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Arts

Rare suffrage flag goes on show

A-century-old suffragist banner has gone on show at the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in Kendal.

The banner was carried on rallies and marches more than 100-years-ago as women campaigned for the right to vote.

The flag is on loan from Cumbria Archives and is emblazoned with the words “Keswick Urban District Council Prays for Womens Suffrage”,

It belonged to Catherine Marshall (1880-1961) who was a key figure in the fight for equality locally and nationally.

Rachel Roberts, Assistant Curator at the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry said: “This is an amazing piece of social history. We are delighted to show it off during the centenary of the 1918 Representation of People Act which gave some women the right to vote.

“Catherine Marshall was a remarkable woman who became a prominent national figure in the fight for women’s rights and lobbied the PM at the time Herbert Asquith.

“With its bold colours and stylised text, the banner is a beautiful object. It is also a symbol of the effort and courage that went into winning the vote for women.”

Catherine Marshall founded the Keswick branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).

Rachel Roberts added: “When the flag was was discovered in 1956 a lead shot was found rolled-up inside. This begs the question were the marchers who carried it attacked at some time? I guess we will never know.”

The Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry is commemorating the people who campaigned for votes for women a century ago with several displays relating to their stories.

The Museum is aware that thousands of men and women were involved in the campaign across Cumbria, and would love to hear from anyone who thinks they might have an original suffragist or suffragette object at home.

If you think you have anything of interest contact [email protected]

The banner, and the rest of our Votes for Women display and trail, will be at the museum until the end of the year.

More details at www.lakelandmuseum.org.uk

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