Kingston

KINGSTON WI: Meeting April 5. Our meeting began in the usual way with refreshments for members and a social time before our speaker Frances Stenlake began her talk on Kate Fowler Tutt. Jan Sumner, standing in for Carol Taplin the treasurer, told us our finances were in a good state. Penny Crawley told us of outings in April and that there are still places for the Town Hall visit on April 23. Tap Dancing is on the second and fourth Thursday each month at the Parish Hall, 7.30pm. Pilates every Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm at the Parish Hall. Craft Club at the Pavilion every Friday from 2pm to 4pm. A walk is taken in the middle of each month; contact the president for details.

Frances Stenlake speaking about Kate Fowler Tutt. Kate Fowler Tutt was born in 1868 and grew up in Marshall’s Row, Brighton; a poor area of the town. After teacher training she joined South Malling School in 1892, and by 1900 the numbers of pupils had doubled She became the head of the Central School for Girls turning the school around to become very successful. She is often referred to as the lady, in a large, black, feather adorned hat, who disapproved of the exhibiting of The Kiss a statue by Rodin which was brought to Lewes and displayed in the Town Hall in 1914. The statue was again exhibited in the same place 100 years later. At the outbreak of World War 1 she encouraged her pupils to knit socks, hats and gloves for soldiers. Selling handicrafts enabled more wool to be bought for more knitting. When women over 30 could vote in 1918 she urged them to vote for equal rights for women. After she retired in 1924 she used her energy for the community and was only the second woman councillor elected, with an interest in housing and education and fought for children’s play areas. In WW2 she was involved again in Home Front activities in Lewes. Kate Fowler Tutt was, it seems, better known for The Kiss episode than all the good works she did in Lewes as a Headmistress and later a Councillor. Frances Stenlake told in great detail, the story of the real Kate Fowler Tutt.