100 Years of Plymouth Powerful Women

Showcasing Plymouth Powerful Women over the last 100 years

The Hoe Neighbourhood Forum together with the University of Plymouth’s Cultural and Heritage Exchange (CHEx) team, Real Ideas and The Box, are hosting a Heritage Lottery-funded exhibition on 28 November 2019: showcasing Plymouth Powerful Women over the last 100 years – women who have worked in different fields and in different ways to support and protect their fellow citizens and promote the City. 

This exhibition launches the 100 Years of Plymouth Powerful Women project. Our starting point is recognition of the importance of the women’s dimension in shaping the modern city, but equally, recognition that too many of these women have been forgotten. 

This is a community project to celebrate the impact and legacy of women whose contribution needs to be rediscovered and to achieve this, we are reaching out to Plymothians old and new. We have an initial list of 50 names – and, for around twenty of them, we know something solid about their lives and work. But – there are others about whom we know far too little.

Help us to find out more

Bring us your memories, share your stories about them, along with and photographs so we can put faces to names!

Send them to us via email at wip-project@plymouth.ac.uk or post on our Facebook page. Alternatively send it by post to our research co-ordinator and adviser, Professor Judith Rowbotham, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA. Deadline: 15 January 2020.

Our aim is to use the information you send us draw up a list of up to 100 women over the last century, whose names and impact on Plymouth need celebrating – this long list will be announced on 21 January, at 18h30, during the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Research Festival, before the showing of the Time-Lock#ChitChat documentary on Nancy Astor – A Returned Pilgrim.

The list will then appear on this webpage, with the information we have on the women, and this can be added to during the rest of January, February and March. 

In April, we will ask you to vote for your top thirty – and we will announce that during Plymouth History Month 2020. 

We will then use this to create an app-based Powerful Plymouth Women Heritage Trail around Plymouth, featuring these top 30 along with Nancy Astor, which will launch in September 2020, in time for Mayflower 400.

Make your recommendation

Breaking the Bias podcast

Speaker: Professor Judith Rowbotham; Host: Dr Michael Kandiah
When first established in 1883, the Co-operative Women's Guild set out to break the bias against women's participation in the Co-operative movement as anything more than shoppers. As part of breaking that bias, the Guild set out to give working class women a voice that they could use to make an impact. The University of Plymouth Cultural and Heritage Exchange (CHEx) team, building on its role in the lottery-funded 100 Years of Plymouth Powerful Women project with the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum, has been researching the Plymouth branch of the Guild and the members' importance in shaping and developing women's activism in Plymouth and the South West. In this podcast, the CHEx team's Professor Judith Rowbotham discusses the Guild and Plymouth's branch, in collaboration with King's College, London, to celebrate International Women's Day 2022.
CHEx and King's College London University of London logo