Town’s suffragettes celebrated at book launch

Angela Tester with her Suffragette book launch on the centenary, the event took part in the Lecture Hall at the Littlehampton United Church. Pic Steve Robards SR1809858 SUS-181204-172025001
Angela Tester with her Suffragette book launch on the centenary, the event took part in the Lecture Hall at the Littlehampton United Church. Pic Steve Robards SR1809858 SUS-181204-172025001

A book about our town’s contribution to the women’s suffrage movement has been launched on a special date.

At midday on Thursday, author Angela Tester unveiled her book Suffragettes at Littlehampton at the United Church in High Street, Littlehampton – 100 years after Millicent Fawcett visited the very same spot to celebrate women getting the right to vote.

Hundreds of people turned up at the event, including Rustington historians Mary and Graeme Taylor and MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb, who wore a sash to honour the suffragettes.

Angela, 65, from Bayford Road, Littlehampton, said the event, which included morris dancing and choral singing, was a big success.

She said: “I was just amazed that we could be in that same space as Millicent Fawcett; she was an amazing leader. All her life was given over to the cause like so many of these women, but she held on so patiently – I don’t know how she did it.”

With grant money from the Centenary Fund, Angela was able to print 1,500 copies of her book. These will be given to schools and available at the Littlehampton Museum for free, with a suggested donation to Amber House women’s refuge in New Road, Littlehampton.

Her research in London uncovered the history of suffragettes including Cicely Hale, who worked in the information department of the Women’s Social and Political Union. Her job was to scan newspapers and books to check facts, verify quotations and supply material to speakers.

The book also features Mary Neal, a social worker and folk dance expert, and Lady Constance Lytton, the second daughter of a Viceroy of India.

She said what captured her imagination most was their links to the town. She said: “These women were just around the corner.”