Skip to content
Archived news

Select a month and year to view archived news stories.

Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins commemorated on International Women’s Day

Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2023

2 minute read

Alice Hawkins

A BLUE plaque commemorating Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins is due to be unveiled on the house in the city neighbourhood where she lived.

The plaque at 18 Mantle Road, Newfoundpool, marks the address where she and her family lived during her campaigning years in the early 1900s.

It is being unveiled to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023.

The commemorative plaque is the result of work by local Fosse Ward councillors, Alice’s great-grandson Peter Barratt and Ismail Dale of Heritage Schools.

Pupils from local primary and secondary schools will lead the event which takes place at 10am.

Many suffragettes, including Alice, refused to provide their address for census purposes of the day, but a postcard from Alice’s suffrage memorabilia, which is still in the ownership of her descendants, gave the address.

The postcard, which was sent to her by Leeds suffragette Mary Gawthorpe on June 11, 1907, provided valuable formation on where Alice lived.

This has enabled councillors in Fosse Ward and Peter Barratt to confirm the address with the Records Office and, via a local community ward fund grant, to bring the blue plaque campaign to fruition.

Tying in with International Women’s Day, it not only commemorates Alice Hawkins, but many of the other local women who campaigned alongside her for equality at the ballot box.

Councillor Sue Waddington, who has been involved in leading the campaign, said: “I am very pleased that the plaque to celebrate Alice’s life will be a permanent reminder of her life in Fosse ward and her struggles for votes for women.

“It was a hard-won fight for the vote and Alice was imprisoned many times during the campaign.

“I hope the plaque reminds us of her sacrifices and that we should all use our precious right to vote at every election.”

Following the unveiling there will be a short talk on Alice by Peter Barratt, at the Fosse Neighbourhood Centre, immediately opposite the house in Mantle Road. The event is open to the public to attend.

Peter Barratt added: “To see a plaque unveiled on the very house where Alice and family, including our grandfather, lived over a 100 years ago will be a very touching moment for myself and all her descendants who will be with me on the day.”

Pupils from nearby Inglehurst Junior School, Castle Mead Academy and Fosse Mead Academy will be taking part in the unveiling ceremony.

The plaque also ties in with Historic England’s Heritage Schools project to connect youngsters with their local history.

Heritage Schools’ Ismail Dale said: “Place-based local history is a very powerful tool to engage school children and connect them with their shared past. 

“Alice’s struggle for democracy has inspired pupils in Leicester to appreciate their inherited legacy of British democracy and encourage them to become active citizens.

“Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme has enabled Peter Barratt, the great grandson of Alice, to go into schools and over several years, share her stories with thousands of Leicester’s pupils.

“It is his hard work that eventually led to the unveiling of the statue in Green Dragon Square and, with Councillor Sue Waddington, the installation of this plaque in Mantle Road.

“The enthusiastic involvement of these local pupils shows how her story resonates with them today and her legacy will continue well into the future.”

A statue of Alice Hawkins was erected in 2018 at Green Dragon Square, next to Leicester Market, near to the spot where she would have addressed crowds on the subject of women's suffrage.