We have been researching where Suffragettes actually met up to chat about things. Many lived with their families or husbands who did not necessarily agree with their political views or their way of protesting. They met up at branches of the WSPU of course, and those in central London might also attend the WSPU headquarters, but sometimes it was just nice to meet friends in an informal environment for a chat. Many met up in tea shops, and some found tea shops which also had a room they could rent to have more of a private talk, with larger numbers than you can get round a tea shop table.
We have researched where such places were that are close to what was the start of our Suffragette walk in Trafalgar Square. Some were both close to the Square and to the Women’s Freedom League headquarters just down the side of Charing Cross Station.
So given that starting our Suffragette walks in Trafalgar Square had its drawbacks in any case regarding crowds, we are now going to start our walks outside the Embankment tube station and we’ll begin by telling you about the Women’s Freedom League and how it began life as a breakaway group from Mrs Pankhurst’s Suffragettes. And then we’ll show you where there was a particularly popular tea shop meeting place (a fine building which is still a nice spot for a bite today). And while we’re in the vicinity we will show you World War One heroine Edith Cavell’s statue and tell you all about that too.