Women in History
Interest Group Contact
Please contact Jean Askew using our Women in History email contact.
If this Interest Group is full and you would like another created, please contact the Interest Groups Coordinator email contact.
We meet once a month on the 3rd Friday of the month at 2:00 pm.
21 September 2018 Visit to Westminster Hall - The Voice and Vote Exhibition
After going through 'airport' security we entered Westminster Hall where the Voice & Vote Exhibition was being held. This showed how the Suffragettes/Suffragists campaigned and protested to gain the women's right to vote.
The first photo shows The Ventilator, where 200 years ago the loft space above the House of Commons allowed those political women to be able to watch the discussions on issues they were campaigning for as they were banned from the public galleries.
Second photo shows The Cage which allowed the women view the discussions above The Speaker's Chair. The Ladies Gallery was included when the new House of Commons was built following a destructive fire in 1834. The gallery was closed off by brass grilles to stop the MPs seeing the women! At one stage the women used bolt cutters to remove it and obviously risked imprisonment.
We also saw The Tomb, where in 1918 when for the first time women could stand for parliament, they were allowed a tiny office with few chairs.
The Chamber explored the work of women MPs and members of House of Lords today.
We were able to walk through St. Stephen's Hall to peek through towards the House of Lords and also see the Parliamentary War Memorial, a giant stained glass window in St. Stephen's Porch.
After a leisurely lunch we walked along the South Embankment, spotting various
sights as always, including the street food market and temporary emergency shelters that take 3 days to erect! A lovely evening sky followed the rain we missed whilst in the exhibition so all in all, as I said, a really enjoyable day
Thanks to Jean Askew for the photos.
16 July 2018 Visit to Norwich re: Edith Cavell
The group took the opportunity of Maria's trip to Norwich to explore the city's history related to Edith Cavell, who was the British nurse executed by the enemy on 12 October 1915. She had treated casualties of all nationalities but was accused of treason for helping allied soldiers escape back to Britain.
The group explored her birth at Swardeston, a village on the outskirts of Norwich, and her burial in Norwich Cathedral.
Our thanks to Jean Askew for the photos.
22 June 2018 Visit to Westminster
As we have been discussing various women who belonged to the Suffragette Movement, we went along to see the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, recently erected in Parliament Square. She is the first female to have been honoured with a statue there, the rest of the 11 statues are men! She was the first Suffragist, whereas Emmeline Pankhurst, the next statue, in Victoria Tower Gardens was the leader of the Suffragettes.
The flowers we came across in a shady corner of the back streets of Westminster. Memorial Scroll to the Suffragette Movement was in Christchurch Gardens near Caxton House where the women held their meetings.
View towards Horseguards Parade from St.James Park and finally statue of Edith Cavell outside the National Portrait Museum, to which we also paid a visit. This lady will be the subject of our next meeting.