Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 385

The Suffragettes


Hello Everyone



Emily always thinks that anything Bill, Bob and Henry can do she can do as well.  They think that anything she can do they can do as well.


Do you think the same way about your brothers or sisters or cousins?


This, it may surprise you to know, is a very modern way of thinking.


Throughout most of history, men had more advantages than women.  lt was only in the very top ranks of society that women could find equal status to men. 


Women could become monarch and absolute ruler. 


Women of nobility were left to run estates when their husbands were away fighting in wars or crusades.


Later in history, say after the Elizabethan Era, just about the only life a middle class woman could have was to get married and run a household, and if a working class woman worked it would have been in a poorly-paid job like working in a factory or shop or being a servant.


Women did not have much say in decisions made in the family or how the country was governed.


Then women decided that things should change.


A group of women called the Suffragists started a movement in the 1860s, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. 


They wanted to change the position of women in society. 


The first leaflet calling for votes for women had been published as far back as 1847.


ln 1897, Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. “Suffrage” means the right to vote and that is what women wanted to have. 


Queen Victoria died in 1901.


When Victoria’s son Edward came to the throne nothing changed.


ln Victorian and Edwardian society, the whole of people’s lives were governed by a set of strict, social rules – and women had no vote.


Millicent Fawcett believed in peaceful protest. She felt that if women became violent, men would think that anyone who behaved in such a way would not deserve to have the right to vote.


She engaged in logical arguments instead. She argued that women could hold responsible posts in society, such as sitting on school boards and being in charge of orphanages, but could not be trusted to vote. They had to obey laws, but not be part of the decision making process that made them. This was not fair.


She argued that as women had to pay taxes just like men, they should have the same rights as men.  They were taxed, but not allowed to choose the people that represented them in the Parliament that set the taxes.


She also pointed out that some women were wealthy mistresses of large manors and estates who had control over the gardeners and labourers they employed. These men could vote but the women in charge of them could not.  lt seemed ridiculous.


Fawcett’s progress was very slow. She persuaded some of the members of the Labour Representation Committee (soon to be the Labour Party) that she had a good case for change.  But most men in Parliament believed that women would not understand how Parliament worked and so, therefore, should not take part in the electoral process.


This left many women very angry.  They were being treated as though they had a lower intellect.


ln 1903, the Suffragette movement was started.  The women that set it up were determined that women should be able to vote for members of Parliament and they started to demand change.  This could only happen by changing the law and only men had it in the power to do this.


The title of this new group was the Women’s Social and Political Union.  lt was founded and led by Emmeline Pankhurst.  She was joined by two of her daughters, Christabel and Sylvia and a small group of others.  The women were nicknamed the Suffragettes by the Daily Mail newspaper and the movement started as a peaceful one.


But things were to change.


ln 1905, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted a political meeting in Manchester to ask two Liberal politicians (Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey) if they believed women should have the right to vote. They did not receive a reply, so the two women got out a banner which had “Votes for Women” written on it and shouted at the two politicians.  They called on them to answer their questions.


At this time, public speakers were usually listened to in silence and this behaviour created quite a stir.  The two women were thrown out of the hall.  They were arrested for causing an obstruction and for assaulting a police officer.


Both women refused to pay a fine, preferring to go to prison – in order to draw attention to their cause.


ln 1905, the matter was debated in Parliament.  Calls for a new law had already been rejected 19 times.


But the members of Parliament had spent so much time talking about other matters they ran out of time and the proposed change of law was dropped once again.


The suffragettes were angry.


Many years of asking nicely had not worked, and they decided to take more extreme measures.


Over the next few years, things got violent.  The Suffragettes did things to get arrested and when they were taken to court their utterances in court were noted by journalists and reported in newspapers.  ln this way, the cause would get publicity.


The women found their time in prison unpleasant.  They were locked in a tiny cell measuring only nine feet by six feet.  They were not used to living with the kind of women that usually went to prison.  But they were really determined to ‘do their time’ because their cause was just.


The authorities said they were insane, but their families and supporters said that they should be labelled as political prisoners and have special rights – like being allowed to wear their own clothes and having possessions with them like books.


When the prisoners were released, they were hailed as heroines by the other Suffragettes and treated to a special banquet.  These banquets caused more fuss and attention and so, therefore, more publicity.


The Suffragettes wore colours of green for hope, white for purity and purple for dignity.  Fashionable London shops sold garments and accessories in these colours.


The Suffragettes started their own newspaper called Votes for Women.


They took photographs of themselves chained to railings and turned these photographs into postcards to create more publicity.  These are probably the most famous images of Suffragettes that have lasted over the years.


