Remembering Ipswich suffragettes’ Census Boycott

As we begin to complete the lengthy forms that are required for the 2021 Census – and perhaps think about whether we are going to use the categories of ethnicity or religion to make our own political points – it’s worth remembering the Census Boycott that took place in Ipswich in 1911. 110 years ago, […]

Finally here: the first general election in which women could vote – December 1918.

The first general election in which some women could vote was called for 14th December 1918. Remember that although all men over 21 could now vote, only women over 30 who were householders or married to householders could vote. Other women would have to wait another ten years for full equality. In Ipswich, the electorate […]

1918 – would you be able to vote – or wouldn’t you?

After the Representation of the People Act was passed in February 1918 giving the first women the vote (as well as all men), the British bureaucratic machine went into action to implement its provisions, despite the country still fighting a long and tragic war. Around this time 100 years ago, women were eagerly awaiting the […]


The centenary of the death of Suffolk’s Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) is celebrated this year. She was a remarkable woman – most notably she became the first woman doctor to practice medicine in this country – and was a pioneer at a time when women’s lives were very restricted. She fought on many issues, including […]

Lilian Cranfield – one of Ipswich’s Ridley suffragette sisters

Lilian was one of four Ridley sisters and, together with two of her older sisters, Ada and Bessie, was a supporter of the campaign for Votes for Women (see Blog Ada Ridley – Suffragette Artist for more information about the family). She married local business man John Cranfield in 1889, and was widowed in 1908. […]

Suffrage Stories – highlights 2015

The story of the fight for Votes for Women reaches an ever-wider audience. To coincide with the opening of the film Suffragette, the Houses of Parliament put on some special events, including a tour and talk on the main suffragette activity within the House. It was interesting to see St Stephen’s Hall where women had chained themselves […]

The Ipswich suffragettes and the cab driver

When Constance Andrews was released from Ipswich prison in May 1911 after a protest connected to the Votes for Women campaign, she was driven through the streets of Ipswich in an open cab. In this iconic photograph of the event, one of the only pictures we have of Constance Andrews (she’s the rather stern, determined woman […]