Crewe suffragette movement inspires conference

Last Wednesday, a conference, led by academics, historians, local experts and women’s group organisers, sought to reassess and celebrate the activities, histories, writings and cultural and political importance of the girls and women of Crewe, the North of England and the UK generally in the years between 1830 and 2016.


Dr Kate Cook, Senior Lecturer in Law from Manchester Metropolitan University, was the keynote speaker and discussed “Living up to Sylvia Pankhurst: Feminism, Activism and Academia.” Special guests also included historian Jill Liddington and the author and activist Alison Ronan. A rare screening of Mitchell and Kenyon’s 1907 black and white silent film of the Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant was shown, along with “Ada Nield: Crewe Factory Girl” – a film starring Contemporary Arts graduate, Emmie Alderson.

Organisers Dr Kirsty Bunting and Orlagh McCabe, Senior Lecturers in the Department of Interdisciplinary studies, were overwhelmed by the support of their community partners and locals who attended the conference and offered papers addressing the conference themes:

“We are so pleased the conference was such a success. Papers were presented from a variety of speakers of different backgrounds and perspectives. For example, we were proud to host Katie Nuttall, Captain of Crewe Alex Ladies Football team and Lydia Greatrix, a teenage anti-bullying ambassador, vlogger and South Cheshire College student, alongside many other incredible local speakers who presented their papers alongside feminist activists, youth workers, local historians and literary scholars. We are very grateful to Crewe Town Council for sponsoring the event. It was a lot of hard work but we’re really proud to have hosted a day that brought the university and local community together to celebrate often overlooked experiences and ‘herstories’ of women and girls”.