Sylvia Pankhurst .com - an Interactive Learning Resource
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'CELEBRATING SYLVIA PANKHURST'

An exhibition which took place at Redbridge Museum, Ilford, Essex (London Borough of Redbridge), from Monday 7 April to Saturday 21 June, 2008West Hatch Students: Suffragettes
West Hatch Students: Suffragettes West Hatch Students: SuffragettesWest Hatch Students: Suffragettes

Scenes from the opening of the 'Celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst' Exhibition at Redbridge Museum. Photos © Kois Miah

This vibrant exhibition, part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project to promote Sylvia Pankhurst as a figure important to national and local heritage, revealed many aspects of Sylvia's life and work, and delighted visitors throughout its run in April, May and June 2008. Sylvia Pankhurst lived in Woodford, now in the Borough of Redbridge, from 1924 till 1956 and much of her important work was done during this period.

With interactive elements plus audio and TV footage, items displayed in the exhibition included many artefacts relating directly to Sylvia, to the Suffragettes and to her other campaigning activities, plus a gallery of Sylvia's paintings and designs. Contributing bodies included the Museum of London, the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester, the Ethiopian Embassy, the London Postal Museum, the Palace of Westminster, further enriching the collection relating to Sylvia already owned by Redbridge Museum, along with items lent by individuals. HLF logoRedbridge Museum logoRedbridge logo

The formal opening in April included a performance by students from West Hatch High School in Chigwell who, following workshops with theatre director Kelly Wilkinson and with their own Head of Performing Arts Sue Pavelkova, recreated characters from Sylvia's life to challenge and interact with visitors as they walked round the displays. Dr Pat Heron from Redbridge Local Studies Archive supplied the students with information about Ilford's own prominent Suffragette, Ethel Haslam, to add a local touch to their re-enactments of Women's Social & Political Union activities.

The Museum hosted school group visits and History & Citizenship workshops. Additional activities, held as part of Redbridge Book and Media Festival, included talks to adults and children by Sylvia's biographer Shirley Harrison, Ethiopian storytelling by Eden Solomon, and creative banner-making workshops for families with 3–12 year olds.

From summer 2008 to spring 2009, Redbridge Museum staged a display relating to Sylvia Pankhurst in a number of libraries in the Borough of Redbridge, in Oaks Park High School and at the Runwell Hospital, Wickford.

The exhibition was created by Gerard Greene, Museum Manager and his staff at Redbridge Museum which is in the building of the Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford. For more details of this exhibition, telephone 020 8708 2317 or e-mail redbridge.museum@redbridge.gov.uk.