London Town Walks have a new Suffragette walk. To complement their existing Suffragette Walk through Westminster which covers the Votes for Women campaign from 1903-1914 finishing at Mrs Pankhurst’s statue, we now have a Sylvia Pankhurst Suffragette Walk in Bow covering the years 1912-1918. It starts at Mile End tube station and can finish at either Roman Road pie & mash shop or back at Mile End or Bow Road tube stations. It shows where Sylvia made some of her great speeches that galvanised the East End, where she had her shop, the police station she knew only too well, the undertakers whose windows she threw a stone at, the market where her followers sold her Dreadnought newspaper, the spots where she lived including Jessie Payne’s, the spots where she had her various headquarters in Bow, and the spot where the Mother’s Arms was located. We also see the printing shop (still there today with the actual printing press that printed the Dreadnought still in the basement) and the house which was Sylvia’s toy factory in world war one. There’s also the spot where she was arrested when she was chained to her followers when on her way to the big Victoria Park meeting. We also see memorials to George Lansbury and Daisy Lansbury, and there’s some other interesting stuff too such as where Save The Children was started by Suffragette sympathisers, and the place where the same people hosted Gandhi during his stay in London. There’s also the infamous Bryant & May Matchbox factory, which Sylvia marched past during her walk round Bow to gather support following her first speech in the vicinity, and you hear the interesting tale of the red hands. And it’s not all urbanity. We see Victoria Park (where many a Suffragette speech was made), the pretty Hertford Canal, the most impressive square in the whole East End and fine views of the nearby Olympic statdium.
Sylvia is London Town Walks’ greatest hero of all history, closely followed by Angela Burdett-Coutts, and whilst we’re in Victoria Park we get to see a fountain which acts as a memorial to the amazing Miss Coutts.