The Closure of HMP Holloway 1852-2016

HMP Holloway was closed in 2016 following the Government's announcement that I wanted to close all the Victorian prisons in London and build big new mega prisons out of the city. However true to illogical political decisions HMP Holloway, rebuilt in the early 1980's, the only Women's Prison in London and the largest in Europe was announced as the first to close. This was due to it's location; prime real estate land in Islington bordering Camden, London's housing crisis could be addressed and the fact that moving 500 plus women would probably be less problematic than moving over 1000 men from one of the other London prisons.

HMP Holloway has seen an incredible history; housing women caught up in notorious criminal cases, the plight of the Suffragettes as they were imprisoned during their quest to get women the vote , and more recently the women of Greenham Common who were arrested campaigning for nuclear disarmament.

Holloway Women's Building Game

Why a Women's Building?

Was inspired by the Suffaragettes game produced in the 1900's 'Pank-a-Squith' named after Emily Pankhurst, the aim of which was to dodge the police and get to Parliament. In this era we have a new quest; to get an iconic legacy Women's Building built on the site that is not just a centre for women, but a building for the whole community. Many organisations and charities operated from HMP Holloway, helping the women with their housing, children, families, addiction problems, immigration, therapy and educational needs, these organisations are now dissapated all over London. Having a centre where all these organisations can come back together an provide services and referrals to women under one roof can help not only those women that have had experience of the Criminal Justice System, but those women in the community that need help to prevent them from becoming involved with the Criminal Justice System. This approach can not only help the community as a whole, but will save the government spending money on incarcerating women and mothers and all the associated costs such as childcare, but will result in less traumatized children whose families are broken apart by the incarceration of mother.

The Game

This game has been produced as a limited edition of 20 games which includes the original artwork one. Each A1 laminated canvas board game comes with a set of women icons - one officer and three handcuffed women prisoners - contained in a unique tin and live on their prison issue beds. The game is printed with all the squares facing the same way so that it can be viewed and read as a piece of artwork as well as played.

Limited edition of 20 sets

Holloway had 15 Landings; (A3, A4, A5, B3, B4, B5, C3, C4, C5, D0, H1, D2, D3, D4, D5) each represented by a set of ceramic icons in a Cell door tin. Additional 5 sets are; The Suffragettes, The Gym, The Governors, Kitchens and The Seg (Segregation unit).

Play the game by moving forward the number of squares indicated on a thrown dice and follow the instructions to have an extra throw or miss a throw as you progress around the board. When you get to the tree you must stop and remember all the women that have died there over time for whatever reason and roll a '6' to continue into the 'dream' of an iconic legacy Women's Building on the site.

Buy a Holloway Women's Building Game

This game is available to buy in the Blue Sunflower store. The hope is that this game will help raise the profile and the understanding for the need for a Women's Building on the site of the prison that will not only benefit the Criminal Justice System, but all women, the community, the borough and London. Holloway Women's Building should be a model that future generations look back upon as being the master plan for Women's buildings of the future.