Newsletter – March/April 2018

Celebration of Women

Annually in March we celebrate International Women’s Day (8th March) and Mothering Sunday, which this year comes early on 11th March (join us for a Cream Tea). However, this year there is a is very special celebration. In February 1918 the Representation of the People Act, that gave most women over 30 the right to vote in an election, was passed. A separate act in the same year gave women the chance to stand for election though it was 1919 before the first women took her seat in Parliament. Interesting, if women had, at that time, been given the same voting rights as men there would have been more women entitled to vote than men. I wonder what impact that would have had! As we know, the right to vote had not come easily with women being incarcerated in prison and Emily Davison loosing her life at the Derby in 1913.

There were several working class women from Yorkshire who played as active part in this struggle. Dora Thewlis, a 16 year old mill worker from Huddersfield, took the train to London to join the suffragette mission to break into the House of Parliament. She was arrested by the police and sent to prison. Her picture appeared in the Daily Mirror where she was called the ‘Baby Suffragette’. She responded by saying with great indignation she was no baby as she was nearly 17. Feisty to the end. A new exhibition ‘Our Fight for the Voting Right’ opens in the Museum on Saturday 28th April.

The Defibrillator in Ravensknowle Park

A defibrillator, in a bright yellow box, is on the wall of the Transport Gallery that faces across Ravensknowle Park. This has been paid with donations from the Rotary Club of Huddersfield, The Croquet Club, Ravensknowle Bowling Club, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle and a Community Award by Kirklees Council. Representatives from these groups have attended a first aid course. The defibrillator has to be checked every week. This is being done by Tolson Junior parkrun volunteers as they are in the Park every Sunday.

Tea & Cake – Woodhead Hall

2nd Wednesday in the month
2pm – 3.30pm

All welcome. Book stall. Free event.

14th March.
Felix the Station Cat. Is he the mystery cat?

11th April.
Famous Local Ladies. Talk by Catherine Hall.

Cream Teas – Morning Room

Mothering Sunday
11th March 1pm – 3.30pm
Served on china. £5 per person.
Booking advisable.

Also in the museum talks about female connections with local Museums and an opportunity to handle some related objects.

Heritage Memorial Garden, Tolson Museum

Musica Kirklees present Brass in the Garden
13th May. 2pm – 3.30 First of our programme of summer entertainment in the Heritage Memorial Garden. Free event.

Purse with the Huddersfield Coat of Arms in Tolson Museum

Purse with the Huddersfield Coat of Arms in Tolson Museum presented to the first woman Mayor of Huddersfield, Ald. Mary Sykes in 1945 One of the 100 items in the Museum listed on the Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle website.

Celebrating one of our unsung entrepreneurial local women Mary Sykes, born in 1896 was one of the first women to qualify as a solicitor. She had her own law firm in Huddersfield. She was the first women to be elected to Huddersfield Council, first woman alderman and first woman mayor. Once elected she encouraged more women to take part in local politics and get elected.

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The Committee of Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle meet once a month to plan the programme for the local community and support the work of the Museum. We look after the Heritage Memorial Garden. We would welcome any one who is interested in working with us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: