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Tonbridge: Emmeline Pankhurst will be remembered at first Deeds and Words Festival

By Angela Cole

The centenary of women winning the vote is being celebrated throughout this year and a three-day event coming up in Tonbridge will mark when women's voices were heard loud and clear.

The Deeds and Words Festival, being staged at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge, will take a close look at suffrage on its first night.

Dr Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, will be a talk on the History of Women’s Suffrage, on Friday, October 5.

Lucy Worsley will be at the festival
Lucy Worsley will be at the festival

The festival focuses on how women have made themselves heard across the decades, both politically and personally, with a range of poets, artists, writers, politicians and commentators.

Amanda Carpenter CEO of Tonbridge-based Achill Management and Kat Portman Smith, theatre manager at Tonbridge School, got together to stage it, celebrating women’s voices, past present and future.

Also on Friday, October 5, Dr Lucy Worsley will give a talk about Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother & Widow.

The chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces and a hugely popular writer and broadcaster, she is passionate about making history engaging to the widest possible audience.

She wants people to learn there was more to Queen Victoria than a little old lady, spherical in shape, dressed in black, and perpetually grumpy. She loved dancing, and was also eccentric, powerful and a rather magnificent old lady.

Helen Pankhurst will be in Tonbridge
Helen Pankhurst will be in Tonbridge


Running from Friday, October 5 to Sunday, October 7, the festival at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge will also have well known names such as Jenni Murray, poet Elizabeth Cook, Ann Feloy and Jennifer Nadal in conversation with Olivia Buckland, alongside local writers.

There will also be an exhibition with artefacts from the suffrage movement on show throughout the weekend.

Events are ticketed, with some free. To book call 01732 304241 or visit emftheatre.com and deedsandwordstonbridge.com

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