History of The Pankhurst Centre

Number 62 Nelson Street was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her family for over eight years. In 1903 this address played host to the very first meeting of the Suffragettes. By 1908 all the Pankhursts had moved to London to be at the centre of the growing campaign.

 

By 1979 the house had fallen into disrepair and the North West Health Authority applied for permission to demolish both 60 and 62 Nelson Street.

The application produced a storm of protest from women’s groups and from conservationists. Permission to demolish the houses was refused and the Health Authority agreed to lease the houses to the Pankhurst Trust. The trust was established to restore the buildings and put them back into public use. Through extensive fundraising the Trust raised the half a million pounds required to carry out the project.

 

In 1984 the restoration work started. Progress was slow as labour was recruited through Community Programme Schemes to ensure that women were employed on the site.

 

The Centre was opened by Helen Pankhurst – Sylvia’s granddaughter – and Barbara Castle on 11th October 1987: the anniversary of the first meeting of the Suffragettes in 1903.

 

Nearly thirty years on, the Pankhurst Centre still stands as a permanent reminder of women’s fight to become full and equal citizens and in memory of the many women who took part in the struggle.  Come and see us to hear and see more of the story!  We are open Thursdays 10 – 4pm and selected weekends.  As our volunteer force gets stronger we’ll be opening more often.  We can’t wait to meet you!