Council naming streets after pioneering women in bid to improve gender balance

A street in Bradford is to be named after a local suffragette as part of a move to address the gender balance of road names.

Bradford City Council is campaigning for better gender equality in the city - and is naming a street in honour of a local suffragette. Pictured: Bradford City Hall

Lillian Armitage was a Bradford-born campaigner for the vote in the early 20th century, and was even briefly imprisoned during her fight for suffrage.

Ms Armitage was a teacher at Bradford Socialist Sunday School when she became involved in the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), and was arrested when she and a group of other women tried to enter the House of Commons on Valentine's Day, 1907.

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She was ordered to serve 14 days in prison as a result, and her name is now listed on the Role of Honour of Suffragette Prisoners.

A housing development on this corner in Manningham, Bradford, will be named in honour of local suffragette Lillian Armitage.

Sadly, no pictures appear to exist of Ms Armitage, but Bradford City Council is taking steps to ensure she is not forgotten, and a housing development on the corner of Green Lane and Lumb Lane in the Manningham area is to be named 'Lillian Armitage Close' in her honour.

The move is part of the wider Bradford Pioneering Lasses initiative run by the council, which aims to improve gender equality in the city.

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Part of the campaign includes an exhibition which is currently open at Bradford City Hall, picturing and celebrating important woman from the city's history. Among them are the Lister's Mill Strike Committee, fellow suffragette Julia Varley and Florence White, who campaigned for better pensions for single women.

A certificate presented to Bradford-born Trade Unionist and Suffragette Julia Varley from Emmeline Pankhurst is on display at Bradford City Hall.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for Better Health, Better Lives, said: “I work in City Hall most days and while there are rightly many pictures of the old industrialists and alderman who helped shape our district, these are by and large, male figures. This exhibition offers the chance to redress this balance and promote more of our district’s pioneering ‘lasses’.

“I look forward to seeing more of the women from our past in my visits to City Hall, and indeed throughout the district and hope that Lillian Armitage will be the first of many women to be publically honoured in in the district.

“By raising the profile of our Pioneering Lasses in Bradford we hope to inspire young women across the district to go on and make their own history.”