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Eastbourne Ashridge Circle|Founded 1947

Lecture Date: March 25, 2024


Speaker: PETER BARRATT with RUTH POWNALL - illustrated

Through family records and memorabilia the great-grandson of a leading suffragette shines a light on her fearless crusade to get the vote for women.

Through oral history passed down family generations and from research material gleaned from the National Archives, Peter has put together a stirring and often passionate account of his great-grandmother’s hard-fought campaign over 100 years ago for the right to vote.

A shoe-machinist by trade, lifelong socialist and mother of six, Alice formed her local city suffragette branch in 1907 following imprisonment in Holloway gaol. In 2018 a statue of Alice was unveiled in her home town of Leicester, together with original suffragette memorabilia loaned by the family to Parliament, for its major summer exhibition: “Voice and Vote. Women’s Place in Parliament.” Including her sash, hunger-strike medal and prison notes, the extensive collection is considered to be well worthy of its place in the national heritage.

Peter and actress Ruth Pownall, playing Alice, are delighted to be able to reprise, here in Eastbourne, their Edinburgh Fringe 2023 ‘spoken word show.’

Peter, a retired management accountant, first learnt about Alice as a young lad from his grandfather who often accompanied her on her suffragette campaigns. He has featured in BBC radio and TV programmes, including The Antiques Roadshow, describing his greatgrandmother’s historic crusades.