Friday, 1 August 2014

Crochet triumph as Manchester councillors vote for a public statue commemorating an inspiring local woman

Women’s accomplishments can be ignored, devalued, and written out of history leaving a lack of diverse female role models. Sculpture statistics bear this out: of 640 listed statues in the UK, only 15% are of women and most of those are of monarchs or topless mythological characters.

Earlier this year, in a bid to highlight this monumental gender imbalance, Warp & Weft (needlework artist Helen Davies and historian Jenny White) transformed 8 man busts in Manchester Town Hall into craftivist celebrations of local women

Their crochet crusade struck a chord with Councillor Andrew Simcock who proposed that Manchester City Council should support a new city centre statue honouring a local woman.  Yesterday, to inspire local Councillors on their way to the vote, Warp & Weft restaged their Town Hall yarnbombing installation. Simcock’s proposal was unanimously supported, and it’s intended that the new sculpture will be launched on International Women’s Day in March 2019.

The monument won’t cost local taxpayers a penny. A working party of councillors with input from external advisors will oversee the fundraising, artist commission, and choice of women to be portrayed. But the selection of artist and woman will ultimately be made by public vote.

Seconding Andrew Simcock’s motion, councillor Josie Teubler spoke passionately about the importance of equally celebrating the achievements of men and women. Female MPs and board members are still very much in the minority, and only when historical women’s achievements are given the status they deserve, attitudes about what today’s women can and cannot accomplish will slowly start to change.

Other speakers highlighted some of the hidden women who’ve helped shaped the history of Manchester. While suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is well known, there are scores of other female movers and shakers less celebrated but no less deserving of recognition, including politicians Ellen WilkinsonMargaret Ashton and Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw.

What’s so exciting about this project is that the whole process of raising the cash and selecting the design will be used to raise awareness of some amazing local women whose achievements have been lost to history.

Andrew Simcock’s fundraising cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats will be divided into 20 stages, each dedicated to boosting the profile of a particular woman.

That way, when the final vote takes place, people will have more of an informed choice about which woman deserves to be immortalized in Manchester city centre.

Check out the Warp and Weft blog for details of the 8 inspiring women they celebrated in their craftivist exhibition. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Vanishing For The Vote: The Suffragette Census Boycott Across Manchester – And Beyond at Manchester Central Library

Dr Jill Liddington, Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Leeds, will discuss her new book,Vanishing for The Vote, which tells the story of what happened on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911.  The Liberal government, which still denied women the vote, ordered every household to comply with its census requirements resulting in suffragette organizations urging women to boycott this census.
Jill Liddington will take us through this fascinating topic with a particular focus on the events in Manchester.  Archives+ will provide supporting archive documentation for attendees to view and handle.
The event will take place in Manchester’s beautifully refurbished Central Library, and tea and coffee will be provided free of charge.
Wednesday 4 June 2014, 6pm
Please book via Eventbrite

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

To fight, to struggle, to right the wrong: the National Federation of Women Workers, 1906-1921

To fight, to struggle, to right the wrong: the National Federation of Women Workers, 1906-1921 

Wed 25 June 2pm 

Working Class Movement Library

Cathy Hunt talks about the tireless efforts of grassroots activists in this early 20th century all-female British trade union (led by the charismatic Mary Macarthur) to strengthen the position of women workers who were too often the victims of excessively low pay and poor working conditions.

Dr Cathy Hunt is Senior Lecturer in History at Coventry University.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Time Machine/Back In Time - this Saturday 24 May at Manchester Art Gallery

Saturday 24 May 2014
11.00am - 1.00pm

No More Page 3 invite you to explore Joana Vasconcelos' work in relation to the No More Page 3 campaign and discuss why representation matters.
Our Exhibition Time Machine by Joana Vasconcelos exhibition can be considered very much as a critique of contemporary society that destabilises traditional views of female sexuality, the status of women and consumer culture.
Page 3 is considered by many as a sexist '70s hangover that re-asserts the view, in one of the country's largest 'family' newspapers, that women are there to titillate, a pure object of male desire. Something that really takes the status of women back in time!
No More Page 3 invite you to explore Joana Vasconcelos' work in relation to the No More Page 3 campaign and discuss why representation matters.
We will be looking particularly at the works Big Booby #2 and Bond Girl. There'll be open, relaxed and creative discussion and a minutes respect for the Booby and a collective group poem creation/discussion that looks at aspects of gender in Vasconcelos' work, Page 3, the gallery space itself and society as a whole.


