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Suffragette display at The Word

Demonstrating in demand for women's votes.
Demonstrating in demand for women's votes.

As you will know, it is 100 years ago since women (though not all of them) won the right to vote.

In 1918, after years of campaigning by members of the Suffragette movement, Parliament passed an act granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, and graduates of British universities.

As a result, about 8.4 million women gained the vote.

Now, an exhibition charting the Suffragette movement and the role played by North East women in their struggle, is being staged at The Word, in South Shields.

There, visitors will be able to get “an insight into women’s suffrage and the Suffragettes’ struggle to ensure women had the same rights as men”.

The exhibition, entitled How Women Won the Vote, was officially opened on Friday by Dame Vera Bird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, and runs until May 3.

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture at The Word, said: “Very often the role of ordinary working women is forgotten in the story of women’s suffrage.

“Yet here in the North East they really did play a key role in the movement.

“To achieve their aim, the suffragettes very often felt compelled to break the law and that our police commissioner is a woman shows how far we have come in the past century.”

The free exhibition, which is supported by Port of Tyne features some of the women who drove the movement for suffrage and explains how they were imprisoned, force fed and beaten.

It also examines the North East’s history of women’s suffrage and women in politics, while visitors will be able to cast their vote – for the most influential woman from the exhibition – in a specially created ballot box.

The exhibition will include clips and songs from both Mary Poppins (1964) and Suffragette (2015).

For more information: www.theworduk.org, www.facebook.com/worduk, www.twitter.com/theword_uk

The Suffragettes and their aims mark an important chapter in the history of our land, so pop along to The Word, which is situated at 45 Market Place, South Shields,NE33 1JF. The opening hours are (Monday-Thursday, 9am-7pm; Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm) and you can get in touch on 0191 427 1818.

Meanwhile, here’s a call out from the oldest maritime welfare charity, the Sailors’ Society, to all the area’s churches and chapels, urging them to remember the world’s seafarers in a special service.

Congregations from around the world will take part in Sea Sunday services on July 8 in aid of the Sailors’ Society, and local congregations are being asked to take part.

Stuart Rivers, the society’s CEO said each year the Christian charity, which celebrated its 200th birthday just over a week ago, asks churchgoers to pray and give thanks for the world’s 1.6m seafarers.

“Whether they know it or not, the people of Tyne and Wear rely upon seafarers,” said Mr Rivers.

“More than 90% of everything we own comes by sea – our clothes, phones, cars – even the bricks that make up our homes.

“All of these goods are brought into the country by seafarers who risk extreme loneliness, dangerous storms and even piracy.

“Holding a Sea Sunday service for Sailors’ Society is a fantastic way of recognising the amazing work seafarers do.”

The charity has created a variety of resources for churches, which it has made available free to download at www.seasundayhero.org.

The resource pack includes a sermon outline, PowerPoint, videos, posters and Sunday School lesson plan and activities.