Girls and leaders from Girlguiding Cumbria South were among the many women who participated in a march to celebrate 100 years of votes for women in Carlisle recently.
They followed a band who were dressed as suffragettes, singing songs which had been popular with the activists of 100 years ago. The Guides proudly waved banners which they had helped create as part of a project to celebrate influential women of Cumbria.
The event was made hugely special when Helen Pankhurst, the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and a women’s rights activist herself, unexpectedly joined the parade. She had no idea that such an event was to be held in Carlisle when she travelled north, but on arrival heard the music, followed it to join the march, and finally addressed the marchers.
Sarah Beale, one of the organisers of the Girlguiding banner initiative, stated that “the parade was a fitting climax to a really enjoyable project and the fact that Dr Helen Pankhurst unexpectedly came and addressed us all was the icing on the cake”, whilst 11-year-old Guide Bridget MacFarlane from Hawkshead “enjoyed seeing our banner in the parade and feeling like a part of women’s history.”