Plans to honour Nelson women's vote pioneer

Selina Cooper
Selina Cooper
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The life of famous Nelson suffragist Selina Cooper is to be celebrated in the town to mark the 100th anniversary of the women’s vote campaign.

Nelson Town Council has submitted a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to create a fitting permanent artwork or memorial to commemorate the life and achievements of the pioneering woman.

The memorial will be located in the original lecture room of the former Independent Labour party building, originally opened by Selina Cooper, and which is now the Unity Wellbeing centre in the town.

The Independent Labour party building was for many years a focal point for the local community and contained a reading room, library, meeting rooms, a school room, a kitchen and a lecture room.

The building was opened in 1905 by two women, one of whom was Selina Cooper, who progressed from being a child mill worker to a Suffragist on the national stage.

Four stained glass windows, which were removed from the front of the building when it fell into disrepair, will also be replaced if the bid is successful.

Town council chairman Coun. Zafar Ali said: “We want to bring this heritage of women’s suffrage alive for the people of Nelson by facilitating talks and tours centred on the history of the building and the achievements of Selina Cooper.

She was also the first woman to represent the Independent Labour Party when she was elected in 1901.