2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Universal Suffrage Act, when (some) women finally gained the right to vote and the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act, when all women finally achieved the same voting rights as men. To celebrate this, the theme for the Heritage Open Day 2018 festival is ‘Extraordinary Women‘.
From Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th September 2018 we will be commemorating not just those who fought so hard to gain the vote, but the hundreds and thousands of other women who have changed our lives in both large and small ways over time.
We’ve already identified quite a few Extraordinary Women here in Winchester and the surrounding area;
- Licoricia of Winchester – 13th century businesswoman and Jew, noted for her business acumen and her murder
Josephine Butler– a 19th century campaigner against the slave trade and also did much work to support prostitutes. She lived here in Winchester when her husband was a Canon of Winchester, and it was here she did much of her work to support prostitutes.
- Lady Laura Ridding – suffragette and campaigner for female worker’s rights. She lived in Winchester when her husband was headmaster of Winchester College, but it appears most of her amazing work was carried out after he had died.
- Isabel Marion Seymour– a suffragette who helped organised bail for arrested WSPU members, lived in Canada for eight years and who later became a Hampshire County Councillor and lived in Winchester
Mary Sumner – Founder of the Mothers Union. She lived in Winchester and her husband was once an Archdeacon of Winchester.
- Charlotte Yonge -19th century English Novelist who lived in Otterbourne, on the outskirts of Winchester
- Jane Austen – one of England’s most famous authors. She died in Winchester.
- Florence Nightingale – founder of modern nursing who spent much of her childhood a few miles from Winchester
There are also others who lived further afield such as
- Emily Davies – suffragist and campaigner for women’s education who was born in Southampton
- Beatrice Shilling – British aeronautical engineer and motor racer
But we are sure there are many others.
And this is where YOU come in!
We want to hear from organisations and individuals who have a story to share about Winchester’s extraordinary women.
Do you know an inspiring woman? It could be a member of your family, a friend or a woman in history. Perhaps they undertook a role not usually associated with women, or perhaps what they did has had a significant impact on their local community. They could still be alive or it could be someone from our past. Whoever comes to mind when you say the words ‘extraordinary women of Winchester’ let us know their name.
We would also love to hear from you if you are able to provide or help us seek sponsorship; offer a venue free of charge; help with organising events or help us promote the festival to an even wider audience.
JOIN US and become part of something truly special.