Votes for Women Exhibition at Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry

Votes for Women: Protest banner

Friday 12 January - December 2018

One hundred years ago women in Britain were granted the right to vote by the Representation of the People Act 1918.

This gave 8.4 million women the chance to choose the people who would represent them in Parliament.

To celebrate this anniversary, the Museum is exploring women’s lives in Cumbria and the history behind their right to vote.

The display tells the history of the suffragists and suffragettes and how women fought for their rights.

Throughout the museum you can follow a trail of fascinating objects from the collections that highlight the variety and depth of women’s lives throughout Cumbrian history.

In June a-century-old suffragist banner went on show. The banner was carried on rallies and marches more than 100-years-ago as women campaigned for the right to vote.

The flag is on loan from Cumbria Archives and is emblazoned with the words “Keswick Urban District Council Prays for Womens Suffrage”. It belonged to Catherine Marshall (1880-1961) who was a key figure in the fight for equality locally and nationally.

Discover Sal Madge who wore men’s clothes and challenged them to wrestling matches, and the orphaned girls channeled into domestic service at the Howard Orphan Home, as well as other intriguing stories.

These objects come together to demonstrate that a history of women is a history of complex human beings. A larger story made up of a million smaller ones.

You are invited to conclude your experience by casting your vote on poignant topics in the exhibition voting booth, and become part of the evolving story.

The Museum is aware that thousands of men and women were involved in the campaign across Cumbria, and would love to hear from anyone who thinks they might have an original suffragist or suffragette object at home.

If you think you have anything of interest contact

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