North East Connected

Bring the story of the suffragettes to life with tailored workshops

The story of the fight for women’s suffrage is being brought to life in a new workshop, delivered by Durham County Record Office. 

At a time when the country looks to commemorate the centenary of women being awarded the vote, Durham County Council’s record office is offering workshops to schools and other groups which examine the stories of three local people and their views on women’s suffrage.

These include Connie Ellis, later Connie Lewcock, an ardent suffragette who was also a school teacher in Esh Winning and went on to be a city councillor in Newcastle, 1960-1971 and was awarded an OBE in 1966.

Another is Janet Boyd, who lived in Leamside House, in Leamside, near West Rainton.

She is less well known than Connie Ellis, but made a stand in her own way, by refusing to pay her taxes.

The record office holds a newspaper article referring to ‘Mrs Boyd’s Annual “Votes for Women” Protest’, describing the seizure of her belongings and a statement by Janet herself, making her reasons for the protest clear.  

Dawn Layland, Durham County Council’s education and outreach archivist, said: “This is a great way to investigate some important local figures who might otherwise be forgotten, and to explore the local side of a national issue.

“The length of the workshop can be altered to suit, but typically lasts just over an hour, and we can either host them here at County Hall or visit you at a venue of your choosing.”

The workshop costs £100, and to book please contact 03000 267 626.

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