Skip to content

Monthly Archives: September 2021

Blewbury’s New Historical Novel

September 17, 2021

The Courage Game is a fictionalised account of the life of Gladys Hazel, the infamous ‘Militant Suffragette’, who lived in a bungalow in Westbrook Street from 1939 to 1959 and is buried in Blewbury Cemetery. It is written by Gladys’s great-niece Jeni Whittaker.

The novel starts in Blewbury in 1950, where Gladys who was by then retired decides to write about her very eventful life. Her life story was something of a secret until Jeni Whittaker’s father Peter Waterfield discovered her account, when he was clearing out a potting shed in Devon many years after Gladys had died . Jeni used this account as the basis for her novel, which will make fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in Blewbury, the Suffragettes, or even what life was like for a young independent woman born in the late 1800s.

The publicity for the book states:

‘Gladys grows up in a large family, convinced she is the odd one out especially compared with pretty Rita, the sister closest to her. Then elder brother Jim invents a new game he calls the Courage Game, in which all seven of the children will be tested for their ability to keep a stiff upper lip.

Little does she know, she’ll recall this game later, comparing his little hand-made badges to those handed out by the W.S.P.U, the suffragettes. The poverty of Ireland in the 1890s is capped by the terrible conditions of the Birmingham slums where she first works as a teacher.

Heartsick at the hardship she sees all around her, she’s driven to change it, but only the Pankhursts seem to offer any hope of a woman’s voice being heard – providing they win the right to vote, that is. Enthusiastically, Gladys throws herself in, juggling her job, her burgeoning love life and her work for the suffragettes. But how long can one woman keep walking such a line without losing her balance?’

The Courage Game is available from all good booksellers.

Roger Murphy, Local History Group

Blewsing – Blewbury Choir

September 2, 2021

We are delighted to announce that BlewSing will recommence this month (September). We meet fortnightly at the Melland Room 7.30 – 9.15 p.m. Dates for this term are September 9th, 23rd, October 7th, 21st, November 4th, 18th, December 2nd, 16th.

The choir always sings for pleasure. There are no auditions and no requirement to read music; the only requirement is simply a love of singing. We need to know who is coming along so, if you would like to join us and/or would like further information, please contact Sheila Loy on 850537 or or visit