Farnworth to lead suffrage centenary celebrations

27 Apr 2018 11:12

A celebration event marking 100 years since women got the right to vote will take place in Farnworth on Saturday, May 5.

The family fun day will be held in Farnworth Park from 10am to 6pm and will commemorate Farnworth suffragist and campaigner for equal rights, Mary Barnes OBE.

The celebrations are being delivered by Bolton Council and Farnworth community representatives following a successful £34,500 bid to the Government Equalities Office Centenary Cities Grant Fund.

The fund aims to mark the 100 years since women gained the right to vote and educate young people about democracy, encouraging greater involvement of women in politics.

Bolton is one of seven areas to benefit from the £1.2M fund, along with fellow ‘Centenary Cities’ Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Farnworth’s event includes the unveiling of a memorial, marking the impact that Mary Barnes made promoting equal rights and the Representation of the People Act. A commemorative plaque will feature on a stone plinth near the entrance of the park opposite Farnworth Library, on Market Street.

There will also be live music, games, children’s funfair rides, soft play inflatable, dance performances, remote control cars, crazy golf, a wishing tree, sports sessions and food and refreshments.

Farnworth Library will also host activities on the day until 5pm, including storytelling, arts and crafts and a children’s polling station where participants can have their photo taken during ‘voting’.

In the run up to the event, the library is screening educational films about the suffragettes and running competitions with schools themed on ‘an inspirational woman in your life’ or ‘a suffragette in your family’. On Thursday, May 3 there will be a free talk about Mary Barnes at 2pm.

Bolton Council’s Assistant Director for Neighbourhood and Regulatory Services, Kellie Hopkins, said: “We were delighted to be awarded this grant from the Centenary Fund and it has been inspiring to see the ideas evolve to create such a memorable event. As well as celebrating the achievements of local suffragist Mary Elizabeth Barnes through a series of local events and community engagement, the event should remind us all just how important it was that women gained the vote 100 years ago.”

As a lasting legacy and to remember all those who champion equal rights, an annual Mary Barnes Inspirational Woman of Farnworth Award is being launched at the event which recognises women who are exceptional role models and who are making a positive impact on the local community.

In addition, a Farnworth Suffragette Centenary Fund Grants Programme has been created to encourage innovative projects that promote community involvement and make a positive contribution to the lives of people in Farnworth and the surrounding areas.

The fund is administered by Bolton CVS and voluntary and community groups can apply for up to £1,000 by contacting the CVS on 01204 546010 or at info@boltoncvs.org.uk.

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