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Suffragette board game found in Stratford

Suffragette board game pieces
Suffragette board game pieces

An auctioneer recently discovered a Suffragette board game in Stratford, which shows how women fought for their rights more than 100 years ago.

The game which shows the support of the Suffragette movement was found by Jon Keightley, valuer for Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers, at a monthly valuation event held by the firm at The Malt House, The Rookery, Alveston.

The discovery was made in the year Britain marks the 100th anniversary of some women winning the right to vote in 1918.

The dice game called Pank-a-Squith was named after Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British Suffragette movement, and her adversary, British prime minister from 1908-1916 Herbert Asquith.

He advocated denying women the right to vote. As a result, his house became a target of the British Suffragette movement’s mass window-breaking campaign in the early 20th century. Despite the views of Asquith, the Representation of the People Act 1918 finally gave women over 30 the right to vote. In 1928, all British women aged over 21 were granted the right to vote.

Mr Keightley said: “Pank-a-Squith was made to entertain supporters of the Suffragette Movement while raising funds for them and promoting their cause. It is essentially a glorified version of snakes and ladders where Suffragette figures have to negotiate the board while avoiding arrest.”

There are six Suffragette figures in the game and, depending on what square your suffragette figure falls on, you follow instructions such as: ‘Dodges the police and must go back to her home on square number 1’.

Mr Keightley added: “Object like this show how advanced the Suffragette movement was in terms of making merchandise to back their cause.”

The Suffragette movement produced toys and games to popularise its ideas and activities. The Pank-a-Squith board game was first advertised in Votes for Women on October 22, 1909.

It was distributed and sold through a network of high-street shops run by the Women’s Social and Political Union.

He added: “The game isn’t complete as it is lacking the board. It dates back to around 1909 and is probably German. A complete game has sold in the past for £660 but, as this one is incomplete, it may only make around £100.”

The Suffragette game will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, on March 27 with an estimate of £100.

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