Singing and stitching in time

Marching in violet, white and green

A pageant of creative conviction …

Agnes Holmes answers the phone with a needle and thread in one hand.  “I’m sitting here writing emails, answering the phone and stitching at the same time,” she says with her usual good humour.  As always there’s lots going on at the Africa Centre and only three days to finish the banner they will unfurl for the Gude Cause march on Saturday.


Like other women and women’s groups all over Edinburgh, Agnes is putting the final touches to plans for the event celebrating 100 years since hundreds of suffragettes marched along Princes Street demanding the vote for all women.

Agnes, who chairs Africa Centre Scotland is also a member of the Gude Cause organising committee. For the Africa Centre preparations began early in 2009 with two workshops at the National Library exploring the lives of inspirational women who succeeded against all odds.

“Somehow these women did it, many years ago. That gave us the inspiration to make our own collage of all the women, mothers, sisters, aunts who have inspired us.”  The result is a banner of purple, green and white (the colours of the Suffragette movement), bearing rosettes stitched with pictures, letters or emblems of individual inspiring women. Agnes has chosen her mother.

“She died very young but she was strong and determined. There are so many women we can remember, women who are making ripples in political life and breaking down barriers. We also want to include the words for women and empowering women in different African languages.”

And the singing?  Well, that’s a different story. Click here to find it.

According to the Gude Cause over 3000 people have now registered to take part in the march on Saturday. And of course they are not all women.  Men and children are coming out in force too.

There’s still time to join but if your group has not registered with Gude Cause it would be a good idea to do it soon by downloading a registration form from the website and emailing it back to

I’ts a gude cause

Marching in violet, white and green

A pageant of creative conviction

For the women old and young

For the women yet unborn

For us all to rise and take our rightful place

An extract from the song by Jane Lewis

One thought on “Singing and stitching in time”

  1. Dear All
    If you want to march with us (representing the Africa Centre Scotland) you will find us in the “PRESENT SECTION ” LOOK FOR THE GOLD/WHITE BALLONS. We look forward to seeing you.

    Kind Regards Agnes

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