Friday 18th July 2014

I flew back from France last night and this morning I’m searching for my walking shorts and water bottle as I prepare to do part of a sponsored walk for Book Aid with Jill Liddington, Irene Cockroft and Bob and Elizabeth Oakley of the Housman Society.

We walk the east bank towpath from Richmond Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge.  We all agreed that Laurence Housman was right – on a nice day, human-pace perambulation ‘walks it’ over careering about in motorcars.

Jill had walked the 80-mile Housman route, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire to Laurence Housman’s cottage in Kensington.

With Jill Liddington. Image: Mary Branson

With Jill Liddington. Image: Mary Branson

The walk was a great chance to spend time talking to Irene and Jill about the project. We discussed Joan Ruddock and CND. Jill talked about her own experience at Greenham Common. Everyone who was arrested had to make up their own minds whether they would pay a fine or go to prison. This was a highly personal choice for each person involved and the decision could affect the rest of your life.

Each time I discuss the suffrage movement everyone is taken back to a very basic level; the individual dilemmas faced are no different today as they were 100 or 1000 years past.

Come back on Saturday 29 October 2016, when Mary attends a Free Palestine march…