In discovering the story of the 18th century smuggleress Lovey Warne, Louise stumbled on the inspiration for No Petticoats Here at Ringwood Brewery. A Hampshire hero with a beer named in her honour, Louise set about telling Lovey’s story through song and was overwhelmed with the response the song received in the UK, Holland and Germany. In search of local female heroes, Louise was introduced by theatre maker Lizzie Crarer to Dorothy Lawrence and became intent on researching and sharing the extraordinary stories of women who lived during the First World War.
At a performance of No Petticoats Here you can expect to hear songs that span the full range of human emotion from the triumphant waltz Pride of the Army about matron Ada Yorke, to the call to arms of Toil, Women, Toil – a marching song inspired by the army of women workers at Priddy’s Hard in Hampshire; from the urgency of Queen of Spies about British agent and French national Louise de Bettignies, to the haunting Endless Days about Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who set up a first aid post on the Front Line in the bombed out village of Pervijse.
Louise’s research has taken her to Flanders, to the battlefields of the Somme, through the doors of many museums and research centres and brought her into contact with some incredible historians and authors as well as the relatives of some of these incredible women. During live performances of No Petticoats Here Louise draws on this research to share anecdotes and photographs which bring these stories to life.
Priddy’s Hard Munitions Workers