Talk: ‘Gan on Hinnies’

Local author Pat Stevens will explore how women of Tyneside helped win the vote.

Her talk will be based on research for her book ‘Gan on Hinnies’ about the efforts of suffragettes across the region.

People booking for the talk will also be able to view a display about North Tyneside suffragette and community activist, Norah Balls.

Pat’s interest in the North East suffragette movement started about ten years ago when she became a Newcastle City Guide. This included leading walks around the city visiting venues linked to the suffragettes.

She decided to write the book after realising there was very little documented about the region’s suffragette movement.

“These were remarkable women from ordinary backgrounds who didn’t just fight for the vote but for equal wages for equal work,” she said.

“Until I became a City Guide, I had no idea that so many women had been active in the North East. It felt as if their efforts had been forgotten and I thought it was important to make sure people knew their story and their bravery.”

Pat’s talk includes how women took to Newcastle streets in 1909 to fight for the vote. The so-called Battle of Newcastle happened when the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George visited the city to give a speech. Suffragettes gathered to lobby him over the vote and to protest at the force feeding of women on hunger strike in prison. This resulted in a significant demonstration in Newcastle during which women were arrested, imprisoned and some of them force-fed.

Pat, a retired primary school teacher who lives in Tynemouth, will have copies of her book ‘Gan on Hinnies’ at the talk and will make a donation from any sales to the Old Low Light.

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