Gertrude Bell was born in 1868 in County Durham, but spent her childhood at Red Barns, near the Old Stead Hospital in Redcar. Her father, Sir Hugh Bell, was responsible for building the Transporter Bridge that still dominates the Middlesbrough skyline.Gertrude was the first woman to graduate from Oxford University with First Class Honours in Modern History.
This remarkable woman was an archaeologist, a linguist and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age. She played a major role in establishing the modern state of Iraq and was buried in Baghdad when she died in 1926.
Gertrude was also a prolific letter – writer, diary – keeper and photographer.
Y9 Gifted & Talented students from Redcar Academy travelled to Newcastle University library to visit the archive that houses Gertrude’s personal papers and photographs. Students were able to see at first hand her photographs and read her letters and diaries.
This visit was followed by a weekend workshop led by professional writer, Martin Riley.
Students used drama techniques to explore aspects of Gertrude Bell’s life and were inspired to write scripts, letters and poems.
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Principal: Mrs Angela Sweeten
Redcar Academy, Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, TS10 4AB
Tel: 01642 289211 •
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