One of Manchester’s true hidden gems, the Pankhurst Centre emerged from its lockdown slumber on August 29, ready to show that it’s been anything but idle during those 18 long months of forced closure.

The centre – the UK’s only museum dedicated to the story of female suffrage – has created a new core exhibition exploring the life and work of the family that turned this unassuming Nelson Street villa into a landmark. The house remains a surprising sight nestled in the middle of the Manchester Royal Infirmary complex, but as the museum and Manchester Women’s Aid centre approaches its 35th anniversary in 2022, it has never been in meaner health.

The new permanent exhibition, At Home With The Pankhurst Family, explores the “lives, influences, tragedies, resourcefulness” and activism of Emmeline and her two eldest daughters, Christabel and Sylvia, who became the faces of the Women’s Social and Political Union – colloquially known as the Suffragettes – in 1903.

Visitors follow the unfolding story across the three key rooms where Emmeline and her family grieved for husband and father Richard Pankhurst, supported the struggling women and girls of Manchester, entertained the influential classes, held the parlour meeting that led to the foundation of the Suffragettes, and provided refuge for Suffragettes punished for joining the campaign. Images, artefacts and a new audio-visual installation put that story back together, while the revived garden is a restful spot to digest it all with a slice of cake.

Sun 29 Aug, Pankhurst Centre ,
60-62 Nelson St, Manchester M13 9WP
, Tickets are FREE but should be booked. Suggested £5 donation. , Sundays and Thursday only 11-4
Sarah Walters
Published on:
Wed 1 Sep 2021