HERstory of Keswick
Opens: 19th January 2018
This exhibition celebrates the important contribution women have made to our community over the centuries. Reconstructed room sets and hands on activities will allow you to travel back in time to experience Victorian Keswick of the 1800’s – the squalid ‘yards’ off Main Street where women struggled to bring up their families, find work and embrace new opportunities. As you travel closer to the present day, you can explore the suffrage movement: bringing social change and allowing wider political participation. Through wartime and the world of work, ultimately we meet today’s women of Keswick and celebrate their achievements.
Perhaps the most celebrated and important woman to remember in Keswick in 2018 is Catherine Marshall who lived with her family at Hawse End. She became a nationally important figure as Parliamentary Secretary for the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and suggested the Women’s Suffrage Pilgrimage to London which culminated in a deputation to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith in 1913. Women marched from all over the country along eight routes, gaining numbers as they went. In Keswick they passed over Greta Bridge and through the centre of town as the images show. The NUWSS were law-abiding suffragists rather than the more violent suffragettes and many people (especially men) were sympathetic to their peaceful methods. When in 1916 the Government began to draw up an Act to give all men the vote, Suffragists lobbied persistently and as a result the Representation of the People Act in 1918 finally gave SOME women the vote. It was not until 1928 that men and women could vote on equal terms.
The exhibition will tell the stories of over 30 women. Come and meet them!
Jane Grave, current Editor at the Keswick Reminder