Benfleet

201809 - Westminster Hall Voice and Vote

21 September 2018 Visit to Westminster Hall - The Voice and Vote Exhibition

After going through 'airport' security we entered Westminster Hall where the Voice and Vote Exhibition was being held. This showed how the Suffragettes/Suffragists campaigned and protested to gain the women's right to vote.

Photos show 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.

And, 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.
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