Votes for Women – Vote for Someone!

In 1907, when suffragette Edith New was arrested and imprisoned for the first time, the Prime Minister was Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman of the Liberal Party.  He resigned and was succeeded in 1908 by Herbert Henry Asquith and in 1910 the Liberals won for the last time with the support of the Irish Nationalists.

For Edith’s family back at home in Swindon the men in December 1910 voted as part of the Cricklade Parliamentary Borough.  They had two choices: Liberal candidate Richard Cornthwaite Lambert and Liberal Unionist Thomas Charles Pleydell Calley and the Liberals won by a majority of 128.

Swindon did not get its own constituency until 1918 when it elected one MP.  In 1997 Swindon split into North and South and now elects two MPs.  Edith New and her family lived in various homes in Old Town which now falls under the South Swindon constituency.

On June 8th women and men in South Swindon will have the choice of four candidates and we have offered all candidates the opportunity to share their election pledges and campaign.

The candidates are Sarah Church for the Labour Party, Talis Kimberley-Fairbourn for the Green Party, Stan Pajak for Liberal Democrats and Robert Buckland for the Conservatives.

You still have until the 22nd May to register to vote online https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

This takes 5 minutes and if you are living in the UK all you will need is your National Insurance number and details of your name and address.  If you are living abroad and applying to vote by proxy or postal vote you will need your Passport Number as well.

If you need help registering, learning about your candidates, finding your polling station or voting on the day please get in touch as we know of a number of volunteers, including ourselves who would be happy to help you.

Edith New was imprisoned several times, and went on hunger strike, to enable women to have their voices heard and be able to vote.  We implore women and men everywhere to turn out for this important election and vote.

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On this day 140 years ago…

Edith New was born – Happy Birthday Edith!

We are very fortunate to be able to share some family photos of Edith, before and after her career as a suffragette, these are owned by her great-niece and held in a private collection (copyright applies).

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Edith (left), brother Frederick, mother Isabella (centre), sister Ellen (standing), as yet unidentified young man
Another family photo, Edith is at the front, now wearing her hair up
Edith was a teacher, here she is with her class at St Mary’s School in Lewisham
74 Edith and Nea
Edith and her companion Nea, who she was still living with at her death in 1951
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Edith in Cornwall, she is buried in Polperro where she lived after retiring
Edith (without hat) and friend
Edith (with hat) and friends
Edith (back row)
75 Edith and Nea
Edith (without hat) and Nea
Edith
Edith with her sister Ellen and great-niece Mary