Manchester. Radical, relevant and anything but dull (despite the massive misconception about the weather). If you ever find yourself in this wondrous metropolis, you’ll no doubt notice the hive of activity running through its veins. This is especially true in the bustling student area around Oxford Road. Nestled amongst the grand and ultra-modern university buildings sits Number 62 Nelson Street.
At first, this unassuming Georgian house might seem out of place amongst all the urbanisation that surrounds it, but there’s a very good reason it still stands today. Number 62 Nelson Street was the home of the political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst and on 10th October 1903, the parlour of this small house witnessed the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union. A movement that swept the nation and that still rather poignantly continues to be relevant around the world today.
The Pankhurst Centre is many things. Aside from being the birthplace of the suffragette movement, this heritage site is home to a small but brilliant museum. There are a total of three rooms to explore (including the iconic parlour), and there are often special displays and events on (such as celebrating ‘Galantines Day’) so it’s always best to check their website for opening hours and special activities before visiting.
The centre also serves as a space for women’s organisations thanks to the wonderful work of the Pankhurst Trust and Manchester Women’s Aid, Manchester’s largest specialist provider of domestic abuse services. It is a unique place that is a shining example of the power and potential that museums and heritage sites can have for the benefit of the community that surrounds them. A true gem in the crown of Manchester’s rich and diverse history.
Find out more and plan your visit here, https://www.pankhursttrust.org/pankhurst-centre.
Address: 60-62 Nelson Street, Machester M13 9WP
Hours: Thursday 10am-4pm and every 2nd and 4th Sunday 1pm-4pm
Phone: 0161 273 5673
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Clare Lawlor works in Public Engagement and Learning at Imperial War Museums. Her favorite object in the collection is a 100 year old trench biscuit.