Ladywell resident Julie Robinson, who worked as a local studies librarian at the Lewisham Local History Centre, has written a fascinating booklet on South London’s Suffrage Campaigners.
Titled ‘Profiles in Courage’ Julie writes about the South London women, several from Lewisham, who were active in the campaign for women’s right to vote. She provides biographies of 16 women and illustrates the diversity of the women’s suffrage movement in terms of race, class, disability and sexuality.
The biographies include Rosa May Billinghurst, a founder member of the Lewisham branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union who was paralysed from the age of five; and Emily Wilding Davison, who was born in Blackheath and died after stepping out in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913.
Eugenia Bouvier, another leading member of the Lewisham WSPU branch, spoke at public meetings in Ladywell, Lewisham Market and Blackheath. She was sent to prison in 1909 and went on hunger strike. The booklet contains a host of interesting facts and stories.
Julie has also written a short guide to the Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, which she says is an example of the mid-Victorian Garden Cemetery with its winding paths and landscape planting of trees – all designed to evoke and English 18th century park.
Ths booklet includes a short history of the cemeteries and their buildings, and sections on the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, war graves and memorials, wildlife and biodiversity.
Both booklets are available from Ladywell Village Fruit ‘n Veg, Algernon Road. Profiles in Courage £6.00; Guide to Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries £5.00