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Reader's letter: Bravery will not be forgotten

People do not forget acts of bravery. The Fountain Gardens on London Road is named for the small drinking fountain that stands nearby and commemorates one such act ­— the bravery of Ethel Harrison who drowned in 1906 while saving the life of a child in her care.

Now, within the gardens, there is another memorial, this one for Irene Sendler, who rescued Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the second world war.

District council leader David Lloyd (Advertiser, July 1) noted that this area now forms ‘an area of tribute to heroic women’. It’s quite an idea.

There are also in Newark places where other achievements by local women could be noted, and perhaps form a trail with accompanying leaflets, similar to those Newark already has.

Among those who might be included is Fanny Easterfield (1858-1932) a watercolourist whose works hang in the atmospheric Spotlight Gallery in Newark Town Hall. She lived in Friary Road and Wellington Road.

Constance Penswick Smith is commemorated by a Blue Plaque in Church Walk, and is credited with reviving the tradition of Mothering Sunday that by the 1930s was celebrated throughout the British Empire.

Jenny Saville, one of the most important painters working today, and an original member of the Young British Artists Group, also lived in Wellington Road.

Nor should we forget that notable entrepreneur Mrs Emily (Stevens) Blagg known as The Lady Builder.

As well as many houses, she also built the Palace Theatre in Newark and founded the engineering business (Blagg and Johnson) that this year celebrates its 100-year anniversary as a thriving local business.

No doubt, if we looked, there would be other women of note who could be included in a Women’s Trail in Newark.

Meanwhile, Ethel Harrison’s poignant little fountain, restored by Newark and Sherwood District Council in 2007, and with help from two generous local families, would certainly benefit from some similar care now.

Perhaps the council could consider doing so again, with funding from one of the recent government grants it has received. ­— S. C. MCCARTHY, Newark.

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