Women in Penmaenmawr a Hundred Years Ago

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A few months ago Heather Bonnebaigt, leader of 1st Penmaenmawr Guides, asked if someone from the Museum could come to speak to the group on ‘Women in Penmaenmawr a Hundred Years ago.’

The Museum’s Team for Young People arranged a programme to fit in with the regular weekly meeting at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Serendipitously, a hundred years ago, November 21st, was the day that women were allowed to be Members of Parliament.

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Confining the agenda to local women, Dennis Roberts began the session by drawing a cameo of life for women which was drudgery from the age of 14, or even earlier. A life when hardly any home devices had been invented so all housework was sheer physical labour. In contrast privileged young women were free to pursue a kinder life of reading, walking for pleasure , afternoon teas, pretty dresses and the opportunity to do ‘good works’ as they had so much free time. The girls were engrossed in following Dennis’ talk.

Having had a time of listening we all moved upstairs to watch the Time Travel Video of the promenade which Sionyn Jones had set up and Dennis added the commentary.

Downstairs again and now the girls had time to talk as John Good posed thought provoking questions for discussion, debate and fielded the answers. This was a time to consider the future and the part women could be playing. 

Following a quick break Anna Tucker took over and engaged the girls in what women might have worn a hundred years ago and what they might have had on their banners. Anna demonstrated how to make a Suffragette [green & purple ribbon] peg doll. They then wrote banners with their own ideas on what they would consider necessary for a more equal society.

This was a kaleidoscope of the life of women a hundred years ago in Penmaenmawr and the wider national efforts for women’s suffrage which the Guides appear to enjoy.

Many thanks to Heather, Dennis, Anna, John, Sionyn and particular thanks to Pippa for organising the whole evening!