That’s Women’s Work” – evening of music by the Celia Bryce Band

“That’s Women’s Work” – evening of music and poetry readings on 12 November at 7.30pm. This will include the Celia Bryce Band singing for the first time a song inspired by Sheila Hirsch, a retired North Shields trawler skipper. Friends of the Old Low Light will also read poems by local poet, Katrina Porteous.

Doors will open at 6.30pm to allow time to visit the exhibition in the heritage gallery before the performance starts and to buy refreshments in the cafe. The event will end before 9pm and will include an interval. Tickets costing £10pp can be booked online above.

The highlight of an evening of music and poetry readings at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, will be Celia Bryce singing a song for the first time in public about retired North Shields trawler skipper, Sheila Hirsch.

The song brings together the talents of Katrina Porteous, a poet, historian and broadcaster who lives in Northumberland, who wrote a ballad called ‘Low Light’ a few years ago after being inspired by a conversation with Sheila, and Celia Bryce, a local singer, song writer and author, who wrote the music to go with the lyrics.

Sheila, who lives in North Shields, is believed to have been the first female trawler skipper in the country. Her life at sea spanned more than 27 years and took her all over the UK and she also spent some time fishing in America. Her story was captured for the “That’s Women’s Work” exhibition, which also includes stories about the ‘Scotch herring girls’ who every year travelled from northern Scotland during the herring season to gut, cure and barrel the catch and about other women past and present who have worked in fishing and maritime industries.

Celia Bryce will be joined by Colin Bradshaw on guitar and Eddie Harris, on percussion. Together they will perform a range of original material, songs which tell stories about the lives of men, women and children, of love and loss and the memories left behind.

Some friends of the Old Low Light will read poems about the role of women in the fishing industry written by Katrina Porteous.

Old Low Light volunteer, Nina Brown, who has coordinated the exhibition and supporting programme of events, said: “We are honoured to have had the support of  such talented artists as Celia and Katrina. Between them they have created a beautiful song using Katrina’s lyrics and Celia’s music which will be a lasting memory of our exhibition long after it closes. It is also a tribute to Sheila who overcame many challenges to work successfully in what was a man’s world and who is now a respected member of the local fishing community.“

Celia Bryce has recorded a number of albums and is well known in North Tyneside, having performed previously in local venues including the Old Low Light. Her other writing includes everything from drama to restaurant reviews, literary fiction to commercial stories and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, published by Bloomsbury and has featured in magazines and anthologies. Earlier this year she took part in Historic England’s High Street Tales project, with other contemporary writers which resulted in seven new short stories about the magic of high streets. Celia’s story was called Time and the Shoeman and followed a mysterious character through the streets of the past to return a lost shoe to its home.

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