The Struggle

The Struggle

Celebrate Women's HERstory

Celebrate Women's HERstory

Deeds Not Words

Deeds Not Words

Votes For Women

Votes For Women

Re-defining HERstory

Re-defining HERstory

Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women

Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women



Suffragettes England 1908

Suffragettes England 1908

Asian Suffragettes

Asian Suffragettes

Women Ground Breakers

Women Ground Breakers

Women's Liberation1969

Women's Liberation1969

No Longer Walk Invisible

No Longer Walk Invisible

  • Melvyn Bragg and Guests Talk Suffragism
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Celebrating the Centenary of The Representation of The People Act 1918 and Decades of The Women's Liberation Movement Which Succeeded It


“For Most of History Anonymous was a Woman ” 
―Virginia Woolf
“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” 
― Florence Nightingale
The Time For Change is Overdue.....Deeds Not Words, TOWARDS liberation Proudly picks up the gauntlet To shARE, Tell and Involve. 
please NOTE THAT THIS PROJECT STARTED ON SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2016 AND THAT This weBsIte iS being developed as the project evolves.

Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to record, preserve and raise awareness about women's social and political activism in Derbyshire.

In Our Time: Melvyn Bragg and Guests Talks Suffragism

Melvyn Bragg and guests Krista Cowman, June Purvis and Julia Bush discuss suffragism, a name for the various movements to get the vote for women in the 19th and early-20th century. On the 4th June 1913 theEpsom Derby was underway. King George V was there watching his horse Anmer, ridden by Herbert Jones. Also watching was a young woman called Emily Davison. As the horses thundered towards the finish line, Emily Davison stepped through the barrier and threw herself in front of the King's horse and died of her injuries four days later. Davison was a suffragette, a campaigner for the woman's right to vote and her death is perhaps the most powerful image of that entire movement. Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes are famous for their militant campaign of suicide, violence and direct action, but Suffragism was a broader movement involving letter writing, reasoned argument, journalism and parliamentary petition - all played out across biology, medicine, law, psychology, politics and the military amidst the rising tide of democratic ideas







BBC: The Centenary Votes for Women:

Click the link to view 



IWD Derby Festival March 7th 2020

Event: Talk at International Women'd Day Derby Festival

Date: March 7th  2020 Past

March 9th 2020

Talk: Discovering HERstory 

Date: March 7th  2020

Location: Platform, Matlock

March 9th -16th 2020

Pop-up Exhibition: Mary Seacole Postponed due to Corona Virus 

Date: March 9th - 16th   2020

Location: The Exhibition will pop up on various wards at Dery Royal Hospital 

Minding The Gap: Exploring The     

Struggle for Equal Pay         

Exhibition Date: Summer 2020 Cancelled due to Corona Virus 

UK Parliament Week Events:

Events and activities Nov 1 - 7th 2020

Upcoming Launch of Alice and Elisabeth Centre for Civic Egagement:

When: May 2020 Postponed due to Corona Virus 

Where: The Mandela Centre, 179 Pear Tree Rd


The Centre which is part of the legacy of our Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation Project, is named after Alice Wheeldon (born Derby 27 January 1866 - Died Derby 21 February 1919) and Elisabeth Freeman (born Chesterfield Derbyshire,12 Sept 1876 - Died Pasendena, Texas, USA 27 Feb 1942). 

We are now planning a February 2021 Launch to mark the death of both women some 23 years apart. The Centre will be housed on the ground floor of the main Mandela Centre and will include our Deeds and Words Archive, a Women's History and People's History Library and public space. Watch this space for information. To find out more about the remarkable lives of Alice and Elisabeth see our Derbyshire 100+ Women Page. Watch this space!


Alice Wheeldon 

27 Jan1866 -  21 Feb 1919

Elisabeth Freeman 

12 Sept 1876 -  27 Feb 42

100 Derbyshire Women Movers and Shakers and Pioneers

Current List of Nominees

  • Marion Elizabeth Adnams 1898–1995 Marion Adnams was a versatile artist and teacher, who was born and lived in Derby. Notable for her Surrealist works she was influenced by René Magritte and Paul Nash.  

