Last week we welcomed Dr Ali Ronan from MMU, a favourite of the group who has spoken to us in the past about Burnage Garden Village. This time Ali was talking about her most recent research, a fascinating presentation about the first 17 women to stand for Parliament in December 1918. Coming from very different backgrounds, and representing different political ideas, they were certainaly brave pioneers, trying to break into the exclusively male House of Commons. Interestingly the only one who succeeded was Countess Markievicz, but as she was a Sinn Fein representative (and in prison!) she didn’t take her seat. There were also many local connections – in particular Emmeline Pethick Lawrence (the former treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union) who stood for Labour in Rusholme, and the militant suffragette, Christabel Pankhurst from Chorlton on Medlock, stood for the Women’s Party.
We had a full house and there was a lively discussion at the end of the session about the issues raised. We are looking forward to seeing Ali again at some point during the year, hopefully in the autumn.
In the meantime Ali has lent us the exhibition “The Women who said Yes!”. This is now on display at Burnage Library until the beginning of June, so feel free to come down and take a look.