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26 Jul 2014
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Strong woman, Vulcana
Strong woman, Vulcana
Vulcana
Strong woman, Vulcana
Atlas
Atlas
Volcana and Atlas
Vulcana and Atlas
The Troupe
The Troupe
Vulcana performs with some of the troupe
Vulcana performs
sisters
sisters
sisters
sisters
vulcana stands in front of an advert
Vulcana stands in front of an advert
Vulcana on the front cover of Development for Health magazine
Vulcana on the front cover of Development for Health magazine
Vulcana's doomed friend, Bell Crippen
Vulcana's doomed friend, Bell Crippen

Vulcana and Atlas

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Jane grew up with stories about her great grandmother, Vulcana and great grand father, Atlas. 

Determined to find some hard evidence about her great grandparents, Jane tracked down some  cousins of her father who lived in London. They had rescued over 100 glass slides from a skip.

Vulcana was born in 1875 in Abergavenny. Unusually for those days she trained as an athlete and weightlifter and began her international career performing at local fetes in and around South Wales. Risqué for the time, men watched her perform in very little clothing. 

Her real name was Kate Williams and her trainer, Atlas was William Roberts. She had joined his 'Society of Athletes' and they soon fell in love.

She ran away from home when the troupe went to London and they were never parted again. 

Vulcana was a friend of Belle Crippen and was the first to report her suspicions of murder to the police...

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Useful Links
Jack and Beverly's Strong Woman Site
Home Gymnastics 1899
BBC History: Ideals of womanhood in Victorian Britain 


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