Manchester Histories Festival

Bring Manchester’s Suffragette Banner Home

Sunday 27 August 2017

The People’s History Museum is calling on supporters to help it bring home to Manchester a significant and rare suffragette banner that was created over 100 years ago at the height of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) campaign led by Emmeline Pankhurst.  Our Crowdfunder campaign to bring Manchester’s suffragette banner home will help save, lovingly conserve and display the banner for all to see. The People’s History Museum has already secured grants from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme. We are now seeking to raise the final £5,000 with our Crowdfunder campaign to bring the banner home to Manchester.

If the campaign is successful, the banner will form the centrepiece of our 2018 programme marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 that afforded all men and some women the right to vote. Synonymous with many groups’ mass demonstrations throughout history, banners of all kinds are one of the iconic sights at mass protests. The WSPU were no different and banners like this one were ever present at their trailblazing campaigns but sadly very few have survived and today they are very rare.Suffrage Banner

Having been unearthed from a Leeds charity shop cupboard, where it spent the last ten years hidden away, the Manchester suffragette banner has finally made its way into the public eye. Its journey to Leeds began in the 1930s when its then owner, Edna White, moved to the city and after her death it was donated to the charity shop. Leading with the words ‘First in the Fight’ under the headline of ‘Manchester’, the banner represents a truly unique piece of Mancunian history. Indeed, the banner still has an original label displaying the name of Thomas Brown & Sons, a renowned regalia manufacturer based here in its rightful home of Manchester.

The People’s History Museum houses one of the largest collections of trade union and political banners in the world. Its expertise includes an in-house Textile Conservation Studio which is dedicated to looking after the museum’s collection. If successful, the campaign will ensure that the banner not only becomes part of the People’s History Museum collection, but will also make sure that it can be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come.

Please help us reach our target by visiting our Crowdfunder page, pledging and sharing as far and wide as you can. The campaign runs until Monday 18 September 2017 and there are opportunities at all levels for supporters to become involved with the People’s History Museum’s plans for 2018.

Guest Blog by People's History Museum. @PHMMcr

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