This historically significant building was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst. She lived here with her family including her daughters Sylvia, Christabel and Adela. As such, 62 Nelson Street is the birthplace of the Suffragette movement, with the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union held here in October 1903.
That early history of powerful women campaigning for a cause and supporting other women is in the bricks and mortar of the Pankhurst Centre.
It was squatted in, in the late 70’s to prevent its demolition, and it was saved from the wrecker’s ball by women who believed in it and its place in women’s history. This lead to it becoming a Women’s Centre. Today it stands as an accessible, empowering and safe space for women and girls of Manchester, and the rest of the world.
This pair of Edwardian Villas is now the headquarters of Pankhurst Trust, a Charity created in and reflective of the exciting and innovative city which is Manchester. The Pankhurst Trust is unique in its twin aims of seeking to eradicate violence against women and girls and in celebrating the “legacy” of women’s suffrage in relation to the wider women’s movement and contemporary struggles to tackle gender inequality and injustice.
This hub for women’s empowerment is a hive of activity with Manchester Rape Crisis using the building as its centre of operations. It houses Manchester Women’s Aid Referral line where women seeking help with and fleeing from domestic abuse can gain expert guidance from trained and experienced domestic abuse professionals.
Every day the centre hums and buzzes with activity. It has a weekly women’s drop in. It provides training and and educational opportunities and space. New projects are imagined developed and delivered every week.
Its heritage museum staffed by expert heritage volunteers allows visitors to understand the story of place and empowerment the building tells.
The Pankhurst Centre is a focus and destination. It is a home and an archive for women, their stories and their words, and has been for 100 years. Here’s to the next 100!
Words and images supplied by Elaine De Fries of the The Pankhurst Trust.