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Trees to mark 'lost' Batheaston suffragette arboretum
Adela Pankhurst and Annie Kenney beside a cedar tree planted by Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst was among the suffragettes who planted a tree

A group of historians from Bath is planning to commemorate the work of suffragettes in the city by planting trees in local parks.

An arboretum dedicated to the political activists was created in Batheaston between 1909 and 1912 by the Blathwayt family at their home, Eagle House.

Most of the trees were felled in the 1960s to make way for a housing estate.

Now history researchers at Bath Spa University have launched a campaign to raise £4,500 to buy new trees.

Austrian pine planted by suffragette Rose Lamartine Yates on 30 October 1909
Rose Lamartine Yates planted a tree after spending a month in prison

"We think the suffragettes' links with Bath have been overlooked for too long," said senior history lecturer Dr Elaine Chalus.

More than 60 suffragettes came to stay with the Blathwayt family after they were imprisoned for their political activism.

During their stay, the women were encouraged to plant trees and bushes as a symbol of their hopes for political equality.

The leader of the movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, was among those who added a sapling to the collection.

A single tree remains at the original site: a large Australian pine, planted by Rose Lamartine Yates on 30 October 1909.

On 8 March 2011 - International Women's Day - three new trees will be planted to commemorate the arboretum and the women who created it.

They will be situated in Bath's Victoria Park and in Alice Park, in the grounds of the university's Newton Park campus.

The ceremonies will be part of a week-long series of public events from 7-11 March, including a photographic exhibition of at Bath Central Library.

"This celebration provides an excellent way to highlight the involvement of these women in the history of Bath and in the history of the suffragette movement," added Dr Chalus.

If you would like to donate towards the fund, which the university hopes to raise by 10 January 2010, you can send a cheque made out to Bath Spa University to:

The Suffragettes' Tree,
Dr Roberta Anderson,
School of Humanities and Cultural Industries,
Bath Spa University,
Newton Park,
Bath BA2 9BN

Any money raised over and above the cost of the week's commemoration activities will go towards a bursary for a female student to carry out research at the university's Centre for History and Culture.




SEE ALSO
Plaque unveiled for suffragette
04 Aug 10 |  Sussex
Audio slideshow: People power
26 Feb 10 |  UK
Suffragette march marks centenary
10 Oct 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Women's fight for vote celebrated
30 Jul 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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