“Women Who Wander” is unique project facilitated by Community Rail Lancashire, that will be engaging women and girls to experience and influence rail use and industry by promoting and publishing their views of rail use, experiences and employment.
Working with a number of education facilities and groups, women will be engaged to travel (if they choose to) into Manchester and around Lancashire, and potentially Liverpool; with the area limited to the North West of England. We will ask them to write a piece of writing in a style of their choice, reflecting their views on any area of rail travel, use or employment. The final selection of writing pieces will be a selection of up to 18 made by the judging panel of Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, Marion Atkinson and Hazel Bonner.
Selections will be made based on creativity, uniqueness and clarity of writing, that communicates a range of views and opinions regarding women working within rail, and should be feminist in tone, critical or positive regarding rail, and in any writing format including short story, poem and non-fiction (to a maximum of 300 words). The booklets produced will feature photographs of the North West and the transport network, as well as the first names, ages and (pending approval) images of the authors who are selected. The deadline for receipt of writing pieces by email or post to Accrington Railway station (care of Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain) is 14 February.
The finished booklets of writing will be sent to other education facilities, and to train operators (giving the authentic view of female transport use to those who influence it), and other transport providers within and around the North West. Booklets will also be available in relevant train stations (amounts will be limited due to funding; alternative funding sources will be sought if demand for booklets is high by members of the public).
Transport across the country and the North is heavily male-dominated, and we aim to change that by engaging, inspiring and influencing, paving the way for the next generation of strong young women. This project will raise awareness of the gender imbalance in rail, give the young women who participate an opportunity to enhance their writing and life skills and an important experience in influencing transport groups to create change, as well as demonstrating to other young women that their views are valid, and that they have a place both comfortably using and employed within transport.
We will have a reading event on International Women’s Day, which will take place with the winners of the selected writing pieces in Manchester Victoria station on 8 March 2018. Members of all relevant transport operators and partners will be invited to this event. TfGM have also sponsored the prizes for the winners to include a writing set, a book of feminist quotes and a branded bag.
For more information, or if you have a group who might like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org