Plans to highlight Whitehead's links to suffrage movement

Steve Diamond, Jane Crawford-Baker, Polly Wilson, Josephine Flynn and Sharon Stewart at the meeting.
Steve Diamond, Jane Crawford-Baker, Polly Wilson, Josephine Flynn and Sharon Stewart at the meeting.

Whitehead’s links to the suffrage movement could be brought to life during this year’s Victorian Street Fair in the town.

Plans are in motion to stage a living history re-enactment of a local suffragette society meeting during the annual event in November.

The project aims to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave some women the vote for the first time and paved the way for the introduction of equal voting rights 10 years later.

A meeting was held on Monday evening in order to gauge interest in the project.

Organiser Josephine Flynn explained: “For the street fair we are looking at recreating a public meeting that originally took place in Whitehead in November 1913, and adding in some elements of the suffragette activity that was taking place in [the town] at the time.

“We are currently in the process of researching records to try and find out as much information as possible so we can give a real local flavour to the re-enactment. The information we have so far is really interesting - it appears that the Whitehead community were very involved with the suffrage movement and in some cases into quite militant actions! I’m hopeful that this will make for an interesting and engaging re-enactment.”

This year’s Victorian Street Fair is due to take place on Saturday, November 24, and the group is hoping for volunteers to fill a variety of roles.

“Anyone wanting to get involved with the dressing up and acting will need to be able to be there on the day; however we would also be glad of help behind the scenes - this could involve helping with costumes, decorations, making posters and banners, researching local history or anything else that people feel may be useful,” Josephine added.

“Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday July 16, 7pm - 8.30pm at the Whitecliff Inn. Meetings are open so anybody that wants to attend is welcome.”

For more information, see the Facebook group ‘Whitehead Suffragette Society 2018’.

Meanwhile, Whitehead was the final home of noted suffragist and activist, Charlotte Despard, who lived at Donegal Avenue in the town.