Dorothy Levitt Project
Who was the fastest girl on earth? Well this is what students from Helenswood Academy have been discovering. A year 8 class have been researching the life of Dorothy Levitt (1882-1921). A trailblazing example of female independence Dorothy Levitt was breaking records and social barriers whilst suffragettes struggled to establish women as first class citizens. Born in 1882, she established the record for the longest drive achieved by a lady driver and held both the Water Speed and Ladies World Land Speed Records; all the while showing women to be as dexterous with a spanner as with a lipstick. The girls have already had a talk from Levitt’s biographer Ann Kramer and local historian Nicky Stewart. Who, much to the excitement of the girls brought in the Edwardian dress that Levitt would have worn whilst driving. As can be seen in the photographs.
This project is being run in conjunction with Sound Architect, a Sussex based creative media charity, and will lead to the pupils producing a film about Levitt and a permanent display for Bexhill museum. The girls will be trained in interviewing and document research techniques and will work with both Bexhill Museum and Bexhill 100. They will be visiting Bentley Car Museum, interviewing a current female racing driver and conducting guided research. The project will culminate in a short film written by the students, featuring dramatisations of their research, which will be screened alongside an exhibition of the material and evidence collected.
The girls are all incredibly excited about the project and are looking forward to researching and documenting the life of this amazing woman who truly was ‘the fastest girl on earth’.