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Information on all LSE’s programmes for the suffrage centenary can be found from now and throughout next year by clicking on this link suffrage18  

Information on all LSE’s programmes for the suffrage centenary can be found from now and throughout next year by clicking on this link suffrage18

WH-Web-1920x1080-v02-1The Women’s Hall exhibition

The Women’s Hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives is the first major exhibition about the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS). It explores the work of the ELFS during the period 1913-1918 and the involvement of their leader, Sylvia Pankhurst. To complement the exhibition there is a jam-packed programme of free events, talks, creative workshops, guided walks and film screenings taking place throughout the run, from the main public launch event on Saturday 2 June to the last day on 20 October. Alongside their campaign for the vote, the ELFS carried out relief work in the local community, such as distributing free milk for babies and serving free or cheap food to the deprived residents of the East End who faced stark increases in poverty following the outbreak of the First World War. Exhibition visitors will learn about little-known working class suffragettes like Melvina Walker and Elsie Lagsding, and the venues in Bow and Poplar which were taken over by the ELFS for use in their outreach work – such as the pub which they turned into a crèche and called The Mother’s Arms. The exhibition hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives has been transformed into an immersive space evoking the headquarters of the ELFS, a former Baptist mission hall on Old Ford Road in Bow which they took over and renamed The Women’s Hall. As part of the exhibition, the suffragettes’ Cost Price Restaurant will be recreated, serving refreshments on a ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis using redistributed supermarket food, and will also house a donation point for the local food bank. The Cost Price Restaurant will be in operation every Wednesday-Friday, Thursday evenings and the Saturdays we are open to the public (1st and 3rd of every month). Contact us for more details.Historic items on display include a rare ‘Ealontoys’ teddy bear made in the toy factory started by the ELFS just off the Roman Road; and the handwritten diary of suffragette Gertrude Setchfield which describes her trips from north London to Bow to witness the ELFS in action in 1914, on loan from the LSE Women’s Library. Local Somali cultural organisation Numbi Arts will stage a takeover of the Women’s Hall in August, presenting Repair and Rebellion - a strand of free events linked to Numbi’s new mobile museum exploring histories of women of the East African diaspora, their links with London’s East End, and anti-imperialism – a cause to which Sylvia Pankhurst was dedicated. The exhibition and events are free. For online listings and visitor information, visit Women’s Hall project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and also includes an exhibition of photographs by ELFS member Norah Smyth taking place at Four Corners later this year.

‘Commemorating SuffraGISTS’

Jill Liddington writes:

I saw the ‘Walking Watling Street’ dance performance in Kendal last year and it really is excellent. It tells the story of the NUWSS 1913 Suffrage Pilgrimage down the Watling Street route, from Carlisle, the Lakes & Manchester down to London.  Having been turned down for funding, Jenny Reeves has creatively started a kickstarter page to fund it for another Lakes performance this September.I wonder if other TWL Friends would like to contribute? In the wake of Jane Robinson’s book on the Pilgrimage, plus the Fawcett statue in Parliament Square, it seems a good moment to celebrate the suffragist pilgrims in dance.
Here is the link to the website:



A stone’s throw from Westminster; Suffragettes & other feminists in Camden
For information contact Irene Cockroft or Susan Croft at SuffrageArts
c/- Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre
2nd floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road,

London WC1X 8PA,   T: 020 7974 6342,

Call for Volunteers

Women’s Pioneer Housing are excited to announce that we have received funding from the Heritage Lottery fund to research our history. We would really like your help, so this is a call for volunteers.

Our project is called Pioneering Courage: housing and the new working woman 1919 – 1939 It aims to explore the link between the campaign for women’s suffrage, housing and women’s emerging role in the workplace between the wars.

We are studying an era of great drama – 8 million women two years earlier had finally been given the right to vote. But still millions of women, including many who had nursed wounded dying soldiers or served in the new women’s military units, had not and so the fight for full women’s suffrage continued. Suffrage groups were setting new goals. There was a dire housing shortage, with couples and men snapping up any half decent empty flats. Many more women wanted to work and to live independently than ever before and many more women had no choice as so many men had died in the Great War. This meant that women’s work and housing were on their agenda. And our founders were at the heart of this.
Our founding mothers were a diverse group of women, including both suffragists (non-confrontational) and suffragettes (with a “deeds not words” approach). It was previously thought that these two groups seldom worked together, but our founding history dismantles that myth.
Lots of our history is documented in old archive material found in our safe so part of what we’ll be doing will be studying that, concentrating on the years up to World War Two. We would like your help to carry out this research and to find out more generally about the lives of women before World War Two. We often read about the rich and famous – but what about women who were neither, and whose lives were probably not quite as glamorous? What do you remember about the lives of your older women friends, relatives and neighbours?
We will also be researching the women who lived in our homes at the time. Who were they?  How was each house divided and what services did the early tenants have? And perhaps most importantly, what difference did having affordable housing make to their lives?
We’re bursting with ideas for ways volunteers could be involved in our project and suspect you might have some even better ones.

If you’d like to know more, call 020 8749 7112 or email


First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire


“The Road to 1919”

Deadline for papers: 23 April 2018

Conference date: 29 June 2018

Venue: Jubilee Room, Palace of Westminster


The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 heralded women’s long-awaited entry to the legal profession.  What do we actually know about that journey?  How much of that struggle has been recorded?  Where is it recorded?  The ‘First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire’ Symposia seek to unite academics and researchers in this area and explore the journey of those first women lawyers.

