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Sufragette remembered at Newport post box

04 Aug 2018, 16:03

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/n ... _post_box/

A FORGOTTEN Newport heroine was commemorated nearly a century after she attempted to blow up a post box during her lifelong campaign for women's political and employment rights.

Newport politicians gathered at a post box on Risca Road that was decorated in the Suffragette colours of purple, white and green on Sunday to pay tribute to the legacy of Lady Margaret Haig Mackworth, who became Viscountess Rhondda following the death of her father in 1918, for democracy and equality.

Viscountess Rhondda, of Llanwern, who ran the Newport branch of Emily Pankhurt's Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) posted a small home made bomb in a post box on Risca Road in July 1913 in an attempt to destroy the mail. She refused to pay a fine, was imprisoned and released after five days only after she went on a hunger strike.

Newport West MP, Paul Flynn said she was indisputably one of the most influential women in the country.

"She played a crucial role in the suffrage movement, conquered the business world, survived the sinking of the Lusitania, orchestrated part of the war effort and founded Time and Tide magazine.

"Her greatest acheivement however was her ultimately successful campaign to allow women to sit in the House of Lords."

The Life Peerages Act was passed in 1958, but she died later in the same year before the first women took their seats as life peers in the Lords.

Jayne Bryant, who organised the commemoration and is a candidate for the European Labour party elections, said: "She campaign for 40 years to get women into the House of Lords. Without the sacrifices made by the suffragettes we would not have a woman MP or councillors. We owe Viscountess Rhondda a huge debt of gratitude."

More than a dozen people, wearing a pin of suffragette colours, then sang Shoulder to Shoulder one of the anthems of the suffragette movement.

Gaer Councillor Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, called for the council to put a plaque on the wall beside the post box, funded by charitable donations, to mark her act of bravery.

It was also a century to the day that suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby sustaining head injuries that resulted in her death four days later.

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