Help save a ‘suffragette tree’

A suffragette bow

Came across a woman yesterday – tying coloured ribbons to the Guildhall railings in Bath.

I recognised the colours – green, white and purple – as belonging to the Women’s Social and Political Union – led by Emily Pankhurst – one of several organisations involved in the suffrage movement.

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A suffragette bow

February the 6th marked a century since women were first able to vote in this country. The reason why Jo Archer was making bows of her ribbons.

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Jo Archer at work on those suffragette colours!

Jo had a bit of news to tell me and has appealed for help through Bath Newseum.

In the past, we have covered a story relating to the Blathwayt family who lived at Eagle House at Batheaston and offered their home to suffragettes who wanted to recuperate from the harsh treatment they received when imprisoned for their political activism in support of votes for women.

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Suffragettes Laura Ainsworth & Charlotte Marsh planting a tree at Eagle House in 1911

While in Batheaston they were encouraged to plant a tree in the grounds. There were sixty planted but this historic arboretum made way for a housing estate in 1960 and only one towering Austrian pine remains.

That is in the garden of a lady who has spent more than two thousand pounds of her own money over the years looking after it. Now, says Jo, Eileen Paddock is retired and is looking for help.

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Jo took this picture of the solitary suffragette tree

‘The Parish Council have been advised that it would be illegal for them to contribute to the cost of managing it – unless Eileen signs over title to her garden!’ – says Jo.

Jo has set up a GoFund page and distributed it on Facebook in the hope of creating a fund to keep the tree alive.

You can reach it via https://www.gofundme.com/6k47sy-the-sufferage-tree