Lost tape is key to Emily

A SEARCH is under way to find a lost tape that could prove key in the story of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

Morpeth genealogist Maureen Howes, who is the Davison family historian, believes a recording exists of a first-hand witness account of local Suffragettes practising on Morpeth Common for what was to become an infamous Derby Day protest.

Emily Davison is known as the campaigner who died after being struck by the King’s horse at the 1913 Epsom Derby as she attempted to pin the Suffragette colours to its reins.

For the past 100 years it has been said that she acted entirely alone, but in her recently published book, Emily Wilding Davison: A Suffragette’s Family Album, Mrs Howes suggested that a group of Morpeth campaigners were behind the protest and had drawn straws to decide who would carry it out.

What’s more, they had been seen practising pinning colours to horses on Morpeth Common.

Now Mrs Howes has heard that Radio Newcastle recorded an interview in the 1970s with an elderly parishioner of St Mary’s Church who witnessed the practice as a child.

She has also learnt that the late choir master and organist at the church Herbie Davidson made his own recording of the interview. His daughter Mary Ord remembers hearing it, but was unable to find the tape after her father’s death. It is thought that it was lent to someone and never returned.

Mrs Howes is now calling on Herald readers to help trace the tape.

She said: “The fact that this lady was interviewed is vital because her statement would prove beyond any doubts that Emily went to Epsom to carry out the women of Morpeth’s protest.”

Anyone with information about the tape should email Mrs Howes at maureen.howes@sky.com