People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy, is marking the centenary of the first women voting in a UK general election (14 December 1918) by taking part in the celebrations for the unveiling of a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, known affectionately as ‘Our Emmeline,’ in St Peter’s Square, Manchester.
To enable those visiting Manchester for the Our Emmeline celebrations to be inspired by the memories, images and legacy of the suffragette movement, the museum will open the doors to its Heritage Lottery Fund supported exhibition, Represent! Voices 100 Years On, at the earlier time of 9.30am. The exhibition poignantly explores the stories of those who have fought for representation and asks how far have we really come since 1918? The Manchester suffragette banner, embroidered with the name ‘Mrs Pankhurst’ against the vibrant purple of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), and the first written account of suffragette force-feeding are both on display in the exhibition (until 3 February 2019).
The museum’s cafe, The Left Bank cafe bar, will be serving cakes and a menu that’s inspired by the purple, green and white colours of the suffragette movement. Breakfast is available from 8.00am and for those wanting to enjoy a celebratory lunch after the unveiling, soup, stew and sandwiches will be suffragette in their creation.
For those planning to join one of the marches to St Peter’s Square, the People’s History Museum is just a short walk to one of the march starting points at Great Northern Square at 11.15 am. Visitors to the museum can pick up a poncho in suffragette colours, a suffragette sash or rosette and an order of service for the day.
6,000 ponchos are being provided by the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign, with a pick up point also at the Pankhurst Centre from where marchers will also be making their way to greet Our Emmeline in St Peter’s Square.
Amongst those taking part in the march will be community groups that have been creating banners at People’s History Museum in a project that has been supported by the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign.
Katy Ashton, Director at People’s History Museum, says, “This is a hugely significant day in the history of our democracy and one that I’m delighted Manchester is marking with such an uplifting celebration of its part in the story of votes for women. We hope that the positivity of this occasion can help the ongoing quest for equality and representation.”
Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign, says, “It’s wonderful to see how Manchester is coming together to mark the unveiling of Our Emmeline on Friday 14 December 2018, and I’m delighted that People’s History Museum is playing an important part in this. Indeed, that the national museum of democracy is based in Manchester, is a reflection of the role that this city has played in shaping the lives of all.”
For more details on how you can take part in People History Museum’s celebrations for Our Emmeline visit https://phm.org.uk/events/phm-celebrates-our-emmeline/
Key times for Our Emmeline unveiling, Friday 14 December 2018, Manchester
Marchers visiting the People’s History Museum
9.30am People’s History Museum opens its Represent! Voices 100 Years On exhibition & shop (The Left Bank cafe bar opens 8.00am)
11.15am Marchers meet at the march starting point at Great Northern Square
11.40am Marchers set off from Great Northern Square making their way to St Peter’s Square
Marchers meeting at Pankhurst Centre
10.30am Marchers gather near to the Pankhurst Centre on Denmark Road
11.20am Marchers set off from Denmark Road making their way to St Peter’s Square
St Peter’s Square
11.05am Screenings to commence, including a film of the making of Our Emmeline, in St Peter’s Square
12.00pm All marchers arrive at St Peter’s Square
12.10pm Unveiling to commence
People’s History Museum’s usual opening hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week. Radical Lates are on the second Thursday each month, open until 8.00pm. The museum is free to enter with a suggested donation of £5. Represent! Voices 100 Years On is a Family Friendly exhibition that runs until Sunday 3 February 2019. To find out about visiting the museum, its full events programme and more, visit www.phm.org.uk.
For further information on the Our Emmeline campaign and story visit https://www.womanchesterstatue.org/
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A selection of images are available here
Notes to editors:
People’s History Museum’s (PHM) resources, collections and spokespeople are available to support the telling of the story of the centenary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) and to reflect its themes and issues from a contemporary perspective.
About People’s History Museum (PHM)
People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future. The museum provides opportunities for people of all ages to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all. PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looks at representation and commemorates 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, 2019 will see a year of activities around protest movements to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, and the programme for 2020 will be on the theme of migration and identity. 2017-2018 winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.
About Arts Council England (ACE)
PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. artscouncil.org.uk