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Manchester’s first woman councillor, Margaret Ashton (1856-1937) remains a largely forgotten suffragist, women’s rights campaigner and peace activist.
Ashton was a non- conformist, committed to women’s rights and social reform and elected to the City Council as an Independent in 1908. Her involvement in municipal politics allowed her to develop her commitment to women’s issues; amongst many other initiatives, she was responsible for Ashton House a hostel for working women established in 1910 and the Babies’ Hospital established in 1914. She was an enthusiastic supporter of education for girls and votes for women.
She was a pacifist with an unwavering determination to discuss and educate for a negotiated peace during the First World War and her resistance to the war had both personal and professional repercussions. During the war she was systematically stripped of her civic positions, and her portrait presented to the City Council in 1925 by C.P Scott to celebrate her 70th birthday, was refused. It was rediscovered in 2006 and hung to great acclaim in the original council chamber where Ashton would have taken her seat in 1908.
This talk will tell the story of Margaret Ashton and the recovery of her portrait.
Sat 3 Mar 2012 10.30am - 11.30am
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6 Mount Street,
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Free but booking recommended
Radical Manchester, Women
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