2018 is the centenary year of women in Britain gaining the right to vote, a fact which is being commemorated and honoured at countless events up and down the country, including through the “Celebrating the Women of Cumbria” initiative. This creative project involved 11 museums working with girls and women from Girlguiding, the WI, the Trefoil Guild and Soroptimists International who collaborated with Cumbrian artist Karen MacDougall to create an artistic response to the anniversary. In Kendal, this involved Kendal Rangers on the design of a banner which has just gone on display at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry.

Members of Kendal Rangers with banner

Left to right: Rebecca Tarney, Sophie Hansen and Josie Hardy

Rebecca Tarney, Sophie Hansen and Josie Hardy, three members of Kendal Rangers, were very happy to participate in the project since it “allowed us to celebrate women in general as well as the suffragette movement and also look at votes for people aged 16+” as Kendal Ranger leader Helen Belton explains. Rangers are aged 14-25 and the Kendal unit has been discussing a number of political issues recently, and for example coming to the conclusion that the so called “tampon tax” is unfair, and that the voting age should be lowered to 16.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed their work on the banner, particularly Imogen and Sophie Hansen who ended up as the models for the young voters at the bottom of the banner. They are now looking forward to all the Cumbrian banners being carried through the streets or Carlisle in a parade,