A new exhibition now showing at Tolson Museum in Huddersfield celebrates local women who fought for and won the right to vote a hundred years ago.

Why now?

This year is the centenary of the 1918 Act which gave women over 30 the right to vote. To mark that momentous anniversary, Kirklees Museums and Galleries launches ‘Our Fight for the Voting Right!’ an exhibition exploring the outstanding stories of the suffragettes and suffragists of Kirklees.

Local heroes

Pride of place goes to the iconic ‘Votes for Women’ banner, designed and created by Florence Lockwood of Linthwaite, Huddersfield. The stunning banner, recently conserved, will be displayed alongside Florence’s artwork, local photographs, political badges, papers and original Edwardian costume.

Our Fight for a Voting Right 2

Also featured is Dora Thewlis who, as a local 16 year old mill girl, was arrested and imprisoned for marching on Westminster with the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). She was dubbed the ‘Baby Suffragette’ by the press.

Discover fascinating stories of local campaigners from both groups and earlier suffrage organisations from the area.  Find out the difficulties Victorian and Edwardian women faced as they dared to challenge their traditional roles in society.

The exhibition explains the difference between ‘suffragists’ who were part of Millicent Fawcett’s National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) founded in 1897 and ‘suffragettes’ who joined the WSPU, a breakaway militant organisation founded by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903.

Cllr Musarrat Khan commented:

“Kirklees Museums and Galleries is delighted to tell important stories of the irrepressible women of Kirklees and their role in the incredible and historic Votes for Women movement.  Their stories still resonate today even after 100 years.  It highlights how much has taken place over a century and links with our work with the Kirklees Democracy Commission as we aim for a stronger local democracy for the future.”

Our Fight for the Voting Right!’ is supported by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience funded Sustainable Collections project.

Access to the exhibition is by stairs only. There is free admission to Tolson Museum in Ravensknowle Park on Wakefield Road, Huddersfield HD5 8DJ. For further information contact the museum: Tel: 01484 223240.





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