Salford school girls have paid a giant tribute to women ahead of the 100th anniversary of them winning the vote.
February 6, 1918, saw the passing of the Representation of the People Act giving women over 30 and all men over 18 the vote.
It was the culmination of a long and, at times, violent campaign and the giant banners the girls from Buile Hill Visual Arts College have designed urge all Salford voters to ‘Honour their struggle – use your vote.’
Deputy City Mayor Councillor Paula Boshell said:
“Women campaigned for more than 50 years to win the right to vote and have their say in decisions that directly affected their lives.
“They spoke at public meetings after long days in the mills, they had eggs and rotten fruit thrown at them as they campaigned and, in the later years, they went on hunger strike and were jailed repeatedly for the cause,” she said.
“When they were willing to work so hard and endure such hardship, it seems sad that so many women – and men – today just don’t use their vote.
“At the last general election only 62% of women voted nationally and we have seen turnouts in Salford drop below 20%. I hope people will reflect on the courage and commitment of the women who fought for the vote and honour their memory by turning out at the local elections in May.”
Headteacher James Inman said,
“This was a great opportunity for our pupils who have been learning about the struggle for women’s suffrage.”
The girls who took part in the project were Year 9 pupils: Amber Carrington, Grace Fox, Isabella Frias, Erin McAtee and Libby Rigby.
The banners were sponsored by Urban Vision, Salford City Council’s property and infrastructure partner.
Barry Pilkington from Urban Vision said,
“As a diverse organisation, Urban Vision wanted to celebrate this important anniversary for the voice of women and to continue to support the creative work of our school children across the city."
Women from the council also turned out to create a giant V for vote outside the Civic Centre, holding I Vote signs.