(lf you have ever seen the original film called Mary Poppins, you will remember that the children’s mother was a supporter of votes for women.  She wore a white sash over her shoulder.)


On 21st June 1908, known as Women’s Sunday, 30,000 women forming seven processions met up in Hyde Park.  Half a million other people came to watch, and the park was packed.


Film was taken of the crowd and shown as newsreel in cinemas to audiences before their main feature film started.


There was no television in those days, and news shown on film could only be seen in cinemas.


The suffragette’s aims garnered (attracted) even more public support through their message spreading in this way.


Lots of women were still being arrested on charges of breach of the peace when they went out into the streets to cause trouble.


There were more rallies where large crowds gathered and much more coverage in the newspapers.


But none of this changed anything. 


The women were getting really angry.  They truly believed they had right on their side.


Some of the women started assaulting members of the government, following these attacks; these men had to have security officers accompany them for protection.


When the women were arrested and sent to prison they went on hunger strike.  That means they refused to eat.


After a few days of not eating, the authorities were frightened that the women would maybe not come out of prison alive.


So they let them go home early.


This seemed to take authority away from the law, the women seemed to be winning, so it was decided to force feed the prisoners.  A tube was put into their stomach and liquid food was poured into it.


All of this treatment did not stop the Suffragettes protesting.


A Parliamentary bill was discussed again.


The protests stopped and so did the force feeding.  Everyone waited to see what was going to happen next.


But the government decided that other matters were more important to sort out – yet again.  The bill (proposal to change the law) to give women the vote was sidelined again.  lt was obvious that men did not want to let women have any influence over the law.


There were more protests and more brutal arrests.


A march on the West End of London was organised, shop windows were broken and thousands of pounds worth of damage resulted.


Over two hundred women were arrested.


After that the violence escalated. 


The women were frustrated at being ignored and mistreated and resorted to arson and making bombs.  They targeted property owned by men.  They did not want anyone to get hurt and tried to only target empty properties.  They believed that men cared more about property than they did about women.


They targeted empty buildings and golf courses and football stadiums.


This time they tried not to get caught.  They did not want to be arrested to draw attention to themselves.  The damage they were causing was newsworthy in itself.


lf women were caught and put in prison, they went on hunger strike again.  This worried the authorities so a new law was passed.


The ‘The Prisoners’ Temporary Discharge for Ill Health Act’


lf the women went on hunger strike, they were let out of prison.  At this point they were too weak to participate in Suffragette activities.  They were to be recaptured later and readmitted to prison once they had built up their strength living outside prison.  They were then rearrested to continue their sentence.


This was commonly called ‘The Cat and Mouse Act’.


But it took a lot of police time to keep chasing after the women and find them again.


The Suffragettes’ first act of arson took place in 1911, but from then until 1913 the women’s activities became more and more extreme.


Then at last, the inevitable happened, someone was killed. 


Emily Wilding Davison took it upon herself to step out in front of the king’s horse in order to attach a banner to it on the 4th June at the Epsom Derby.  The horse hit her and she was flipped into the air.  The whole incident was filmed.


Her actions may not have done the movement much good because a lot of men questioned her actions.  Emily was a well-educated woman and they thought her actions seemed an unintelligent way to behave. 


How well-thought-out was the Suffragette’s way of doing things?


They had, already, in February 1913, blown up part of David Lloyd George’s house, probably Britain’s most famous politician at the time, and he was thought to be a supporter of the right for women to have the vote.


A lot of the violence helped the Suffragettes lose public support.  lt was deemed too extreme.


The Suffragettes arranged a large funeral for Emily, their first martyr (someone who dies because of their beliefs), and processed in support of her sacrifice.


More bombing and more arrests followed.


The government was appalled by the violence of the women.


The government declared war in August 1914.


This was the beginning of what we now call the First World War.


Millions of men went off to fight on the continent, and more than one million women stepped up to join the workforce.  Emmeline Pankhurst instructed her followers to stop their usual violent activities and help the government in any way they could to support the war.


Women worked in factories and military hospitals.  Some of them went to the battlefields in northern Europe to drive ambulances.


The value of their contribution could no longer be denied.  Parliament’s opinion of women’s place in society changed.


On 6th February 1918, women over the age of thirty who met with certain property ownership requirements were given the right to vote.


Women could stand for Parliament too.


lt had taken many decades of campaigning.


Emmeline Pankhurst died 18 days before Parliament declared, in March 1928, that the law would be changed to give all women over 21 the vote, regardless of property ownership.


ln 1919, Nancy Astor was the first woman MP to take a seat in the House of Commons.


Sixty years later, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.


