Historian and journalist Bernadette Cahill travelled from the USA to commemorate Britain’s votes for women centenary at Bute Museum.
She gave a talk last month about the forgotten history of the Clyde Coast Campaign. The militant, but non- violent Women’s Freedom League (WFL) campaigned almost every year at the Pier Head in Rothesay from 1908 until after equal voting rights in 1928, when they refocused on equal pay and other reforms.
Live Argyll, Bute Museum and Rothesay Library organised the well-attended talk, held on February 6 to mark 100 years since the first women received the vote in the UK.
Ms Cahill, an MA Honours history graduate from Glasgow, told of a Miss McCann who worked with the WFL one summer and Lilian Lenton, campaign organiser for many years. Lenton, one of the most militant of the pre-war suffragettes, was imprisoned, force-fed and nearly died in Holloway Prison in 1913. Miss McCann was a poor, working-class student from Clydebank. Her recorded memories were Ms Cahill’s primary source.
Ms Cahill is an author of several books, including two histories of the votes for women struggle in the USA.