Photographs from 1949 - 1954

Text by Jackie Blackwell

Were you a member of Newhaven's Townswomen's Guild? Share some of your memories with us...

History of the Townswomen's Guild
It was 1928 and women had just won the right to vote... Suffragettes who had battled so vigorously for this right had grabbed enough headlines to mark themselves down in the history books. Chaining themselves to railings, going on hunger strikes - these women were determined to draw attention to the campaign for full voting rights for women.
But alongside them, there were many other women fighting for the vote in quieter, constitutional ways - these were the Suffragists.

Photo:Visit to Silk Worm Factory and Maidstone 1949

Visit to Silk Worm Factory and Maidstone 1949

From the private collection of Mr A.J.Lander

With a new found freedom, these women led by Eva Hubback and Margery Corbett Ashby saw the need to create an organisation aimed at ordinary women living in the nation's towns and cities; an idea that led to the Townswomen's Guilds movement.

Today, Townswomen's Guilds remains one of Britain's leading women's groups.

With a 35,000 strong national membership, the organisation prides itself in the involvement with radical local, national and global concerns.

Members meet regularly to develop new skills, exchange ideas, discuss topical issues and organise charitable events nationwide.

Photo:Choir with Statuette 1953

Choir with Statuette 1953

From the private collection of Mr A.J.Lander

More importantly, Townswomen's Guilds provides the opportunity for women everywhere to belong to an organisation within which members offer support, companionship and encouragement for women to honour their past and realise their future.

Photo:Christmas Party 1951

Christmas Party 1951

From the private collection of Mr A.J.Lander

Photo:Choir with Cup 1954

Choir with Cup 1954

From the private collection of Mr A.J.Lander

This page was added by Joanna Balcombe on 27/08/2008.
Comments about this page

My mother, Norah Purcell, was in the choir at the time of these photos, but unfortunately she does not seem to be in any of them, although her good friend, Frances Sweatman, is on the far left of the front row in the 1953 photo.
The choir mistress, Jessie Earney, was an inspiration, and I loved going to their concerts to watch her as much as to hear the choir!

By Janet Finn
On 22/04/2009

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