Radical Women: Sylvia Pankhurst, the Matchgirls and Many Others Walk

This walk shows you where Sylvia Pankhurst and her East London Federation of Suffragettes fought for Votes for Women from 1912 to 1914. You see the police stations where Sylvia and her women often ended up; the places where rousing speeches were delivered; where supporters thwarted the police; where women were beaten up. You also see where, during the Great War, Sylvia ran a nursery, toy factory and restaurant for the poor. There’s also a memorial to Minnie Lansbury, a local councillor who fought for a fairer rates system. We show you the hall and nursery ran by the Lester Sisters, philanthropists who helped the poor and brought Gandhi to visit and stay with them here in Bow. And there’s the infamous Bryant & May matchbox factory, still here today, where its employees, with the help of reformer Annie Besant, fought for better conditions. There’s also a fascinating story about why Gladstone’s statue has red hands. We also pop into beautiful Victoria Park so see where Eleanor Marx used to speak and where a fountain is located which was provided by a woman who was Victorian times’ greatest unsung heroine.

Start and finish Bow Road Underground station

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