  • Parkash Ahluwalia, MBE - Derbyshire's first Asian Woman Police Officer.​

  • Sue Arguile - NUT, Community Organiser Activist   ​

  • Mary Attenborough - 1897 Sawley Derbyshire  was a writer and founding member of Marriage Guidance Council​

  • Marilyn Baldwin, OBE - Marilyn Baldwin campaigned for change following the contribution of 'postal scammers' to the death of her elderly mother who was conned out of £50,000. She set up the charity 'Think Jessica' in her mother's name

Additional Project Outputs:


Lecture Series

Quilted Wall Hanging 'With Her Own Hands'

Archival Film - Unfinished HERstories'

HERstory in Her Words - Oral Histories

        Are You A HERitage Sleuth?  We Need Your Help to...

Do You Know Anything About This Beautiful Well-Dressing?  It is located in Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire and was dressed in 2008? Please contact Sonya Robotham on 07779560284 or by email on Looking forward to hearing from you. Image courtesy of

Revealed: Latest Names added to Made in Derby 'walk of fame'









More than 400 nominations were received for 220 individuals to be inscribed we were successful in our lobbying to get Alice Wheeldon included in the first 8 stars alongside Bess of Hardwick Hall. The first names were revealed in May 2018.  The second set of names (10) were revealed on September 14th 2019. While we wince at the inclusion of a fictional character Lara Croft (more a nod to the creators of Lara Croft men!), we note the inclusion of several women in the current cohort of names including Florence Nightingale and artist Marion Adnams. Read more about the Project and public comments by clicking on the links below.











Object Teaser of The Month

Latest Events

Sneak previews of newly acquired items/linked materials - See item/question of The Month

Getting involved...

August 2020: MILLICENT FAWCETT (11 June 1847 – 5 August 1929) Autograph Letters Signed

​Handwritten and signed letters by Millicent Fawcett.  Millicent Fawcett is, perhaps, best remembered as a women's suffragist and campaigner for votes for women. She spoke at the inaugural London meeting of the London Suffrage Committee in 1869, an organisation which she had joined and was appointed as its secretary at the age of 19. She was president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage from 1907 to 1919 and did much to finally secure enfranchisement for women. She was also a staunch advocate of higher education for women and she founded the all-women college, Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1871. Millicent Fawcett was encouraged in her work by John Stuart Mill and it was he who introduced her to her husband, Henry Fawcett. Her work in other fields included heading the Commission that was sent to South Africa to investigate reports of the atrocious conditions in Boer concentration camps, campaigns to make child marriages illegal and reforms to the laws relating to prostitution and sexual offences.

The letters on this occasion do not relate or even discuss Millicent Fawcett's suffrage work (indeed although she had already started to campaign on the issue, the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies would not be formed until 1905) but a series of social and personal affairs between D Campbell and Mrs Fawcett. The letters of which there are 4, were written between 1888 and , while she resided with her daughter and her sister Agnes Garrett, at 2 Gower Street, London (and indeed died there in 1929)  after the death of her husband, Liberal MP  Henry Fawcett in 1884. The letter headed paper clearly shows her Gower St address. 

Provenance: From a  reputable dealer who specialises in antique letters. The signature has also be checked against letters held by various organistions including The Women's Library, and are found to be identical.  Research is ongoing regarding the persons mentioned in the letters, especially Mr D Campbell. 

Question: Which Derbyshire Woman herself a pioneer of the Suffrage Movement, was cousin to Millicent Fawcett?

Which Derbyshire sisters, one of whom was a hunger striker,  would together with Millicent Fawcett contribute to the cleaning and reinstating of a statue of Queen Elizabeth I statue at St Dunstan's In the West?  

Burton Leads the way in Dropping Mrs...

Interview Updates



Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation - A Labour of Love 

Vox Feminarum has spent several years developing an idea which started with the question, 'Why do we know so little about women's contributions to Derbyshire Heritage?", to create a Project that would tell HERstory and be robust in the following areas:

1. undertaking substantial research to uncover 'unkown' stories, and to 

2. develop a Project which would stand up to scrutiny in terms of substance, quality and public interest. To read more about our Project click the link below. 

Contact Us

We are always seeking to improve our site and to strengthen the project through volunteer contributions and dialogue. Do get in touch to volunteer, or to contribute your stories, memorabilia or documents and to just let us know what you think.


Click on each blog post below to

The Mandela Centre, 179 Pear Tree Rd, Derby, DE23 8NQ T: 01332 347066

Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to record, preserve and raise awareness about women's social and political activism in Derbyshire. Shoulder to Shoulder events are funded by the Celebrating Votes for Women Fund

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