A special march on Tuesday will see Harrogate standing shoulder to shoulder with communities across the UK in marking 100 years since the first women gained the right to vote.
Organised by the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones, community groups and organisations including Harrogate Ladies’ College and the Harrogate and District Soroptimists will proudly march from the Crescent Gardens area at around 10.45am to the new council offices in Knapping Mount.
Decorated with votes for women placards and sashes, the Mayor sees the march as a time to reflect and remember the sacrifices that the suffragettes made for the 1918 Representation of the People Act to be passed.
The Mayor said: “It is very important that here in Harrogate we play our part in acknowledging the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. There will be celebrations across the land in honour of ladies over the age of 30, who were property owners, receiving the first female vote.
“The dedication, commitment and sacrifice made by ladies that went before, to deliver democracy to all women through the universal suffrage movement, resulted in our precious freedoms and equal rights.
“Thanks to all that they did, these days all over the age of 18 have the right to vote. As a mother to two girls I always encourage my daughters to cast their vote, albeit I do not discuss their political preferences.”
Harrogate Spa Ladies have also been invited to take part in the march, which the Mayor said will be a “joyous and proud occasion.”
The Mayor said: “There will be no petitions involved, quite simply a banner march by present day ladies celebrating the actions of women that went before to bring the vote to women of the land.
“I realise that the vote was only afforded to a small number in the early days but history shows that determination and commitment to the cause of equal rights resulted in our precious freedoms today.”
Pick up your copy of next week’s ‘Advertiser for a full feature on the march with pictures, and information on Harrogate’s historic connections to the suffragettes.