County’s first female MP to be celebrated

Council chief executive Merran McRae.
Council chief executive Merran McRae.

The achievements of Yorkshire’s first female MP will be celebrated in the district for International Women’s Day.

Wakefield Council and The Forgotten Women of Wakefield project have organised a day of events in honour of Normanton-born Alice Bacon.

Victorious: Alice Bacon Yorkshire's first female MP.

Victorious: Alice Bacon Yorkshire's first female MP.

The celebrations will also mark the 100 year anniversary of the first women in our country - those over the age of 30 - getting the right to vote, with the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

The council’s chief executive Merran McRae said: “Alice was born into a world where she was unable to vote and became a prominent MP and campaigner for social reform.

“She lived her life in the Wakefield district and this event celebrates her inspirational achievements as part of International Women’s Day.

“The year also marks 100 years since women were able to vote. Let’s celebrate the achievements of all the inspirational women that fought to make this happen.”

In 1945, Alice was elected to represent the Leeds North East seat. She was a powerful force in opening up educational opportunities, legalising abortion, scrapping the death penalty and decriminalising homosexuality.

From 10am, on Thursday, March 8, International Women’s Day, Alice’s story will be brought to life through drama, performance and spoken word at Wakefield One.

MP Rachel Reeves, who wrote Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon, will then give a talk about her achievements, and at 12.45pm a blue plaque will be unveiled to honour Alice.

A new ale - the Baroness Bacon Beer - will be launched The Hopetown Liberal Club in Normanton later that day.

People are invited to toast Alice and her achievements and sample the beer at the club from 7.30pm that evening.