Town gets new treasure

A NEW tradition is set to begin in Morpeth as Emily’s Dish is unveiled.

Mayor Joan Tebbutt announced plans to commission the glass dish when she was installed as the civic head last May.

She was concerned that the snuff box traditionally passed around at ceremonial meetings of Morpeth Town Council is too masculine and hit on the idea of sending round a dish filled with chocolates at the same time.

As the town was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison at the time, it seemed fitting to commission the piece in her honour.

The women’s rights’ campaigner died after she was struck by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913 and was brought home to be buried in Morpeth.

Coun Tebbutt said: “We have the snuff box and it just seemed to me that we needed something different. I thought about a perfume bottle, but what would you do with it? I was talking about a dish with the Clerk Gillian Turner and she suggested that we could put chocolates in. It was a great idea.

“After the Herald published an article about the dish someone came forward to say their great grandparents had sold chocolates from a dish at Emily’s funeral. Everything just seemed right.

“The dish will now be passed around with the snuff box at ceremonial council meetings. It will be a new tradition.”

The dish has been crafted by artist Jane Charles, who has a showroom in Newcastle and often attends the Quality Craft Fair in Morpeth.

Coun Tebbutt collected the bowl on International Women’s Day on Monday after attending a service paying tribute to Emily.

“I could have just burst into tears when I saw it. It is exactly what I wanted it to be,” she said.

“It is the shape of the world sitting on a little glass stand and the artist has very delicately put the colours from Emily’s scarf, the lavender, green and white, around it. She has obviously thoroughly enjoyed researching it. She is really proud of it and so am I. It is lovely.”

The dish will be unveiled to the public at Morpeth Town Hall on Saturday, with students from King Edward VI High School (KEVI) filming the event as part of KEVI TV.

The pupils have agreed to film a virtual tour of the Town Hall to celebrate its 300th anniversary, but want to buy better equipment for the task so they will organise a fund-raising coffee afternoon as part of the dish unveiling.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I hope the students raise a lot of money,” said Coun Tebbutt.

The event takes place from 2pm to 4pm and is open to all.