Friday 25th May
Second Hay day
The rain came down relentlessly from about 9 o’clock last night and didn’t stop all day. Thankfully the Hay hordes, including thousands of school children, remained dry and buoyant under the great tarpaulin roof.
I made several interesting purchases from the Oxfam Bookshop before heading into the Festival Food Hall for sustenance. There was ample time to spare before the start of our first event, so my partner and I then pootled about investigating various shops and exhibitions while sampling local produce.
So popular was Helen Pankhurst’s talk, Deeds Not Words (which is also the title of her new book charting the way women’s lives have changed over the last century), that it was switched from the Starlight Stage to the far bigger Tata Tent – and it was heartening to be part of such a cheerful and animated crowd, all eager to ask questions and involve themselves in lively discussion. Helen, the granddaughter of the indomitable activist, Sylvia Pankhurst, was a superb speaker with plenty of anecdotes to share. She unhesitatingly took questions on topics ranging from her famous family and the long fight for female emancipation to the rate of progress in the women’s movement and intersectional feminism. Everyone seemed to be of the opinion it had been well worth the £7.00 ticket price.
It was then time to visit a couple of book shops in the town before taking cover in The Blue Boar on Castle Street. A satisfying day despite the damp weather.