Votes for Women (17/Sep/1908) - Yorkshire

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



Mondays, 4 to 6.30 ; Friday, 8 to 10, Somerset Parlour, Godwin Street, Bradford.
Tuesdays, 8 to 10, Northumberland Street Schools, Huddersfield.
Wednesdays, 8 to 10, Arts Club, Leeds

Important Comings Events.

Huddersfield, September 27, a Mass Meeting in St. George's Square at 3.30.
At Home, September 28, in the Parochial Hall, 4 to 6.30, Mrs. Pankhurst.
Bradford, St. George's Hall, October 26, Mrs. Pethick Lawrence.
Leeds, Coliseum, December 15, Mrs. Pankhurst.

Yorkshire readers are requested to apply to the office at 61, Manningham Lane, Bradford, for particulars of work going on. On Monday, in addition to the "At Home," Mrs. Swailes and Miss Forster spoke at Hunslet Hall Road, Leeds, to a large and interested crowd. At our Huddersfield "At Home," on Tuesday, the room was crowded. Many strangers were there, and many new members were made. The "At Home" in Leeds was abandoned for a larger meeting in Belgrave Lecture Hall, to which women householders were specially invited. It was a most interesting meeting, and a very useful one, as the greater part of the audience were strangers who had never been to our meetings before.

Miss Constance Bromley, of Leeds, spoke with great effect. The Rev. E. Sutherland, in asking a question, gave a short appreciation of our militant methods.

In Bradford, on Wednesday night, Miss Hartland and Miss Newton held a large meeting at Undercliffe, which was, unfortunately, rather spoiled by some rough youths; and the women are anxious for an indoor meeting, which will be arranged as soon as possible. Wednesday was spent by Mrs. Key, the local Huddersfield secretary, and Mrs. Blamires, of Cleckheaton, in canvassing Thornton Lodge district of Huddersfield, where I spoke on Thursday night. The meeting was spoiled by crowds of rough boys, who threw mud and fireworks at us, and hooted and yelled and rang bells the whole time. Many friends, however, were made among the women, and we shall go back again to that district.

There were chiefly strangers at our "At Home" in Bradford on Friday night, and we were completely satisfied with the results.

Our great day was Saturday. The Bradford Corporation has forbidden chalking on the pavements, and it has taken me several months to think of a way to outwit them. Fortunately, our secretary, Miss Gladys Roberts, can do a great many things besides being an invaluable secretary. For a few shillings we bought several blackboards, and these were supplemented by our members, who covered drawing boards with lacquer. On these Miss Roberts drew clever sketches of our enemies the Cabinet Ministers and rhymes to suit each one.

Mr. Asquith had the place of honour on the biggest blackboard, and his rhyme was:

There is an old man of East Fife.
Who with women is always at strife.
"Votes for women," they say,
But the Premier says "Nay,"
And so there is war to the knife!

Lloyd George — quite a speaking likeness — had a most appropriate song:

There is a young man from North Wales,
Who to make up his Budget ne'er fails
To take women's money,
But thinks it quite funny
They want to have votes like the males.

Mr. Winston Churchill had a jerky rhyme (like his career):

Winston went to Manchester
Confident to win.
The Suffragettes went also—
Winston didn't get in.

We want two more blackboards to put Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. John Burns on. Will someone send us one?

One blackboard was given to a little practical rhyme:

If you think our demand is quite right,
And our efforts are good in your sight,
Remember the tin
And put something in
To help in our strenuous fight!

Will our readers also please notice this appeal?

It was wonderful to see the crowds assemble with puzzled faces, and to watch the intelligence dawn in them as they realised what the last rhyme meant.

"Well, I never, you ought to get it," was the general comment ; and one man, a footballer, pressed a hot twopence into my hand. "For you're the grandest little talkers I've ever heard," he said. We greatly appreciated the compliment — and the twopence.

As no meeting was arranged for the evening, a party of five of us went, in our regalia, to see Miss Ellen Terry, in "Captain Brassbound." We got a special clap for ourselves during the interval, and friends from all over the theatre called out, "Votes for Women." The play, the actress, and our presence there made us feel it was a real women's night.

This Sunday, Miss Swailes and others are holding a meeting on the Hunslet Feast Ground in Leeds, and I am speaking in St. George's Square, Huddersfield, at 3.30, and at Queensbury Tram Terminus at eight o'clock.

I have to thank Miss Hartland and the Misses Newton for donations of £1 each to the campaign fund.

Who else will help?

Adela Pankhukst.