The Women's Hall: Celebrating the East London Federation of the Suffragettes
The Women’s Hall project, developed in partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Four Corners, and Women's History Month in east London, will explore some lesser-known suffrage stories from east London through two major exhibitions, a series of events, and a participatory photography project.
The East London Federation of the Suffragettes were a radical group who split from the WSPU in 1914 and fought for working women’s rights throughout the First World War. The Women’s Hall at 400 Old Ford Road in Bow was their headquarters from 1914-1924, a women’s social centre, and the home of their leader, Sylvia Pankhurst. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Women’s Hall project activities will explore and celebrate the heritage of the East London suffragettes throughout 2018 through:
The Women’s Hall exhibition (Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 29 May-20 October 2018) which will evoke the interior of the original Women’s Hall. Visitors will be able to learn about the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS) and the First World War in the East End, view original materials, handle replicas, and attend events and workshops. A pop up community kitchen will serve hot meals for the public at set times throughout the exhibition’s run, and a crèche facility will be available one day per week.
East End Suffragettes: the photography of Norah Smyth (Four Corners Gallery, 26 October-26 January 2019), a unique exhibition of Norah Smyth’s photographs which provide an intimate documentation of the ELFS’ activities, accompanied by gallery talks and local history walks that explore Norah’s story and the work of the East End suffragettes in more depth.
The regular East London Federation of the Suffragettes stall at Roman Road Market will be recreated on Saturday 16 June 2018, sharing local suffragette stories with shoppers.
A new ‘Suffrage in the East End’ Education Pack will be created for all Tower Hamlets schools, and newly digitized archive materials will be made available to the public at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.
A photography workshop for mothers will run at Four Corners in Summer 2018, leading to a final exhibition in autumn 2018.
Local volunteers will have the chance to gain skills in archival research and digitisation, heritage interpretation and curation, public speaking, photography and darkroom practice, events production and customer support.
There is a drop-in event for anyone interested in finding out more at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives on Thursday 15 March, 6.00pm– 7.30pm.
If you'd like to get involved in the project, or you have an East End suffragette in your family you'd like to tell us about, please contact us using this form.