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Rebel Girls

Votes for Women: remembering Hebden Bridge suffragettes

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

February 6th 2018 marks 100 years since women won the right to vote

We know the names of just four Suffragettes from Hebden Bridge:

  • Lizzie Berkley – clothing machinist
  • Lillian and Louisa  Cobbe,  clothing workers
  • Lavina Salterstall, tailoress

In February 1907 Lizzie Berkley and Louisa Cobbe are recorded as joint secretaries of the newly formed Hebden Bridge Branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).

On 20th March 1907, Suffragettes from Hebden Bridge and Halifax took part in a rush on on the House s of Parliament following a protest meeting at Caxton Hall. Lizzie Berkley, Lillian Cobbe and Lavena Saltenstall were among the 75 women arrested. All three were sentenced to 14 days imprisonment

For further details about these and other Suffragettes see local author Jill Liddington’s Rebel Girls: their fight for the vote published by Virago.

In researching this book Jill tried to find where these local women went to school, but the admissions registers of local schools seemed to have all been destroyed. However, subsequently the register for Hebden Royd C of E school was found in the school loft. This records that Lavina Salterstall aged 9 was admitted to the school on 6th July 1891. There was no information as to which school she attended previously.

So at least one local school knows they had a pupil who became a suffragette

Jill herself is one of the 700 people attending the special commemorative reception on Tuesday in Westminster Hall.

March 8th (International women's day) the Picture House will be screening the 2015 film: Suffragette.

See also:

Jill Liddington's website featuring extensive material on why is 2018 such a significant year

Celebrating the centenary of votes for women

Manchester City Art Gallery - Sylvia Pankhurst: Working Women

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