Rooms of Our Own : Oral History Interviews

The Rooms of Our Own project’s aim was to reveal the hidden ‘herstory’ of the Pankhurst Centre from the 1970s to 2014.

As well as saving the at-risk paper archive which offers a rich account of women’s activism in the region, documenting the activities of the women who fought to save the building – the birth place of the suffragette movement – we wanted to collect women’s stories in their own words through a series of oral history interviews.

At the end of 2021 young volunteers were trained by Historian Dr Michala Hulme in the practice of oral history interviews. In 2022 they began to collect the oral history interviews of eight women involved in the fundraising, building and management of the Pankhurst Centre.

You can listen to short excerpts of the interviews below. 

If you would like to listen to the full oral history interview you can do so through the Archives+ collection at Manchester Central Library. To arrange to visit Archives+ and listen to the oral history interviews visit the Manchester Archives here. 

The collection of the oral history interviews is very important to ensure the women involved in the Pankhurst Trust’s stories are recorded in their own words. Their contributions to the landscape of women’s heritage in the region should be celebrated. 

 

Helen Pankhurst CBE 
Patron of the Pankhurst Trust and Great-Granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst 

Linda Carver, Julie Woodruff and Margaret Banton 
Hired to help work on the construction of the building

Janet Pickering 
Current Pankhurst Trust Volunteer and Trustee

Karen Clarke
Chair of the Pankhurst Trust (1984 – 1999)

Sarah Vince 
Pankhurst Centre Tourism Officer (1990 – 1993)

Dr Stella Butler 
Secretary of the Pankhurst Trust (1984 – 1999)

Hackday Zine

A big thank you to Carmen Byrne, a brilliant graphic illustrator and storyteller who joined our hackday yesterday.  We love this #RiseVoiceVote zine she made. Connect with her @carmen_byrne

Manley Park Primary pupils take over the Pankhurst Centre…

Sixty ten year olds in one afternoon – no problem!

The Pankhurst Centre was delighted to open its doors to year six pupils from Manley Park Primary school.  Having just started the new academic year off with a project on the suffragettes and gender equality, they seized the opportunity to come see the home of Emmeline and her family for themselves and to share their thoughts on key issues of today.

In response to the question ‘What do we need to change over the next 100 years?’ they provided a very long and considered list of issues they care about to include tackling the gender pay gap,  equality, planting more trees, women’s rights, supporting diversity and banning single use plastic.

We look forward to seeing how they implement some of these changes within their own schools and communities in their passionate quest to make a difference…

 

 

“We are delighted that the Pankhurst Centre’s vision of how the milestone of 2018 is marked will be supported by the Government’s Centenary Cities programme. Women’s roles in history have been underrepresented, and 2018 is giving us the opportunity to help us address this.”

Gail Heath, Chief Executive for the Pankhurst Trust

“It’s fantastic that the Pankhurst Centre and Our Emmeline statue have received government support. For the Pankhurst Centre this means that the house where the suffragette movement started will feature as a central part of the plans to mark the Representation of the People Act (1918)”

Dr Helen Pankhurst – Great-Granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, Patron of the Pankhurst Trust and the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign.