Aberdeen Women’s Alliance held their third Women’s History Conversation Café on Saturday 3rd March in the Town House restaurant. The topic was the suffragette campaign as described in the Watt archive (the correspondence of suffragette Caroline Phillips).
I was one of the table hosts. There were seven tables, each with a table host and five attendees. Fears that the severe weather might affect attendance proved unfounded.
The session started with a talk by Prof. Sarah Pedersen. Each attendee had been given a copy of her book on Caroline Phillips, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Each table then examined and discussed items from the archive. These had been photocopied and laminated, with discussion topics printed on the back of each item. Everyone was fascinated by the selection of items and an hour just wasn’t long enough to discuss them all. Sarah then concluded the café with a further talk detailing events after Caroline Phillips ceased to be the Honorary Secretary of Aberdeen W.S.P.U.
After the Café, Aberdeen City Council hosted a Civic Reception in the Town and County Hall. As I was driving I stuck to orange juice, but I didn’t stint myself on the canapes! There were speeches by Lord Provost Barney Crockett, and Sarah Pedersen. Best of all were the animated discussions all over the room as people discussed women’s history and politics, with women fired up and enthused by what they had heard and read. The pile of WHS postcards disappeared quickly.
We are delighted to be launching our new suffrage learning resource as part of the Dundee Women’s Festival in March!
You can find further details in the beautifully illustrated programme – Dundee-Womens-Festival-Programme-20181 (p. 12) which also has many excellent events for all. There is genuinely something for everyone. Contact details available on the Dundee Women’s Festival Website.
The theme, given that this year is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, is ‘A Vote for the Future’. So it really is the perfect environment in which to launch our resource (more details of when the resource will go live will follow soon). The study of women’s history in Dundee is well established with Eleanor Gordon’s research on the women workers of the jute mills, Kenneth Baxter’s work on female politicians, Sarah Browne’s research on the Dundee Women’s Citizens Association, and Norman Watson’s work on Dundee women, among many others. And let’s not forget the excellent Dundee Women’s Trail!
On Saturday 10th of March, from 2-4pm in the Wellgate Library we will be thinking about the demands made by women in Dundee for equality both before and after the Representation of the People Act of 1918. We’ll be discussing constitutional suffrage as well as the militancy of the suffragettes. Also we’ll be thinking about the role of political parties and the implications of the vote in Dundee in terms of women’s political involvement.
Practical advice on how to find out more about women’s history in Dundee will be provided along with examples of useful source material.
(Image The Dundee Courier, 3 April, 1911 as featued in http://www.leisureandculturedundee.com/localhistory/exhibitions/voteless)
To register for FREE visit the event page on eventbrite.