Let's get together to discuss why representation really matters.
Meet us in the Atrium at 10.50. Information about the campaign and opportunities to sign the petition will be available.
This is a free event, no tickets required, but please book a place at Eventbrite.
Please note: Due to the next #bringbackourgirls rally being at 1pm in Piccadilly Gardens we have brought the time for this event forward to 11am, and will be ending at 1pm, to enable people wishing to attend both (including ourselves) to be able to do so.
Follow the conversation on Facebook or Twitter:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Ellen Wilkinson – from Red Suffragist to Government Minister

In her day, Ellen Wilkinson was the most famous, and certainly the most outspoken, British female politician. Born and bred in Manchester, she was a feminist and a socialist who, among many other achievements, helped women over the age of 21 gain the vote, led the iconic Jarrow Crusade and in 1945 became the first female Minister of Education. She was only 4' 10" but she punched way above her height, hence some of her nicknames: the 'mighty atom' and the 'fiery particle'. 

 In 1924, when Ellen first took her seat in Parliament, she was the only woman on the Labour benches and one of only four women in the House of Commons. Join Dr Paula Bartley as she examines what it was like to be in such a minority in Parliament and find out more about Ellen's achievements.

Dr Paula Bartley has been promoting women's history in schools, colleges and universities for most of her adult life. She was Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Wolverhampton before going to live in Hungary for seven years.

In 1983 she co-founded the Women in History series for Cambridge University Press aimed at school students. She co-edited ten books in the series and co-authored three of them with topics ranging from Women in Medieval Europe through to Women in India and Pakistan. Her sole-authored books include The Changing Role of Women;Votes for Women; Prostitution, Reform and Prevention, 1860-1914; and Emmeline Pankhurst.

In 2012 she won the Elizabeth Longford award, administered by the Society of Authors, to support her research on Ellen Wilkinson.

Her biography, Ellen Wilkinson: From red suffragist to Government Minister was published by Pluto Press in February this year.

Saturday 12 July 2014 at People's History Museum, 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Suitable for adults and young people

Treat yourself to 15% off in The Left Bank cafe bar when you attend an event at the People’s History Museum

Booking Requirements: Booking required via Eventbrite

Please note event attendees must arrive at least ten minutes before the start time of the event, otherwise their booked space will be given to someone on the reserve list

Please contact the museum as soon as possible if you wish to cancel your reservation so your place can be given to another visitor

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cycle Stories Update

The two story cycle rides scheduled were scheduled for 15th and 16th March have been postponed.  New dates are now confirmed as:

Sunday 11 May:  ‘Glad the Gloom’.  Marvel at the energy and creativity of poet, playwright and activist Eva Gore-Booth and her partner Esther Roper.  Hear how they worked with barmaids, pit-brow lasses and other women on the ‘margins’ of society to help set up the first women’s trade unions.

Sunday 15 June:  ‘Nothing to lose but our chains’.  On this ride you’ll hear about a number of women who played key roles in the suffrage movement.  We’ll also visit the National Cycling Centre and hear about some of the challenges facing today’s elite women cyclists.

For more information and to book contact  

Monday, 24 February 2014

Reclaim the Night Manchester 2014

On February 27th, we Reclaim the Night.

The march starts at Owens’ Park, Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield at 7pm. A neon parade will head down Wilmslow Road towards Manchester Students’ Union. The march will be led by a women’s-only block, open to all self defining women and followed by a mixed march open to all genders.

This year’s theme will be ‘sound’ – we’ll be raising our voices and uniting our energies to stand up to street harassment and sexual violence.

The evening continues with the Reclaim the Night After Party, a festival of the finest women talent, with live comedy and music, arts & crafts, fun activities, community stalls & awesome DJs at Manchester Students’ Union from 9pm.

This year is going to be bigger, brighter and louder than ever. Bring your glow sticks, bring your friends and bring your voices.

The hashtags for Reclaim the Night Manchester 2014 are #ReclaimtheNightMCR #RTNMCR

More info on the Facebook Event page

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

PechaKucha Manchester, Sat 15 Mar

As part of People’s History Museum’s International Women’s Day celebrations on Saturday 15th March PechaKucha Manchester are hosting a special women themed event.

Started in Japan in 2003 PechaKucha is now a global phenomenon. Currently running in over 700 cities worldwide PechaKucha Nights are a great way to hear informal, interesting and often amusing presentations about all manner of subjects.

PechaKucha Nights are FREE to attend, and often reach capacity, so don’t delay in registering to secure your seat.

Up for the challenge? If you would like to contribute, from a presentation about how your mum is an everyday inspiration or to a presentation on Pussy Riot, we welcome different approaches to celebrating women.  Just adhere to the 20x20 rule: You have to use 20 slides and each has to be up for 20 seconds. Please contact the PechaKucha Manchester team (Alex, John and Kelly) via: 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Suffragette Legacy Conference now taking bookings

Bookings for the forthcoming Suffragette Legacy Conference are now open. Priced at £25 or £15 Concessions/students.

More information, including a provisional programme, is now available via the People's History Museum website on this link.