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Local pit brow lass to be recognised with plaque
Wednesday 21st November, 2018

Local woman and former pit brow lass, Rita Culshaw, is to be commemorated with a plaque at a women’s history event next week.

‘Rebel Women’ is an event organised by the council’s Wigan and Leigh Archives and Local Studies team, which will commemorate the centenary of women over the age of 30 being given the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Taking place on Thursday 22nd November between 10am and 5.30pm at the Museum of Wigan Life, there will be guest speakers including Sylvia Pankhurst’s granddaughter, Helen Pankhurst, local historians and Rita Culshaw herself, who will speak about her experiences as a pit brow lass.

The plaque will be unveiled at the event by Wigan Council chief executive, Donna Hall, before being installed in a prominent place in the borough yet to be decided.

Rita spoke of her experiences at the council’s International Women’s Day event in March this year as part of the council’s #BelieveInHer campaign. Those who attended were given the opportunity to vote for a person who had made a lasting significance on Wigan’s history.

Rita Culshaw and the pit brow lasses received the most votes, which is why she is being appropriately acknowledged with the plaque.

Donna Hall, chief executive of Wigan Council said: “It is important that we identify people and groups that have had a lasting impact on Wigan Borough and have played a pivotal part in the borough’s history.

“It’s only right we acknowledge their achievements with a permanent display like this, especially following our #BelieveInHer campaign and the highly successful International Women's Day event earlier this year.

“The Rebel Women event is a really interactive, inspirational way to learn about the achievements of people in our history. It promises to be an informative celebration and we are privileged to have both Rita Culshaw and Helen Pankhurst to speak at the event.

“We encourage anybody to attend this worthy full day event but would encourage the younger generations to come along if possible, to learn about how these inspirational women have influenced their future.”

Tickets cost £12 for Wigan Borough residents and £15 for non-residents with lunch included in the price.

Of the six talks making up the event, Helen Pankhurst will discuss women’s lives and will reflect on the change since some women gained the right to a parliamentary vote in 1918.

Local historian and Wigan and Leigh Archives and Local Studies volunteer, Yvonne Eckersley, will also give a talk about the 50 years of women’s suffrage in Wigan Borough between 1868 and 1918.

In addition to this, there will be two short films broadcast focusing on women’s rights in 1915 and 1917.

For more information or to buy tickets, please contact the Museum of Wigan Life on 01942 828 128 or email wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

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