Tens of thousands of women and girls across the country took part in processions yesterday to mark 100 years of women being able to vote in the UK and to reflect on the achievements of the suffragettes. Here in Cornwall, Mawnan WI joined in and organised its own unique and wonderful celebration to coincide with these national events.
The 130 marchers included WI members, families and friends, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides and their leaders and women from the village along with some holiday makers! Many of those involved wore costume or suffragette colours and displayed the rosettes, sashes, placards and ribbon poles which they had made together a few weeks earlier.
The amazing banner created by members of the organising sub-committee contained panels produced by each of the girls’ organisations and was carried by teams of WI members. The procession left The Square in Mawnan led by The Suitcase Singers who sang songs which would have been known to the original suffragettes. Along the way they were cheered on by supporters.
Trebah Gardens generously agreed to allow the procession to re-group in the amphitheatre where Claire Ingleheart spoke briefly about the centenary celebrations. Refreshments were provided by Trebah Gardens and some of the participants enjoyed their own picnics.
Sally Annan, Mawnan WI President, thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of the day. “ We are very pleased to have been able to celebrate the 100 years of some women being able to vote. This was the beginning of the journey towards universal suffrage for both men and women which was achieved in 1928.”
This event was supported by the Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme and will be followed by further celebrations organised by Mawnan WI. On Sunday 1st July there will be an EqualiTeas tent at their Charity Garden Safari where there will be a chance to look at a montage of some of the significant events and women involved in events 100 years ago, and to play suffrage themed board games whilst enjoying a cup of tea and chat after looking around the twelve gardens which will be open to the public.