Conference & Launch of the Centenary Exhibition of Portraits by Beatrice Offor (1864-1920)

Sisters, Sirens and Saints: Imagining the Women of Beatrice Offor

  • Saturday 21 March 2020
  • Morning conference of talks - 10.30am to 12.30pm. Doors open 10am for refreshments
  • Launch of exhibition with keynote speaker, Dr Jan Marsh - 2pm

Programme of speakers:

  • Geraldine Beskin  -  The Atlantis Bookshop, and Researcher
  • Dr Charlotte de Mille - The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Dr Alan Walker - Florida State University (London)
  • Deborah Hedgecock  -  Curator, Bruce Castle Museum

The conference will be introduced by Dr Jan Marsh of the National Portrait Gallery

(Curator of the recent Pre-Raphaelite Sisters); and she will officially launch the exhibition.

Booking required for the morning conference, by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All welcome.

Family Art and Craft Activities:


Piggy Banks & Penny Savings

  • Sunday 15 March 2020, 2 - 4pm (drop-in; last entry 3.30pm)

Join our artist from Collective Exchange and make a special piggy bank in our clay workshops.

Help us celebrate Women’s History Month by remembering Priscilla Wakefield of Tottenham,

who introduced the first Penny Savings Bank.


Frame It! Pictures and Portraits

  • 22 March 2020, 2 – 4pm (drop-in; last entry 3.30pm)

Work with our artist and be inspired by the portraits of Beatrice Offor from our new exhibition and make a special portrait. 


Printing with Box of Prints

  • Sunday 29 March 2020, 2 - 4pm (drop-in; last entry 3.30pm)

Be inspired by the work of Althea McNish, internationally-renowned textile artist from Tottenham and also the new emerging talent of designer Zara Afflick of Box of Prints, who has set up her new fabric design business in Tottenham. Take part in this printing and design workshop, create your own patterns for your fabric with Box of Prints and get making together this Women’s History Month.

All activities suitable for families and children 5 – 13 years old.

Kindly supported by the Friends of Bruce Castle and Haringey Council


Reminiscence Café at the Castle:

Healthy Mothers and Children

  • Tuesday 24 March 2020, 2 - 4pm

Come along to our monthly reminiscence session for older people – enjoy a cup of tea and share your memories with others, facilitated by local historian Christine Protz.

Before the Second World War, Bruce Castle was home to a Local

Authority Clinic, providing maternity services and services for young

children, including opticians, chiropodists and dentists. These clinics

across Haringey preceded the NHS, providing an early version of free,

if limited, healthcare for women and children. They continued after the

War and many of us have experience of their services, not always

gentle perhaps, and usually very basic.

What do you remember of this early health provision for mothers and

children? Did you have NHS glasses fitted or your teeth taken out at

the local clinic?

Have a chat over a cup of tea and reminisce.


SPECIAL EVENT - Evening Talk:

Face to Face: Women Portraitists in Conversation

  • Wednesday 25 March 2020,  7.30pm (doors open 7pm)

Join us for this lively discussion between two women portraitists working in the UK today - Haringey’s very own Nicola Green and Sadie Lee. With long-established and successful careers working in figurative painting, they will share what it is like to be a leading woman artist working in their field – we learn what inspires them and how their approaches to the different subjects portrayed in their paintings can seek to challenge our notions about identity and power through portraiture.


Inspired by ‘Sisters, Sirens and Saints: Imagining the Women of Beatrice Offor ‘- the centenary exhibition of portraits by Beatrice Offor, at Bruce Castle Museum

No booking necessary.

Refreshments available

Kindly supported by the Friends of Bruce Castle


Sister, Siren or Saint? A Young Curator’s gallery talk

  • Thursday 26 March 2020, 2.30 - 3pm

Come along to this bite-size gallery talk with one of our Young Curator volunteers, Angela Mascolo as she tells us more about a painting she has chosen in the Beatrice Offor exhibition at Bruce Castle and why it interests her.

No booking necessary. Just turn up.

Archive Workshop:

Women’s History in Haringey

(for young people and adults)

  • Saturday 28 March 2020, 1.30 – 4pm

Want to discover more about the range of historical collections relating to Haringey’s feminist and women’s history at Bruce Castle? Then this workshop is for you.


Led by Julie Melrose (Archivist), the workshop will examine the variety of resources available in the Archive Search Room - from campaigning and protests, to letters, records and documents of local (and nationally important) pioneering women such as Edith Summerskill and Joyce Butler, as well as the newsletters, ephemera and posters of women’s organisations and women-led local businesses.


This is an exciting opportunity to see original archives and explore radical thinking and activism by Haringey’s women. The workshop is aimed at people new to archival research, as well as those wanting to learn more about the collections held at Bruce Castle.


