Funding boost to remember the county’s Suffragette

A WIDE-RANGING programme to celebrate the life of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison has been given a significant funding boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £89,900 to the Greater Morpeth Development trust (GMDT) to support a number of activities about the Northumberland women’s rights’ campaigner.

It will be used as part of the Emily Inspires programme, which will see various projects take place throughout the year to tell the Suffragette’s story and explore her legacy.

Emily, who lived in Longhorsley with her mother, died in June 1913 after suffering fatal injuries when she stepped onto the course during the Epsom Derby and was struck by the King’s horse Anmer. It is believed that she was trying to promote the Suffragette cause.

After her death, thousands of people lined the streets as her body was taken to King’s Cross Station and brought to Morpeth to be buried in St Mary’s Churchyard.

Now in the centennial of Emily’s death, a working group of town and county councillors, community groups, individuals and organisations such as GMDT is planning to commemorate her life.

GMDT Chief Executive David Lodge said: “This year represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record Emily’s unique place in history and this generous HLF grant will go a long way towards helping us to do that in the most imaginative and exciting of ways.

“For 100 years there has been a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation about what happened to Emily on that fateful day at Epsom and one of the top priorities of our group is to ensure that the true story about Emily, her intentions and achievements is told during this centennial year.

“While it is important that we do that nationally, we also want the whole community in and around Morpeth to engage with our Emily Inspires programme of events because her story has a special place in the history of the town and Northumberland.

“It is also important that today’s generation and those of the future learn the truth about her, what she passionately believed in and the lengths to which she was prepared to go in support of the cause of women’s rights.”

The programme includes exhibitions, workshops, a women’s bike ride from Longhorsley to Morpeth, a procession, lectures, a play, writing competitions and school projects.

There will also be a book by Morpeth genealogist Maureen Howes, delving into Emily’s family archives.

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