Minnie Turner – Suffragette talk at Brighton Museum this week

The free talk we have organised for both The Orange Lilies project and The Boys on the Plaque WWI project is this Friday 12th May at Brighton Museum. 
Meet at the entrance to the museum
The Orange Lilies project is lucky to be having an illustrated talk at Brighton Museum this week about the famed Minnie Turner, a Brighton suffragette in the lead to and during WWI.
This will include looking at original suffragette local Brighton objects from a 100 years ago, as it will be a private event for us, with gallery enactor Karen Antoni.
This is a great way for  project researchers to find out more about the home front in Brighton and Hove during our project period (1916 and the Somme). you can read more about Minnie here: https://theorangelilies.wordpress.com/blog/
The talk takes place at Brighton Museum on Friday 12th May 1-4pm. FREE. Meet at the museum entrance.
Please RSVP to theorangelilies@gmail.com

Brighton & Hove in WWI – Free Event day: 30th June 2017

TOL logoThe Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme

Brighton & Hove in WWI –  Free Event Day

Free WWI Community history event marking the end of both The Orange Lilies project, and The Boys on the Plaque project marking the Somme centenary, and exploring Brighton & Hove in WWI.

 Venue: Jubilee Library, Brighton, 11am – 4pm – 30th June 2017 


Introductions by Nicola Benge, The Orange Lilies Project Manager and Clare Hankinson, The Boys on the Plaque Project Manager

Dr Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East shows vintage film clips & discusses Brighton during WWI

Brighton & Hove in WWI Q & A session: chaired by Dr Sam Carroll + Speakers: Dr Chris Kempshall, Dr Alison Fell & Dr Frank Gray

Dr Alison Fell – First World War women workers and strikes

Dr Chris Kempshall of East Sussex in WWI – Talk on Brighton and The Battle of Boars Head

and speakers still TBC


Battle of Boar’s Head exhibition courtesy of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove; WWI exhibitions and resources from Brighton & Hove Libraries, Gateways to the First World War, and The Royal British Legion.

Venue –Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE

Queries to: theorangelilies@gmail.com



textiles workshop

The Orange Lilies project is delivered by Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage

In Partnership with Fabrica gallery, Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Services, and Gateways to the First World War.

and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund



Minnie Turner – Brighton Suffragette

The Orange Lilies project is lucky to be having an illustrated talk at Brighton Museum about the famed Minnie Turner, a Brighton suffragette in the lead to and during WWI. This is a great way for our project researchers to find out more about the home front in Brighton and Hove during our project period (1916 and the Somme).

The talk takes place at Brighton museum on Friday 12th May 1-4pm. FREE.

imagesMinnie Turner

Minnie Turner was born in about 1867. A supporter of women’s suffrage, Turner became the honorary secretary of the Women’s Liberal Association in Brighton in 1896. She was also a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). However, disappointed by the failure of the Liberal government to introduce legislation that would enable women to vote, Turner joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1908.

Turner ran her home, Sea View (13/14) Victoria Road, as a boarding house. Mary Clarke lived in her house while based in Brighton as a WSPU organiser. Turner was especially keen to cater for suffragettes and advertised her services in Votes for Women, The Suffragette, The Common Cause, The Vote and Women’s Dreadnought. Her advert stated: “Suffragettes spend your holidays in Brighton, central. Terms moderate.” Some of the women who stayed at her boarding house included Emmeline Pankhurst, Constance Lytton, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Annie Kenney, Flora Drummond , Marie Naylor, Mary Leigh, Mary Phillips and Vera Wentworth.

In November 1910 Turner was arrested with Mary Clarke while taking part in a demonstration outside the House of Commons. She was released without charge. She was arrested for breaking a window in the Home Office in November 1911 and received a sentence of 21 days’ in Holloway Prison.

download.jpgSome members of the WSPU stayed at Sea View after enduring hunger-strikes. This included Minnie Baldock in 1911 and Emily Wilding Davison in July 1912. Minnie Turner also kept a suffrage lending library at her home. That year her house was attacked by local people who disapproved of her support for the WSPU.

Minnie Turner was a member of the Tax Resistance League (TRL). The motto adopted by the Tax Resistance League was “No Vote No Tax”. According to Elizabeth Crawford, the author of The Suffragette Movement (1999): “When bailiffs seized goods belonging to women in lieu of tax, the TRL made the ensuing sale the occasion for a public or open-air meeting in order to spread the principles of women’s suffrage and to rouse public opinion to the injustice of non-representation meted out on tax-paying women.” In 1912 Turner had goods seized and sold at auction in lieu of tax.

Minnie Turner died in 1948.

Minnie Turner’s “suffragette boarding house”

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Minnie Turner's
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Minnie Turner's

13/14 Victoria Road

By Carol Dyhouse

In the early years of the last century nos 13 (known as ‘Sea View’) and 14 Victoria Road were first leased to and then purchased by Minnie Sara Turner (1867-1948), a local resident well known for her involvement in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Minnie Turner came from a modest home in Preston Street, Brighton, where her family kept a shop selling knitted garments. She and her elder brother Alfred seem to have been largely self-educated and shared a passion for books.

