The London Mothers, 8pm Online Event
THE LONDON MOTHERS – Digital Premiere! Three Women, Three Stories… a short play by Heidi Luker, followed by Q&A
Follow the experiences of Mary and Doreen as they prepare to give birth 150 miles away from home against the backdrop of the Second World War.
The two friends are evacuated to Willersley Castle, near Cromford, Derbyshire whilst friend Gladys remains in London. 4,000 mothers were evacuated to Willersley at this time.
Join the three friends as they navigate difficult emotions and decisions.
Special thanks to University of Derby’s Acting and Stage Management Departments
During the second world war, Willersley Castle, near Cromford, Derbyshire, became a maternity hospital for 4.000 women from North East London, many of whom were unmarried. They were evacuated to Willersley after the Salvation Army’s Mothers Hospital in Clapton was badly damaged during the Blitz. The women stayed with local families in Wirksworth, two miles away until the birth, when they were sent to Willersley. The castle, recently a hotel, but now up for sale, would have held a reunion this year to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first evacuees arriving in 1940.
Local artist Heidi Luker has been commissioned by the Derwent Valley Mills Heritage Site and Beam, as part of the Great Place Scheme creative programme, to produce this performance to explore this aspect of the heritage of Willersley Castle.
The play has been informed by real life stories of mothers, those born at Willersley Castle and former midwives working their during this time. We thank them for their contributions.
Funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Place Scheme.
Find out more about the project HERE