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Parliament Week 2012

Parliament Week 2012

27 September 2012

We are delighted to be part of this year’s Parliament Week.  Running from 19 – 25 November 2012, Parliament Week is a national initiative to build greater awareness of, and engagement with, parliamentary democracy in the UK.

Parliament Week 2012 will bring together organisations, schools and individuals from all over the UK in a week-long programme of events designed to engage, inform and inspire.  Visit the Parliament Week website to find out more.

Here at PHM we tell the story of how ordinary people fought for the right to vote and engage with democracy.  If you’ve never visited us, then come along and discover why there have always been ideas worth fighting for.  To whet your appetite, here are some highlights from our story of democracy.

Peterloo Sabres – In 1819 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Fields in Manchester to demand the right to vote. 18 were killed after the crowd was charged by yeomanry carrying these sabres in what became known as the Peterloo Massacre.

Peterloo Handkerchief – This handkerchief was produced to commemorate the Peterloo Massacre.

Tom Paine’s Desk – The desk on which Tom Paine wrote The Rights of Man.

Table leg truncheon – The Chartist who turned a table leg into this truncheon believed that self defence could help achieve democracy.

Chartist Ballot Box – Designed by a Welsh watchmaker to weigh votes, to counter arguments that the secret ballot would encourage fraudulent voting.

Tinplate Workers Banner- This is the oldest trade union banner in the world.

First Minutes of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 12 February 1906 – These are the minutes of the first meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Many of the policies that the party wanted to enact are still debated today.

The Women’s Press postcard, about 1905 – This image shows all kinds of merchandise, including posters, sashes and bags that were used to advertise the cause.

Suffragette sashes - Painted silk sashes such as these were worn by women to show their support for the cause. Selling the sashes also raised funds.