100 years of suffrage: Timeline of Weston’s trailblazing women
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 06 February 2018
A hundred years ago today (Tuesday), women in Britain were finally given the right to vote – and the Mercury is marking the centenary with a pull-out supplement this week.
The suffrage campaign is synonymous with the Pankhursts and Millicent Fawcett, but thousands of women marched, petitioned and protested to win the vote – among them, some prominent and important Weston-super-Mare figures.
We will be celebrating those trailblazing women from the town who endured force-feeding, went on hunger strikes and ignored all the abuse thrown their way because they believed women should have a say in who the country’s political leaders were.
Women from Weston were among the very first to campaign for the vote, adding their names to the 1,499-strong petition to Parliament in 1866 – the very first mass petition calling for votes for women.
Some of the most prominent suffragettes from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), including Annie Kenney, descended on Weston during the campaign. Though their voices were sometimes drowned out by jeers, though they were met with threats of violence, they did not give up.
The Mercury will cover some of the key events in Weston during those turbulent years in the paper on Thursday.
But it will also look at how far we have come. The supplement will show how many of our political leaders are women, and what are the barriers men and women, and boys and girls, still face on account of their gender.
For your pull-out suffrage centenary supplement, pick up a copy of the Weston Mercury on Thursday.