Activity suitable for young people (14 years+) and adults

Space is limited; booking is essential. Please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guided Walk:

Through the Eyes of Women:

Women and their Art – an art historical guided walk around Tottenham

  • Sunday 29 March 2020, 11am – 1pm

Inspired by the centenary exhibition of paintings by Beatrice Offor – ‘Sisters, Sirens and Saints’ - at Bruce Castle Museum, join Deborah Hedgecock (Curator) on this art historical guided walk discovering women artists and their art in Tottenham. We will be exploring actual artworks, sites associated with women artists, or places and people that have stimulated women’s creativity along the historic Tottenham High Road, from the Seven Sisters up to Bruce Castle. Along the way, you will find out more about these local women’s lives, their art and their impact and influence on transforming and celebrating the area from the 18th century to the present day – from the women who were the seven sisters, to the kaleidoscopic work of Lakwena, to Lady Henrietta Townsend’s engravings, poet Carol Ann Duffy, sculpture by Vanessa Pomeroy and the collection of portraits by Beatrice Offor. Come along and hear their fascinating stories from Tottenham.


Starting point: Meet at 11am by the Seven Sisters Tube Station exit on east side of High Road, nearest to the junction with Broad Lane, N15

Ends: at Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham N17 8NU

Maximum number on tour is 25 people. Booking essential. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place for this walk.



Munch & Listen - Lunchtime historical talk

Priscilla Wakefield: Tottenham’s Forgotten Pioneer, Author and Activist for the Poor

by Margaret Burr (Friends of Bruce Castle)

  • Monday 30 March 2020, 12.15pm (doors open at 12 noon)


We celebrate a forgotten local pioneer - Priscilla Wakefield (1751-1852) of Tottenham. A well-connected

Quaker, famous in her lifetime, she was actively engaged in social action and the alleviation of poverty in

Tottenham. Having to support her own family, Priscilla set her mind to business and one of the few work

opportunities open to women at the time – that of writing and publishing books. A successful author of

17 children’s books covering a range of subjects, including natural science, she also wrote about feminist

economics, published by a radical publisher in 1798. Her philanthropic activities helped improve the lives

of women and children.


Referred to today as the 'Mother of Microfinance', in addition to her business-like approach to writing and

publications, Priscilla established local charities and a school, as well as founding the first Penny Savings

Bank in England.


Refreshments available

Kindly supported by the Friends of Bruce Castle



Art Workshops: Empowering Young Women and Girls

Saturday 7 March 2020, 2 to 4pm

Learn art skills and have fun working with our artist from Collective Exchange in this mixed-media collage art workshop. Explore mindfulness and positive creativity through making art together in a group.

Activities suitable for young people (14 years+) and adults.

Space is limited; booking is essential. To book a place, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Family Activity Art Workshop: Empowering Women

Wonder Girl Badge-making Workshop

Sunday 8 March 2020, 2 -4pm

drop-in; last admission 3.30pm

Get creative and make your own Wonder Girl badge or a badge honouring an inspiring woman in your life. Join artists from Collective Exchange in this fun badge-making workshop. Bring along your positive images of women – either photos from someone in your life, or make a drawing or collage of images found on social media, magazines and newspapers (past and present). During the workshop you will create your own badge using collage techniques.

Suitable for ages 5 – 13 years

Under 10s must be accompanied by an adult.

Curator’s Pick: The Lady of the Desert

Wednesday 11 March 2020, 2.30 – 3pm

Come along to this bite-size gallery talk with Curator Deborah Hedgecock as she tells us more about a painting in the collection at Bruce Castle. Celebrating Women’s History Month, this ‘Curator’s Pick’ looks at a Victorian painting of Lady Caroline Gray-Hill of Tottenham by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Robert Hughes. Known as the ‘lady of the desert’, find out how Lady Caroline got her name, follow her travels around the world, explore the imagery in Hughes’ exquisite portrait and discover other stories about this Tottenham family.

No booking necessary – just turn up.



Women’s History Month Launch at the Castle

Sunday 1 March 2020, 1.30 – 4.30pm 

Join us at Bruce Castle for the launch of Women’s History Month in Haringey, with speeches and performances by local young women and a keynote speech by civil rights campaigner and community activist, Baroness Martha Osamor.


The Roots of the Now  

Special guest Stella Dadzie - writer, educationalist and historian – will chair a panel discussion The Roots of the Now, which looks back on the great work of the Collective who created the Haringey Women’s Employment Project in the 1980s.


Afternoon Programme

1.30pm                               Welcome and opening speeches

  • 2.00pm                                Performances by local women
  • 2.30pm                               Keynote speech by Baroness Martha Osamor
  • 2.45pm                               The Roots of the Now– panel discussion
  • 4pm                                    Tea and refreshments
  • 5pm                                    Close