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Suffragette Banner

31st October 2017

In collaboration with fellow Leicester Print Workshop member, Sarah Kirby, I have printed, sewed and assembled a large banner celebrating the Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins. 

The banner was commissioned by one-woman theatre company Laurialorry, a.k.a. Elaine Panting. The banner formed the backdrop to Elaine Panting’s performance In her shoes at the Curve theatre, Leicester on Saturday 28th October. Just prior to the performance the banner was used at the head of a march from Leicester’s Town Hall Square through the streets to the Curve. In her shoes, written and produced by Elaine Panting, told the story of Alice Hawkins (1863-1946) a mother of six, shoe machinist, equal rights activist and suffragette. She was arrested five times and served time in Holloway and Leicester prisons. She was also a memorable and powerful speaker. In 1907 she set up the Women’s Social and Political Union in Leicester helping the fight for women’s right to vote.

I have a voice and I will use it” Alice Hawkin

In February 2018, a statue of Alice Hawkins will be unveiled in the newly created square behind Leicester market and Corn Exchange. The banner will be out on the streets again as part of the unveiling ceremony. There are information boards about Alice Hawkins and other Leicester Suffragettes in the new square and also at the old Equity Shoe Factory on Western Road, off Braunstone Gate, where she worked for many years. The factory building is now student accommodation.