At our July meeting we were delighted to welcome back speaker Jane Glennie.
We were transported back to 1913 where we attended a secret meeting of the Brockenhurst Votes for Women Society
We all had to have a houseplant to hand in case Mrs Catctcold’s husband should enter the room, so he would think it was a horticultural meeting. Mrs Catchcold would pretend to have a ‘fit of the vapours’ so the display could be covered with a tablecloth.
We learnt that the colours of the Suffragettes were green, white and violet. The initials for these three colours stood for
W – Women
V – Votes
We were encouraged to change our methods to become more militant as letter writing wasn’t working. Perhaps by shouting at men at meetings in Southampton and to take part in political acts.
But we were warned about women who were caught in the act and imprisoned and forced fed.
We ended the meeting by voting as to whether we were Suffragettes or Suffragists.
We also learnt that the Suffragists song was Jerusalem and once the vote was given to women they officially gave it to the WI!
After the talk, we all felt that we had learnt a lot about the plight of the Suffragettes and how these trailblazing women had paved the way to so many of the things that we take for granted today.