Inspiring women from the saddle - Glasgow Women's Library
Last week marked the 4th anniversary of the death of Anne Mustoe, ex-headmistress and intrepid cycle traveller. Her travels by bike started in 1987, when she embarked on a round-the-world trip. She wasn't slim or sporty, and couldn't fix a puncture. She was 54 and used to some of the finer things in life as the former headmistress of an independent girls' school.
‘Two Wheels in the Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy’ helped me find my own route round southern India." Suzanne Forup
What she saw in cycling inspired me and many others: to see the world from two wheels, moving slowly and seeing the details, free from train schedules and the tourist trail. Her book ‘Two Wheels in the Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy’ helped me find my own route round southern India and her late start as a cycle traveller gives me hope that I might still be in a fit state for touring once on the other side of these toddler-tantrum dominated years.
Next week is Book Week and I'll be celebrating Anne's memory and her place in my life by donating ‘Two Wheels in the Dust’ to the Glasgow Women's Library to add to their collection of titles by women cyclists. Along with Dervla Murphy, Anne helped me find my touring wheels after years of sensible commuting, so I'm hoping that her book inspires more women to pack their panniers and head off into the dust too.
Glasgow Women's Library is a unique resource, bringing together a wide range of cultural resources about women, for women. They hold a wonderful treasure trove of historical and contemporary artefacts and archive materials that celebrate the lives, histories and achievements of women - from Suffragette memorabilia and 1930s dressmaking patterns to rare 1970s Scottish Women’s Liberation newsletters. They also provide a range of support and activities that tackle a wide range of issues from poverty and women’s health, sexuality and surviving violence.
GWL have recently moved into new premises in Bridgeton, in the East End of Glasgow, giving them the opportunity to encourage more visitors by bicycle.
Do you have a book by a female cycle writer that you would like others to read? If so, GWL will gratefully accept your donation and make sure it is accessible to their thousands of borrowers. You can also contribute to a shelf dedicated to women cycle writers, which will take pride of place in GWL’s new home.
CTC in Scotland is looking forward to working on a programme of activities next year with GWL, and our colleagues at Free Wheel North and the Glasgow Bike Station. We'll be offering: women's heritage cycle rides; cycle travel talks; writing workshops; disability bike rides; cycle bag stitching sessions; and films to engage people who aren't regular cyclists. I'm hoping we'll be able to show off our Women Cycle Writers' shelf too.
If you would like to help further and donate please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Library-O-Women3