International Women’s Day: Special tributes to be paid to campaigner Emily Davison

Two events in Morpeth will once again remember and pay tribute to the part local suffragette Emily Wilding Davison played in bringing about one of the most momentous changes in British social history.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women being given the vote for the first time in a British election after years of being denied equal democratic rights and today is International Women’s Day.

Emily was one of the most ardent campaigners in seeking changes in the law granting women the vote. She lost her life in June 1913 after she stepped on to the track at Epsom Racecourse during the running of the Derby to draw attention to the cause she so fervently believed in.

Tragically, she was knocked down by King George V’s horse Anmer and died four days later as a result of the injuries she sustained.

Thousands of people watched her funeral cortege pass through London before her coffin was put on a train north to Morpeth, where she was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard.

For 20 years, a service has been held at the church on International Women’s Day, followed by the congregation laying flowers at Emily’s grave, and the service will again take place at noon on Thursday, March 8.

On Saturday, March 10, between 10am and 4pm, there will be a Suffragette Tearoom and Market in Morpeth Town Hall to highlight the continuing importance of voting in modern British elections or referendums, both at national and local level.

The other element of the day will give locals a chance to ‘vote’ on ideas which have been put forward by local people about how they would like to improve their own lives or that of the communities in which they live.

Five top ideas will be printed on a ‘ballot paper’, which visitors can use to vote at the Town Hall event, at My Pet HQ in Oldgate and at Davison House in Sanderson Arcade.

The winning idea will be announced at 3pm by Dame Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, who will be returning officer for the day.

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