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Manchester High School for Girls

Pankhurst legacy lives on at Manchester High

Manchester High School for Girls has a very close association with the famous Pankhurst family.

As Manchester prepares to unveil a new statue in honour of Emmeline Pankhurst, the great campaigner for women's right to vote, we have collated five things that you may not have known about our connection to the family of Manchester's most famous daughter, Emmeline.

  1. Emmeline Pankhurst enrolled her three daughters, Christabel, Sylvia, Adela at Manchester High School for Girls in 1893, after hearing about the School’s pioneering spirit. All three of the girls completed their education here, with Adela being the last to leave the School in 1902. 
  2. Dr Helen Pankhurst, great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and the granddaughter of Sylvia has visited Manchester High on a number of occasions, most recently to speak at our Celebration and Awards Evening at the Bridgewater Hall. A number of our current pupils are quoted in Helen’s most recent book, ‘Deeds Not Words’.
  3. On the 30th June 2018, Manchester High School for Girls took over Harvey Nicholls in Manchester City Centre for ‘Suffragette’s in the City’. This event celebrated 100 years of votes for women, as well as the milestone of welcoming the 100th Pankhurst Bursary girl to Manchester High. Over £21,000 was raised for the Pankhurst Bursary Fund on the night.
  4. Claire Hewitt, Head Mistress of Manchester High, accompanied 12 girls to the House of Lords in 2016 to see the unveiling of the six creations by sculptors who had been shortlisted to create the Our Emmeline statue. The event was attended by Sir Graham Brady (MP for Altrincham), Louise Ellman (MP for Liverpool Riverside and MHSG alumnae), Jeff Smith (MP for Withington) and Councillor Andrew Simcock.
  5. Manchester High School for Girls tucked into a slice of suffragette history when alumnae, Rose Dummer, made a life size replica of the Our Emmeline statue entirely from cake. The cake-making process was filmed in its entirety by Channel 4 for the television programme, Extreme Cake Makers.

If you are interested in finding out more about Christabel, Sylvia and Adela's time at Manchester High, please contact our archivists, Mrs Hobson and Mrs Roberts.