Monthly Archives: March 2014

Kate Frye’s Suffrage Diary: In Bed – Photographed With Radio Headphones At The Ready – 1920s

Whilst looking online for images of radio and women (partially because I was reminded of such images by a photo of a more recent Katharine), I came across this lovely one of suffragist Kate Frye on the blog of the women’s suffrage historian Elizabeth Crawford, who has also published Kate’s diary leading up to suffrage in 1918.   (The whole blog is well worth reading!) As Ms Crawford notes, Kate was an avid radio listener – as attested to by the photo here, where the radio headphones hang casually over the headboard. It is not only unusual to see a photo of a woman in her bedroom from this era, but I also have to say this is the first image I have seen of radio outside of a sitting room. Elizabeth Crawford is currently developing a documentary for ITV based on Kate Frye’s life (and diary) and it will be great to see what remnants of radio listening might appear.

Woman and her Sphere

Kate in bed

Working my way through Kate Frye’s extensive collection of photographs I have just come across this one. It is so unusual to see a photo of a woman lying in bed that I thought I must share it with you all. You’ll note the radio headphones hooked on the brass bedstead which probably dates the photo to the second half of the 1920s. The photo would have been taken by Kate’s husband, John Collins, who was a keen photographer. Kate, for her part, was a keen and early radio listener, delighting as she did in all forms of music and drama.

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International Women’s Day – Fem FM Revisited


In 1992, over 200 women madhistory in Bristol by setting up the UK’s first women’s radio station – Fem FM. Bristol Record Office has digitised the original broadcast tapes, now available for research as part of the Fem FM archive of recordings, photographs and other material.

On International Women’s Day, M Shed will mark the launch of the archive by hosting a panel discussion about women’s achievements in radio over the past two decades. Is the climate better for women broadcasters in 2014?

The event is open to anyone interested in the media and how to get more women’s voices on air. Guest panellists (all originally involved in Fem FM) will include:

  • Sue Clark, Sony award-winning radio producer
  • DJ Ritu, DJ and world music guru who has broadcast with BBC London and the World Service
  • Ali Grant, chair of Bristol community station BCFM
  • Jacqui Wilson, manager of the internet station Passion Radio Bristol
  • Erin Riley, Senior BBC Producer

Chair: Caroline Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in Radio at the University of Sunderland and one of the founders of Fem FM

Listen online:
Audio documentary about Fem FM

UPDATE: check out photos of the event here

Also see WREN’s resource page for this and other research resources.