There was an excellent turnout at an event in Morpeth Town Hall on Saturday, which transformed the Corn Exchange into a Suffragette tearoom and market.
Those involved were dressed up for the occasion and there were stalls and displays, games and face-painting for children, refreshments and performances by the all-women Werca’s Folk choir.
To mark the 100th anniversary of some women being given the vote for the first time, those who came along were able to vote for their favourite idea out of five suggestions – chosen from members of the public and pupils at Chantry Middle School.
They were as follows: 1) a centre that includes space for performing arts and art displays, a local museum and cinema screen; 2) a place for teenagers to hang out and get food and drinks, but not be kicked out if they don’t get anything; 3) lights on the MUGA at Stobhill so games can be played when it is dark; 4) more defibrillators where people live and in the town; 5) more wheelchair accessible places in the town.
Option 1 was the winner. Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery acted as the returning officer.
More than £1,000 was raised for Oxfam and Crisis UK on the day.
Penni Blythe, one of the organisers, said: “It exceeded our expectations. The atmosphere was fantastic throughout – the Corn Exchange was buzzing and people were chatting to others they hadn’t met before.
“We had to get an emergency re-print of ballot paper because so many people wanted to vote.
“It showed the timeless importance of how keen people are in Morpeth to have their say on local issues.”