Finds from the archive

We are so excited to be able to update on our new project Rooms Of Our Own, a hidden ‘herstory’ of the Pankhurst Centre. Discover the restoration of the historic site, now grade 2 listed with a history of activism, dereliction and a space for Women’s rights, it’s a space to share ideas, stories and memories of a place once almost lost and forgotten.   

Our Volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to catalogue and digitise all of the wonderful archival material surrounding the Pankhurst building renovations in the 1970s and 80s. Finding unique, interesting and political mementos from the past’s history and how these can be used and developed for exciting future projects. 

Heritage Archivist for Rooms of Our Own, Heather Robert says:

 “Every box has been initially assessed and volunteers are chomping through magazines, zines, newsletters, photographs, books and other resources, getting them in order and catalogued. The Project Archivist is scouring through The Pankhurst Centre’s own archive of minutes, projects and restoration papers, untangling the valuable evidence of the centre’s journey.”

Original photographic slides, images, pamphlets and much more are currently being sorted and catalogued as part of the project, developing a timeline of activity from the Pankhursts’ house regeneration. 

One of the most interesting pieces from the archive appears to be the visual story of the beginning of the campaign to the building work and all of those involved from in and around Manchester. Like this photographic slide seen in the image below: 

A hand holds up a slide of a photograph featuring a group of women in hard hats.

Image Description: A slide from the archive featuring the Restoration Team at the Pankhurst Trust.

Also look at this original draft for a ‘Friends of the Pankhurst centre’ newsletter. It even has sellotape on it from the days before photoshop where a newsletter would be constructed and then photocopied and mailed out. 

A photograph of the friends of Pankhurst trust newsletter on a table.

Image Description: The Friends of the Pankhurst Centre newsletter from the Pankhurst Trust archive.

The newsletter says: 

Building work on No 60 and 62 Nelson Street is now entering its final stages. Wallpaper and paint will soon begin to give the two houses a finished ‘feel’ and the Pankhurst centre will be OPENED in October! 

A series of events are planned over the weekend of the 10th – 11th October 1987 (Which is the 84th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the house).

We are really excited to continue sharing this journey of the Pankhurst centre and Trust in a time where change and campaign needs to be at the forefront.