West Midlands Struggle for the Vote.

The centenary of women’s suffrage was marked earlier this year. Perhaps you have a photograph of someone in your family bearing a distinctive purple, green and white banner. Wearing these colours, our speaker Gay Hill spoke at our April meeting of the leading role played by both men and women . The dignified images of these campaigners belied the enormity of their task and their determination to achieve change. Fragmented organisations merged as the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897 lead by Millicent Garnett Fawcett. They continued to lobby for change. A desire for a more radical approach led Emmeline Pankhurst to found the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. Reform eventually led to more balanced constituency sizes and more equal voting eligibility for men and women. It was not until 1918 however that campaigners could claim some success. In 1928 the vote was extended to all women over 21 on an equal basis with men.

Our next meeting is at 7.30pm on Friday 18 May at the Crawford Hall, Salford Road, Bidford, B50 4EZ with Spencer Jones speaking on Victory & Defeat in 1918.