Meet History's Heroines in Market Place

Posted on: Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Meet amazing women from history as they take to the streets of Newark for International Women’s Day. On Saturday 5th March, local people will get the chance to come face to face with famous female trailblazers and game changers as costumed performers portray characters from the past.

The event, organised by the National Civil War Centre team, will feature national names like Jane Austen and Nell Gwyn as well as ground-breaking women from Newark’s own past including Palace Theatre-founder Emily Blagg and Lady Ossington. Visitors to the Market Place will be able to hear from these fascinating feminine icons as they roam and take to the stage in front of the Buttermarket to tell their stories.

Carys Coulton-Jones, Business Manager for Heritage and Culture at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It’s so important for local people to be aware of women like Emily Blagg and Lady Ossington, who defied gender boundaries of the time to give us buildings like the Palace Theatre and Ossington Coffee House.

As the current manager of the Theatre, I’m so thankful to Emily for paving the way for me to be here, still delivering fantastic entertainment to the people of Newark today. I hope that people, especially local young women, will take the opportunity to hear their stories and be inspired.”

Other personalities to meet on the day will include tennis player Charlotte Cooper who was the first female Brit to win an Olympic medal in 1900, British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole who saved soldiers during the Crimean War and the first woman in Britain to qualify as a physicist and surgeon, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

Each costumed character will perform twice between 10am and 3pm and there’ll be chances to see them all as they wander around the market place.

There’ll also be a British Sign Language interpreter to ensure these illuminating performances can be enjoyed by all.

The event coincides with Family Saturday at the National Civil War Centre which offers fun for all ages including fascinating family-friendly tours and spellbinding storytime for under 10s every hour as well as the chance to get creative with a drop-in art activity to enjoy together. Plus, craft lovers can join in with a Battlefield Bee in the Tudor Hall, stitching together the amazing knitted fields received for the Knit A Battlefield project.

To find out more about all of these events, and for the latest information about characters who’ll be appearing on the day, visit or follow the Centre on Facebook.