Sunday, September 25, 2016

Women's Exhibition 1909 - Names of first stall holders announced

Continuing a series of blogposts in the lead up to the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale on November 12 at the Christ Church Community Centre.

In the February 11, 1909 edition of the Votes for Women newspaper a list was published naming those women who had already signed up for the Women’s Exhibition and Sale of Work.

Kensington WSPU            One General Stall
Kensington WSPU            Millinery Stall
Streatham WSPU             Stall for Children’s Clothing
Richmond WSPU              One Stall
Chelsea WSPU                   Artists’ Stall
London Western Unions (Hammersmith, Chiswick, Barnes)           One Stall
Forest Gate and Wanstead WSPU             One-quarter Stall
Birmingham WSPU          One Stall
Nottingham WSPU          One Stall
Bristol and Bath                One Stall
Brighton WSPU                 One-half Stall
Torquay, Plymouth, and Paignton             One Stall
Lancashire           One Stall
Yorkshire             One Stall
Glasgow               One Stall
The Writers’ League (Pres: Miss Elizabeth Robins)              A Book Stall
The YHB               Photograph Stall
Lady Sybil Smith                One Stall
Mrs Garrett Anderson, MD (Mayor of Aldeburgh)              One Stall
Mrs Thomas       One Stall
The Misses Flora Macdonald, Thompson, and Leggatt      Sweet Stall
The Misses Beck and Mrs Marshall            Farm Produce Stall
Mrs Murrell        One-quarter Stall
Miss C. Turle      One quarter Stall
Miss Whittaker One quarter Stall
Mrs Howey         One quarter Stall
Mrs East               A Lucky Tub

Other women had pledged sums of money varying from 10 shillings (50p today but worth considerable more in 1909) to £100 from Miss Mordan*, described as someone ‘who has helped over and over again with money and personal service’ but on this occasion was unable to undertake a stall.
An appeal from M. Thompson, F. MacDonald and L. Leggatt is published in this edition of the newspaper regarding the Sweet Stall.

‘We wish to appeal to the members and friends of the Union to help us with the sweetmeat stall. Help can be of three kinds:- (1) Home-made sweets, which are the most acceptable of all, if well made and prettily packed in boxes, and tied with the colours of the Union; (2) bought sweets, which must be sent in boxes all ready packed; (3) money, for purchasing sweets, boxes, ribbons, etc., and as the bazaar will last for two weeks the outlay will be great. We shall be glad to hear as soon as possible what definite offers friends are prepared to make.“

Meanwhile …

'The Chelsea WSPU has undertaken the art stall, for which we are asking for promises of contributions of all kinds of artistic articles such as leather work, metal work, furniture, woodcarving, pictures, statuettes, pottery, artistic draperies, jewellery and enamels, needlework, embroideries, decorative work, photographs. We have already had valuable promises of pictures, statuettes, pottery, leather work, and embroidery, and we hope when the art stall is better known we shall have many more offers coming in. Some of us are collecting autographs of well known artists; we shall add to these the autographs of the leaders of the movement, and of those who have been to prison for the cause, for which we shall make a charge. For all this we need promises of help in material, money, and time during the sale. We hope friends will send in their names as soon as possible. We wish to call attention to a meeting, which has been fixed for next Tuesday, February 16, at 4, Trafalgar Studios, Chelsea, at 5.30 pm to arrange matters and to get help. – F.E. Haig.

Chelsea also suggests a supply of artists to take portraits and ten minute sketches during the exhibition, and they have plans for taking silhouette portraits, and may possibly make some arrangements for photography.'


*Clara Evelyn Mordan was born in 1844 in South Kensington the daughter of Augustus Mordan and his first wife Elizabeth. Augustus was a wealthy manufacturer who produced gold and silver pencil cases (propelling pencils) and employed 200 people in his business. When he died in 1901 he left more than £100,000 to be administered by Clara and her brother Percy.

Clara joined first the Manchester National Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1888 before becoming a member of the executive committee of the Central Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1900. In 1906 she joined the WSPU and became a generous sponsor.

She was also a great supporter of St Hugh’s College, Oxford where she donated £1,000 to endow a scholarship.

Clara Mordan died on January 22, 1915 at 18 Marine Mansions, Bexhill, East Sussex. She left effects to the value of £47,702 4s 6d.


Lady Sybil Smith - suffragette and stall holder at the Women's Exhibition 1909

Lilian Lenton - listen to interviews with Lilian and other suffragettes

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