The Pankhurst Maquette: Why the chair?

Emmeline Pankhurst’s own words explain: ‘Day by day our members went forth and held street meetings. Selecting a favourable spot, with a chair for a rostrum, one of us would ring a bell until people began to stop to see what was going to happen. What happened of course, was a lively suffrage speech, and the distribution of literature.’ (My Own Story, 1914).

The photos I love of Emmeline are of her in full flow, elevated so that she can be seen and heard above the crowds, despite her small frame of around 5ft.

Suffragettes used anything they could easily lay their hands on, to get themselves elevated above the crowds – chairs, tables, sofas, wooden crates, carts and carriages.

Symbolically, a domestic wooden kitchen chair provides the petite yet powerful Emmeline, with a public platform.


  1. Thank you so much Hazel for this wonderful opportunity to follow you on this amazing journey. I have learnt so much and never realised how much sheer hard work, dedication and perseverance required to bring Our Emmeline home 💜💚 So looking forward to the unveiling and meeting her and being able to show our respects and thanks for your creativity and letting us share your incredible adventure. So proud for you and this Mancunian woman is honoured to be able to be there for this very historic event on 14th December 2018. 💜💚

    1. Thanks so much Anji for all your support – fantastic that you will be there at the unveiling of Our Emmeline on the 14 December!

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