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Whose Town? Bessie Watson

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Whose Town? Bessie Watson
Whose Town? Bessie Watson
Whose Town? is an educational resource built on the heritage collections of the City of Edinburgh. It is developed by Edinburgh City Libraries in partnership with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and Edinburgh City Archives The resource is available on Glow, the Scottish schools' intranet. However, we have created exhibitions here on Capital Collections to provide schools with access to even more material and to allow a wider audience access to the fascinating stories told in Whose Town?

Whose Town? looks at Edinburgh from 1850 - 1950 to discover the city's past through the lives of the people who lived there. We have used people who lived in Victorian times, at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Second World War and in the Fifties. There are fourteen lives to discover as well as exhibitions about each of the four eras.

In 1909, the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) staged a march through Edinburgh to demonstrate "what women have done and can and will do". Bessie Watson had played the bagpipes from an early age and at the age of nine she was asked to join the WSPU march and play the pipes. The march had a big impact on Bessie and she became involved in the suffragette movement. This involved playing the pipes outside the Calton Gaol to raise the spirits of incarcerated suffragettes. Playing the pipes led Bessie to do remarkable things and she became one of the first Girl Guides in Edinburgh and was seen by the King. This exhibition includes images of Bessie and the 1909 march as well as pictures of Calton Gaol.

Find out more about life in Edinburgh at the turn of the twentieth century.

Whose town? is supported by funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.