Former suffragists’ office, 22 Madoc Street, Llandudno

button-theme-womenFormer suffragists’ office, 22 Madoc Street, Llandudno

This building, now home to Craftucation, once housed the office of the first society in Wales to campaign for women to be allowed to vote in Parliamentary elections.

Local women met on 23 January 1907 at The Cocoa House on Mostyn Street and formed the Llandudno branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). In November 1908 the branch opened its office at what was then 39 Madoc Street (properties have been renumbered since).

The office was open on Monday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. It provided information about the campaign to anyone who visited the comfortable room with its “good fire”. Tea was available for 3d on Mondays. By January, the branch had gained several new members through visits to the office.

Edith Walton Evans, a talented musician, was one of the branch’s most energetic campaigners. She visited Rhyl several times in 1908 to nurture a new NUWSS branch there. Her father was a Church of England archdeacon.

The Llandudno branch’s first secretary was Susan Edith Champneys, another clergyman’s daughter. In 1903 she had been elected to the Board of Guardians, which administered the workhouse where poor people lived and worked. In 1906 the Girls’ Friendly Society was formed as a result of Edith Champneys’ report on women’s conditions in workhouses. Its aim was to improve the lot of women in workhouses across North Wales.

Edith objected to the NUWSS’s criticism of suffragettes, who believed that only direct action would achieve their aim. Suffragists (NUWSS members) believed in peaceful, law-abiding protest.

Edith later joined the police. She was once fined for wearing a police uniform despite being part of the auxiliary police force! You can read more about her on our page about The Epperstone, in Abbey Road, where she lived with her sister.

With thanks to DeAnn Bell, of Women’s Archive Wales and Llandudno Museum and Gallery, and to Adrian Hughes

Postcode: LL30 2EE    View Location Map

Women’s Archive Wales website - download the Llandudno Women’s Heritage Walk leaflet

Website of Craftucation, provider of online arts and crafts courses