‘The Darlington and District National Council of Women’s event to celebrate the Centenary of Votes for Women, held at the Hullabaloo on Monday 21s May was a great success. The idea behind the event was to celebrate the Centenary but also to engage, empower and enthuse young people to get involved in democracy.   150 people of all ages and groups from across the town met to hear Chris Lloyd from The Northern Echo give a fascinating talk about the Suffragists from Darlington.  This was followed by a Question and Answer session led by Julia Breen from The Northern Echo and engaging with Jenny Raw from the National Council of Young Women, Jess Halliday from the Youth Parliament and Joss Mitchell, a pupil from Polam Hall School who very kindly stood in at the last minute and did a brilliant job.

In the afternoon we were joined by Reid Street and Corporation Road Schools who took part in craft and poetry workshops while the main audience listened to readings from the Vane Women and spent an amazing hour with Meridith Towne the Dressmaker and Costume Historian who transported us back in time to 1918.

Many organisations brought information to the day such as The Head of Steam Museum, the Soroptomists and Darlington Culture Volunteers as well as the Elections Officer to whose aim was to engage with young people.   Hayley McKay treated us to some lovely music over lunchtime and everyone enjoyed making Suffragette Crafts with Yvonne Preston from Scrapstudio Art.

All in all a great day where everyone learnt something new, made new friends and were hopefully inspired to vote