The 2018 meeting will celebrate the centenary of the vote and examine its effect on the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. It will explore the extent to which it gave impetus to women such as Helena Normanton to make renewed attempts to join the legal profession in 1918.

This is the fourth symposium in the ‘First Women Lawyers Symposia’, which has drawn papers from England, Scotland, Estonia, Canada, America and Australia.  The 2018 symposium will be held on Friday 29 June 2018, at the Palace of Westminster.

Submissions are welcomed from those researching in this area, including anyone with knowledge that will place the struggle for entry to the legal profession in England and Wales in an international context.  Closing date for submission of abstracts: 23 April 2018.

The timetable for the following symposia are as follows:

November 2018: Exhibition Temple Church

2019 Celebrations:
Symposium: Thursday 7 February 2019 to be held at Middle Temple (continuing the theme of the road to 1919 and a celebration of the Act which received Royal Assent on 23 December 1919),

Celebration Dinner at Middle Temple Hall: Saturday 11 January 2020 (centenary of the first women Bar students’ first dinner)

June 2020 Symposium: ‘Legacy’

June 2021 Symposium: ‘The other women Lawyers that history has, at best forgotten, at worst ignored’

17 November 2022 Celebration of the 1922 Call night at Middle Temple

See also twitter: @1919lawpioneers

Contact Dr. Judith Bourne:

Exploring suffrage and the women in our history Click here to see events at the National Trust


Local : National : Transnational

An international, multi-disciplinary public conference
University of Surrey, UK, 29-30 June 2018

Keynote Speakers:
Irene Cockroft, author of Women in the Arts & Crafts and Suffrage Movements at the Dawn of the 20th Century 
Elizabeth Crawford, author of The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland

Conference website:

The 2018 centenary of the Representation of the People Act (6 February 1918), which granted the vote to many women in the UK, yields an ideal opportunity for sustained critical reflection on women’s suffrage. This conference seeks to explore the artistic activities nurtured within the movement, their range and legacy, as well as the relationships between politics and art. In striving for an inclusive, transnational reach, it will at the same time seek to move beyond traditional emphases on white middle-class feminism and explore the intersections between the regional, national, and global contexts for women’s suffrage with specific respect to the arts.

While proposals addressing any aspects of women’s suffrage will be welcomed, this conference will focus upon three strands:

1. Women’s suffrage in/and the arts
2. Women’s suffrage in Surrey and the surrounds
3. Transnational networks and flows of texts in relation to women’s suffrage

20-minute papers are invited on any aspect of these strands, including but not limited to:
* Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century women’s writing on suffrage;
* Political reflections on the arts and the cultural sphere, e.g. in music;
* Transnational networks and mobilities of political texts and ideas, incorporating suffrage movements in other countries;
* Politically active individuals with strong links to Surrey (particularly in relation to the arts)      e.g. Mary Watts, Dame Ethel Smyth, Gertrude Jekyll, Marion Wallace Dunlop;
* Networks such as Ferguson’s Gang, Surrey Hills Group, Surrey Pilgrimage Group, and women who organised suffrage marches;
* Sociological theories of women’s suffrage;
* Contributions of women of colour to suffrage movements in Britain and globally;
* Art (both historical and contemporary) inspired by women’s suffrage.

Proposals for panels of 3-4 papers (1.5-2 hours) are also warmly welcomed, as are proposals for one-hour roundtables of 3-5 participants. We encourage proposals from postgraduate students and independent scholars in addition to institutionally-affiliated established academics.

Planned activities include a panel discussion featuring artists who have been active in performing and creating works based on women’s suffrage and some of its key figures; a recital of the music of Dame Ethel Smyth; and a visit to the nearby Watts Gallery. We envisage that an edited publication will be developed from papers presented at the conference.

Abstracts of not more than 300 words should be e-mailed by 26 January 2018 to Decisions will be communicated to speakers by 23 February 2018. A limited number of student bursaries may be offered to offset costs of attendance.

Conference Committee: Christopher Wiley, Charlotte Mathieson, Lucy Ella Rose (co-chairs)


Poster Girls  a century of Art and Design 

Now showing at the London Transport Museum

for more information click here  London  Transport Museum

     Millicent Fawcett’s statue

The Fawcett Society has announced the following

We’re proud to reveal Millicent’s statue design for Parliament Square.

Gillian Wearing’s inspirational design will see her in her prime, aged 50 in 1897, the year the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies was formed. The statue also commemorates 52 other suffragist campaigners whose images will be engraved on the plinth.

Now we need your help to make it a reality.

The planning application has been submitted, but there is still a risk that this won’t happen if planning permission is not granted. Please write in support, by clicking ‘Support’ and submitting a comment online via the link below. You can write you own comment, or copy and paste the following:

I’m proud to support planning permission for Millicent Fawcett’s statue in Parliament Square. I believe it will be a fitting monument commemorating Millicent and the many other women who fought for the right to vote.


Millicent Fawcett Statue


 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

The EGA Gallery is open to the public and is free. The permanent exhibition focuses on the story of EGA and the entry of women into the medical profession in Britain, in its historical context, and contains other material relating to pioneering women social campaigners and medics. For further information about the EGA Gallery, you can go to the website of EGA for Women, the group which initiated the project. The website includes images of the exhibition space, opening hours and full address:


A stone’s throw from Westminster; Suffragettes & other feminists in Camden
For information contact Irene Cockroft or Susan Croft at SuffrageArts
c/- Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre
2nd floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road,

London WC1X 8PA,   T: 020 7974 6342,