Florence Earangey (nee How), lived at No 3 Wellington Square from 1899 to 1911.
She was very active in the women Suffrage movement together with her husband, William George Earangey a local solicitor. Florence was supportive of any movement who would push forward the issue of women’s vote but when in 1907 her sister, Edith How-Martyn, founded a break-away movement (in protest of the use of violence advocated by Pankhurst) the Women’s Freedom League, she became the de-facto leader of the local branch till the outbreak of the war, first as secretary then as president.
Although the Cheltenham WFL membership was small, it was a tightly-knit and active group. The most notable initiative, organised in the town by Florence with a parallel WSPU campaign, was the 1911 census evasion, an initiative aiming to distort government figures by persuading women to refuse to supply details for the census forms which, for the first time, were to be filled in by the householder rather than by a census enumerator visiting houses. (information taken from here).
I find local history, especially when it happened a few doors down from my own so interesting. It makes me feel more part of a place than anything else. I read a paper once (don’t ask me why… I was down a wormhole on the internet that took me down some weird stuff… but this one stuck)… it said that local history is also a way of seeing, seeing history at micro level that makes history also a social history because we can get to a much more detailed level. (I found who said it: Jonathan Healey, University of Oxford, ahh the scary know-it-all that is google…)
I love the fact that because someone took the trouble to put a blue sign of a wall I know that a suffragette lived near me, or the first woman GP had her office nearby etc.
I must find all the others blue plaques in town.