As a young woman Minnie made her living by running “Sea View” and later its annexe at 14 Victoria Road as a guest house which attracted mainly professional women visitors: teachers, doctors and nurses. For twelve years she was honorary secretary of the Hove ward of the Brighton and Hove Women’s Liberal Association, but left the Liberal party because of its lack of support for women’s suffrage. In 1908 she joined the women’s Social and Political Union and turned to militancy. She was arrested three times for her suffrage activities. On the first two occasions (“Black Friday” and “the Battle of Downing Street”) she was released. On the third occasion, in 1911, during a protest against Asquith’s Reform Bill, she broke a window at the Home Office and was sentenced to three weeks imprisonment in Holloway.

By 1913, 13 Victoria Road had acquired a mixed reputation locally as a “suffragette boarding house” harbouring a “colony of militants”. In April 1913, the windows of the house were stoned by local youths. Miss Turner and her guests retaliated by sticking up signs in the windows declaring the damage an illustration of “Masculine Logic”, “the only kind of argument men understand”.

Writing about her suffrage activities in later life, Minnie was characteristically modest about her achievements, but it was with great pride that she remembered the long list of suffrage leaders who had stayed with her at 13/14 Victoria Road. Her guests had included Mrs Pankhurst and several of her family, Lady Constance Lytton, Lady Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emily Wilding Davison, Annie Kenney, Mrs Drummond and many others. The guest-house was often full, and extra accommodation was arranged in the form of a wooden hut in the garden of no 13, and even a potting shed-type annexe to the back of no 12, next door.

Minnie believed passionately in suffrage and social justice. She was hard working and had a strong sense of responsibility to the community. A keen member of the Clifton Road Congregational Church, she was elected to the Brighton Board of Guardians soon after the First World War, and served for more than seven years, committed to improving conditions in Brighton Workhouse in Elm Grove. She valued education, peace and fellowship. One of her nieces remembered her aunt as a very determined woman but also as fun-loving, warm in her relationships with staff and friends.




The Orange Lilies Brighton talk

FREE: Talk with Project Manager Nicola Benge of The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove in the Somme project (funded by the HLF) about WWI in Brighton and Hove. There will also be a short introduction by Dr Sam Carroll of the Gateways to the First World War project.

This takes place at Brighton and Hove’s The British Legion pop in centre who are running their own WWI centenary project and organised by BL advisor Su Coleman.

Martindale photo collection.JPGTea and biscuits provided.

Email theorangelilies@gmail.com to book your free place or call the Royal British Legion booking line: 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks).

We’ll have exhibition panels on display on the Battle of Boar’s Head courtesy of Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove.

Free Refreshments

All welcome!



From the Somme to Brighton: the stories of two ‘Pavilion Blues’

operation-room-kitchener-hospital.jpgFREE: Outing to Pavilion Blues: Disability and Identity exhibition, Brighton Museum.

From 1916 to 1920 over 6,000 military amputees were treated at the Royal Pavilion, Dome and Corn Exchange in Brighton.

Jo Palache, researcher for ‘Pavilion Blues: Disability and Identity’ at Brighton Museum, shares the tales of two of the amputees who were treated at the Pavilion Military Hospital and discusses how their individual stories helped her learn more about the lives of the patients at the hospital.

This will take place in the Museum Lab on Wednesday 12th October from 10am -12pm. The illustrated talk will cover the hospital and WWI, as well as giving some background, on the individual stories of soldiers Albert Clay and George Fulkes.  Both fought on the Somme, although Albert was wounded later.

To commemorate this centenary, the story of the Pavilion Military Hospital for limbless soldiers is being told in the current exhibition, Pavilion Blues: Disability & Identity, at Brighton Museum. Researcher Jo Palache will talk about the stories behind it and her own project research.


In association with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove.

Venue – Brighton Museum, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE

With thanks to the East Sussex in WWI project for the cover image for this page.

Battle of Boar’s Head

SussexDied12thWebWe’ll be at this drop-in day hosted by Brighton Museum on Thursday 30th June.

The Battle of Boar’s Head was a diversionary attack a day before the Battle of the Somme, in which many Royal Sussex local recruits (known as Lowther’s Lambs) were massacred. The event had a major effect on Sussex towns and villages, particularly Brighton, becoming known as ‘The Day Sussex Died’.

To mark its centenary Brighton Museum is hosting a drop-in day which will include WWI re-enactors, relevant items from the collections that can be handled, a documentary on the Somme and boards telling the stories of some of the casualties. Members of the British Legion and Boar’s Head casualties’ families will be in attendance, and many of Brighton’s churches will ring their bells at 5pm to mark the day.

Read more about the Battle of Boars Head.

There are two sessions: 10-1pm & 2-4pm, drop-in.

Free with admission ticket.

Venue: Brighton Museum, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, BN1 1EE

More Information