Lydia Becker

A Story To Discover On International Women’s Day at the Pankhurst Centre
February 27, 2023

The Pankhurst Centre is celebrating the legacy of one of the leaders of the suffrage movement with a talk about Lydia Becker (1827-1890) to mark International  Women’s Day 2023. On Wednesday 8 March (6pm to 8pm) you are invited to the birthplace of the suffragette movement for an evening full of music, talk, good company and lots of inspiration.      

String quartet Vulva Voce and a glass of something fizzy will greet guests as they arrive through the doors of the Centre and set the tone for what will be a truly uplifting event. The all-female quartet describe themselves as a “genre-defying string quartet that brings exciting, dynamic performances of music composed by women and underrepresented voices to spaces and venues beyond the concert hall”, which makes the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst a most fitting location. Julia Sandros-Alper, Georgina MacDonell-Finlayson, Nadia  Eskandari and Lucy McLuckie who make up Vulva Voce are multi award-winning former students of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Vulva Voce

Sharing the story of Lydia Becker is author Joanna M Williams, who will be bringing her book The Great Miss Lydia Becker:  Suffragist, Scientist and Trailblazer from the page to the Pankhurst parlour. Manchester born Lydia was a pioneer in every way; she entered into the world of politics with her views, talks, publications and lobbying at a time when the idea of women being involved with politics was seen by many as preposterous. The founding of the Manchester Women’s Suffrage Committee was one of many firsts by Lydia, whose influence was such that by the time of her death in 1890 the enfranchisement of women was seen as a distinct possibility. Lydia knew Emmeline Pankhurst’s father, Richard, and at the age of 15 Emmeline went to her first public gathering and here she would hear Lydia speak. As Joanna says “the rest is history”, which she will illuminate in her talk.

Joanna M Williams has previously published a life of Abel Heywood, the radical Mayor of 19th century Manchester, and is currently researching the life of Richard Pankhurst.

The Pankhurst Centre is a powerful place to spend International Women’s Day and visitors will also enjoy the rare opportunity to visit the museum by night, where they will discover more about all of the Pankhurst family. Tickets for ‘The Great Miss Lydia Becker’ on Wednesday 8 March (6pm to 8pm) are £10 and bookable HERE. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the upkeep of Emmeline Pankhurst’s former home, a unique place of suffrage history. 

The Pankhurst Centre is open every Thursday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Further information and tickets are available HERE.