The Cafe Chantant at the Hop Loft in the Swan in the Rushes pub animated the singing culture of a hundred years ago. Singing was an important part of the Suffrage movement as it conveyed messages in a way that stayed with people. Songs of the era such as The Ragtime Suffragette and favourite, Pale Hands Across the Shalimar were research and received by local entertainer Mr Bill Brookman and volunteer singers, the Liberty Bodice Belles. Through a series of workshops and rehearsals,volunteers learned the meaning of popular songs and musical genres of the era. Wearing period attire, the volunteers were accompanied on an authentic 1880’s harmonium that was restored through a previous HLF project.
Songs at the event included the Suffragette anthem Shout, Shout, written by female composer Ethel Smyth. The show opened with a spirited rendition of the Ragtime Suffragette (from the Ziegfeld Follies 1913).