Mayor organises special event to celebrate Suffragette movement a century on

Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw has organised an event celebrating 100 years since women won

Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw has organised an event celebrating 100 years since women won the right to vote. Photo: Ben Taylor. - Credit: Archant

For many, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago women were forced to fight for the right to vote.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 – which reformed the electoral system and enabled some women and all men over 21 to vote.

And the hard work and tenacity of women from across the region who battled for their rights is set to be celebrated during a special event in Beccles.

Town mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw has organised 100 years of Votes for Women, which will be staged at Blyburgate Hall on Saturday, October 13, to honour these women and remember their important contributions.

She said: “I was so excited when I realised I was mayor during the 100 year anniversary of Representation of the People Act.

“I was determined to organise an event that is fun and enjoyable for everyone.”

“It is very strange to think that once women were not equal in law, many women and men from all kinds of backgrounds and classes campaigned so that women would have the rights they have today.”

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She added: “Political equality has been slow, but I believe Beccles was the first town council to have an equal gender balance and we should all be proud of that.”

The event, which takes place between 11am and 4pm, will feature suffragette music and performances, an exhibition about the local movement and refreshments in a Suffragette-themed café.

Norwich theatre group All Mouth, No Trousers will be among the performers, singing a song from their current production, while a short play based on an original newspaper article from Beccles in 1918 will also be performed and a pop-up cinema will show original footage.

Along with the history of Beccles the day will also serve as an opportunity to raise money for organisations around the town.

Beccles Guides will be providing the refreshments and those Brownies and Guides taking part in the day will have the opportunity of gaining a badge in celebration of women gaining the vote.

Beccles Camera Club will be exhibiting recent and related works as visitors photograph themselves in a themed photo booth, complete with period style furniture, props and costumes.