENHAM

SWINDON

LIDDINGTON

ALDBOURNE

RAMSBURY

LACOCK CORSHAM

CALNE

AVEBURY

MARLBOROUGH

MELKSHAM

BRADFORD ON AVON

DEVIZES

PEWSEY

GREAT BEDWYN

TROWBRIDGE

ERLESTOKE

WESTBURY

IMBER

CHIRTON

WEXCOMBE

MARKET LAVINGTON

TIDWORTH LUDGERSHALL

DURRINGTON

WARMINSTER

Editor Georgie Green says there are so many inspirational women in the county and this is the time to celebrate their achievements.

THIS MONTH there are two events that celebrate women. On March 8 there is International Women’s Day, the theme this year being Choose to Challenge, is quite pertinent for the world we currently find ourselves living in. I am sure there are many women who are facing more than their fair share of challenges at the moment trying to balance work and home schooling. Also, throughout March it is Women’s History month.

To mark these events, we are featuring many remarkable women throughout the magazine. They vary from someone who was persecuted for no other reason than she was different; an Olympian; a woman who has worked tirelessly for decades to improve the lives of others; and some pioneers of industry.

There is an introduction by the LordLieutenant of Wiltshire Sarah Troughton, who herself made history in 2012. She became the first woman to hold the position since it was created in the 16th century. Indeed, we have certainly come a long way since then.

Take a look at events across the Atlantic at the recent inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America, preceded by Donald Trump’s supporters storming the Capitol building. The images were truly shocking, with headlines referring to the disunited states.

On inauguration day the world witnessed yet another historic moment, a great moment of change. Kamala Harris was sworn in as the 49th vice-president, becoming the first woman in American history, as well as being the first woman of African American and south Asian descent to hold the post.

The ground breaking significance of this moment was captured in the words of another woman, 22-year-old Amanda

Gorman, the first person to be named America’s national youth poet laureate. She recited the poem, she had written to mark the occasion and to reflect upon the recent events across the country – The Hill We Climb.

MERE

SHREWTON

BERWICK ST JAMES

LONGBRIDGE

AMESBURY

DEVERILL

LITTLE LANGFORD

HINDON

WYLYE

CHILMARK

TISBURY

EAST KNOYLE

DINTON

FOVANT

WILTON

SALISBURY

PITTON

BROAD CHALKE TOLLARD

ROYAL

ALDERBURY

DOWNTON

In just over five minutes her beautiful, eloquent and powerful words addressed a nation divided, with words of hope, including the following lines: “We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.”

In a matter of minutes, a young woman suddenly became an inspiration, not only to women but to a much wider world bringing a sense of hope for future generations.

This brought home my own experiences I remember once going for a job interview and the man interviewing me asked the question: “What makes you think a woman would be suitable for this job?” I simply replied: “I think a person would be right for this job, whether that is a man or a woman is irrelevant. It is up to you to choose the right person for the role.” Thankfully, I did not get the job.

In the early 1970s, I made my first successful challenge to convention. I was to have a new bicycle for my birthday. My mother wanted me to have a sensible bike, suitable for a girl, something that was practical and would last - with a basket on the front. I had my heart set on the latest craze in two-wheel travel, an orange MK1 Chopper bike. It was that or nothing.

My mother made the mistake of not joining my father and me on the trip to the cycle shop. When we arrived, there it was in the window, the orange wonder.

To keep the peace I did try out the sit up and beg bicycle with a basket but when I cycled up and down the pavement on the Chopper bike, my father knew the battle was both lost and won.

Above: Wiltshire Life keeps you in touch with what’s going on, wherever you are in the county

I loved that bike and I was the envy of all my friends and everyone wanted to have a go on it. Was it sensible or practical?

Most definitely not, but it was about being an individual and having a choice.

Keep them coming in ON TO a different note, thank you for your letters.

The Stonehenge debate just keeps rumbling on. From rumbling to the rolling out of the vaccine programme. We would love to hear of your experiences. Please see Susan Allen’s letter on page 7.

I spoke to friends who had recently been to Salisbury cathedral to receive their jabs. They said the experience was surreal, warm, friendly, efficient but at the same time wonderful, with soothing classical music being played throughout the day.

Images and reports have been shared across the world highlighting this unconventional medical centre.

There is even a golf buggy service transporting people to and from the car park. In fact, I have it on good authority that a doctor who works administering the vaccine, chose on his day off to volunteer as a buggy driver. Hats off to the NHS.

Finally, I just want to return to my bike. I sadly no longer have it. When I was working in America in the 1980s my mother gave the bike away to someone in Dinton. It still hurts now, so if you have got my bike, please may I have it back?! WL

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WILTSHIRE LIFE

March 2021

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