The lsle of Man, situated between lreland and England has its own parliament and allowed women with property to vote in elections in 1881 and New Zealand introduced votes for all women over the age of 21 (which was considered to be the age someone became an adult in those days) in 1893.


The right for women to vote was first introduced in parts of Switzerland in 1971 and the last part of it in 1991.


ln the lsle of Man, in the North Sea, people of 16 and 17 have been able to vote for over ten years now.


Over the last hundred years, women have become part of business, sport, politics, the legal profession, property ownership and the workforce like never before.


ln the 1920s, there were 150 women football teams in England and they could draw bigger crowds than the men’s teams.  Now there is a national team called the Lionesses.


Women can run top companies.


ln 2018, the British Army announced that all posts would be open to women for the first time.



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Do you know how you can tell the difference between girls and boys?


Bob:  No?


Bill:  Girls have white bits under their finger nails where the black bits are supposed to be.



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery


Women working in industry in WW II


Police women of Scotland Yard WW I


Land Army girl 1943


A warden carrying a little girl after her house had been hit by a doodle bug

(type of bomb)




Parliament today







This week, Auntie Alice was teaching the children about organic pest control in the garden.



She said that putting organic matter (or compost) onto a vegetable patch feeds the plants and keeps them strong and healthy.  This should help them to fight off pests and diseases.

She showed them pictures of insects that you will probably spot in the garden.

She showed them a picture of a lacewing and then a ladybird and said that the larvae and adults of these insects eat greenfly and other pests so they were good to have in the garden.

Then she showed them a picture of a hoverfly.  It looked a little bit like a wasp, but it had a smaller, flatter body.

Hoverflies were good for the garden, she said, because they not only eat greenfly but they help to pollinate crops – just like bees do.

Then she showed the children a picture of a centipede.  They live in leaf litter and log piles and eat lots of different kinds of pests.

Then she showed the children photographs of the kinds of slugs, aphids, beetles and caterpillars she did not want in her garden.  They should look out for them and report back if they thought they had seen any!

Then they all went into the greenhouse to have an inspection.



Auntie Alice was also going to get the children to sow some herbs before it was too late in the season to do so – and some lettuce as well. 

That was their job for the day.

She had the seed trays, seeds and compost all ready for them.

It was a good job for little fingers to do.









Quick Quiz


Degrees of anger – can you put them in order of strength, from weakest to strongest?


  1. irritated
  2. fuming
  3. apoplectic
  4. furious
  5. angry
  6. miffed
  7. in a rage
  8. annoyed
  9. incandescent







lt’s the Weekend!




This box is perfect for putting little bits and pieces away neatly – maybe the kind of things you keep on your bedside cabinet.

It matches the drawer liners on Blog Post 376.



Choose 3 or 4 colours to use.


This box is made with is white, orange, yellow and caramel.


You need to cut these panels:-


Inner base   41 holes x 33 holes         1 piece

Inner sides  41 holes x 16 holes          2 pieces

Inner ends   33 holes x 16 holes         2 pieces

Outer sides 43 holes x 17 holes         2 pieces

Outer ends  35 holes x 17 holes         2 pieces

Outer base  43 holes x 35 holes        1 piece



The outer base and the inner sides and ends are just covered in white cross stitch.  Cover the side edges of the inner sides and ends with stitches too to cover the plastic which will show when the box is put together.



Run 3 lines of cross stitches in white along the edge of the inner base panel to create a border then another one line of orange crosses inside that.

Then fill inside the border in with blocks of stitches.  They are quite random to create an abstract-modern-art kind of design.



On the outside panels you will need to run 3 lines of white cross stitch around the edges and then add another line at each side (not top and bottom).

Then run another line of orange stitches inside those.

The inside panels can be filled with more decorative stitches.

See the photographs for guidance.



You can draw a plan on a piece of paper before you start.

You can just put in stitches as you work and build the design as you go.

You can copy the stitches shown in the photograph.

You are the designer so it is up to you what you do.



This project will take a long time to do.  But it is the kind of project that you can put down and pick up again at any time to carry on.  It is not like a knitting project where you have to work out where you are on the pattern if you have left your work aside for a while.  It is very obvious where you have got up to when you lift up your panel to start working on it again.

Double cross stitch makes up the small squares and cross stitch are the tiny stitches in the photograph.

It looks like different oranges are used here but having different colours underneath the orange stitches has an effect on them.  It is the same orange yarn.



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. miffed
  2. irritated
  3. annoyed
  4. angry
  5. furious
  6. fuming
  7. in a rage
  8. apoplectic
  9. incandescent



  • Derek says:

    Your blog is outstanding quality. I think it is one of the best ones on the internet.

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