Deeds not words, inspiring women, love

‘Deeds not Words’

Motto of Women’s Social and Political Union founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and five women 10th October 1903

An update on my  #100happydays challenge – from  November 2015

29/100 Cottonopolis WI meeting – all about Suffragettes 

It was our monthly meeting for Cottonopolis WI – we eat cake, chat and have a lot of fun.  We only sing Jerusalem once a year at our AGM – did you know it’s was a suffragette anthem too?

This month’s talk was given by Sibby (@MCRTourGuide) all about the history of votes for women.  It was a fascinating talk and I learnt a lot more about the complex issues involved. We also discussed the accuracy  (or not) of the film Suffragette (2015).   A couple of weeks ago, I went to watch the film with 90 other Greater Manchester WI members – it was a great evening.

Do you know which country in the world introduced universal suffrage in 1893? 

It was Sibby’s second visit to our WI; in May, she took everyone on a walking tour of Ancoats, where we’re based. We are named Cottonopolis because the grid of streets around our meeting place, are the world’s first industrial suburb of cotton mills, workers houses, pubs, workhouses too. Manchester was world famous as the home of the Cotton industry in the 19th century.   She also runs many walking tours of across Manchester city centre – I’m going to book soon.

Manchester is a very important place in the story of the women’s suffrage – Emmeline Pankhurst was born here in Moss Side in Manchester 14 July 1858. She lived here in Chorlton cum Medlock with her husband Richard (a lawyer and prominent supporter of women’s suffrage who was a founding member of the Independent Labour Party).

All their five children were born in Manchester.   Christabel, the oldest, studied for a law degree from Manchester University, but she was unable to practise as a lawyer because she was a woman!   Christabel, Sylvia and Adela all joined their mother and father lobbying for women’s suffrage.   Emmeline’s first born son Francis Henry died aged four of diphtheria.  She was devastated, the family blamed the poor sanitary conditions around the house in Chorlton.  The middle classes in 19th Century Britain were not immune from the poor housing, pollution etc., and its impact on health. She had another son a few years  named Henry Francis (who died aged 21).

Emmeline said that the terrible conditions she saw as a Registrar of Births and Deaths in Chorlton, as well as her later role on the Manchester School Board, convinced her enfranchisement and increased legal rights for women and children were vital.  Here she writes about the conditions in the Manchester workhouse (which were typical):

‘The first time I went into the place I was horrified to see little girls seven and eight years old on their knees scrubbing the cold stones of the long corridors … bronchitis was epidemic among them most of the time … I found that there were pregnant women in that workhouse, scrubbing floors, doing the hardest kind of work, almost until their babies came into the world … Of course the babies are very badly protected … These poor, unprotected mothers and their babies I am sure were potent factors in my education as a militant’.
Pankhurst, Emmeline. My Own Story. 1914.

Pankhurst Centre:  The house the Pankhurst family lived in Chorlton cum Medlock in Manchester, is now a museum  – its mission statement makes clear there is still so much to be done:

  • To ensure that the powerful story of the women who won the vote continues to inspire those who dare to challenge gender inequality and the violence and social injustice this fosters.
  • To work to ensure that people suffering, or at risk of, domestic abuse receive appropriate support.
#100happydays 29/100 Cottonopolis WI about suffragettes, 30/100 Daily greatness journal, 31/100 music with my chap

#100happydays 29/100 Cottonopolis WI about suffragettes, 30/100 Daily Greatness Journal, 31/100 listening to music with my chap

30/100 – Daily Greatness Journal

After a grim few months, I am going to rediscover my inner greatness and make some changes.  This book was delivered and I’ve been reading and jotting down ideas – I’m going to start it on 1st December.  This #100happydays challenge has helped too.

  • Daily Greatness – there are lots of journals for business, training, yoga and life!

31/100 Tunes at home

I had a tricky day at work; there are a lot of changes afoot so I was very happy to get home, have a lovely meal and spend the evening listening to tunes with my chap. I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve always loved live music and as usual it helped 🙂

Ho hum onwards and upwards 🙂

#100happydays 32/100 Run MND, 33/100 Sparkle, 34/100 Willow weaving

#100happydays 32/100 Run MND, 33/100 Sparkle, 34/100 Willow weaving

32/100 Run MND

My chap’s brother Derek was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2012 aged 46; it’s a dreadful illness with no cure.  Half of people with MND die within 2-5 years and there are about 5000 people in the UK with it at anyone time.  I hope you’ve heard more about MND because of Professor Stephen Hawkin, the film The Theory of Everything (2014) and finally, the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Derek uses a ventilator, electric wheelchair and has a 24hr care team at home.   My chap runs half marathons to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and I write his fundraising pages. One day I hope my back trouble will enable me to run a 10k for MNDA too. The Chap is doing Man v Mountain, next September, which starts from Caernarfon up and over Snowdon, with wild water swimming, abseiling and a lot of mud over 22 miles.

We want to support research into this dreadful disease so that in the future NOONE dies from this vile illness in the future.   ‘No finish line til there’s a cure’ – RUN MND

33/100 Sparkle

I had a long think about what my very determined Dad and Gran (who was a suffragist!) would think about what’s been going on this year at home, work, and especially after my friend died.  They’ve been passed away many years now.  They were both a huge influence on my values, life and helped make me the person I am.  Both are very missed by many people every day.  I know they’d love my chap (he only been in my life a few years).

34/100 Willow weaving with Lancashire WI ladies

It was a wet and windy day when I headed up to Leyland to learn to willow weave at the Lancashire WI headquarters.  They run lots of really great courses and I’m hoping to go on a couple next year.

I had a great time and met lots of lovely ladies from across Lancashire.  It was actually fairly straight forward to weave the willow and I’d definitely have another go. it’s important to keep the stripped willow moist and bend from the end of willow not close to where.  I’m looking forward to decorating my wreath and star for Christmas too.   I’m going to put the angel in the garden next summer and grow sweet peas. Joe from Creative with Nature, who lead the course, runs lots of courses based in Todmorden, takes commissions and also runs an art gallery at her studios. I’m hoping to visit her soon.

Deeds not Words! 


#100happydays challenge 

*This isn’t a sponsored post – I paid for everything myself

You can follow my photos for #100happydays challenge on twitter feed everyday (@becinmonton)


#100happydays challenge is very simple:

  • Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?  
  • Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!
  • It can be about anything or anyone.  
  • It’s a way of getting in touch with the moment you’re in
  • People can submit photos privately too.

Anyone around the world can get involved in #100happyday or just have a look for the hashtag or on facebook too.                                                              

What has made you happy today?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

17 thoughts on “Deeds not words, inspiring women, love

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    1. Bec Post author

      I’m enjoying writing them… Gradually catching up. I’m in the 40s now. It’s an expensive journal compared to some but it fits well with my mindfulness and also #100happydays too… I should write a post about it once I get going…. Yes norm is nuts but he loves hilly running & the obstacles are no problem to him. Love bec xx


    1. Bec Post author

      Ah brill 🙂 they’re expensive but worth it I think. I decide to start tomorrow – 1st dec so I’m into swing of it dark days of jan…


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