IT is just over 100 years since property-owning women over the age of 30 were finally granted the right to vote. It marked a huge breakthrough in the cause of women's suffrage.

The woman most closely associated with this landmark achievement is, of course, the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. But she was the figurehead of a mass movement of women across the country - many of them willing to face jail in the furtherance of their cause.

York women played their own part in this fight. The three best-known women activists in York were:

- Annie Seymour Pearson, known to her friends as Nancy or Nance. Nancy at 14 ( later 58) Heworth Green. Her husband was a manager at LNER and they had four children. She travelled to London, to the St Stephen’s entrance of the House of Commons, where she was arrested together with about thirty other women for obstructing the police. She was York’s first ( and probably only) suffragette prisoner, spending two days in Holloway before her husband turned up at the prison with 25 shillings and sixpence to secure her release. As a result of her sentence, she became a local celebrity.

- Violet Key Jones. Born in Ireland in 1883, Violet moved with her family to York in about 1900, living first at 23 St Mary’s, Bootham and then in Mount Vale. She was branch organiser of the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union), the York branch of which was located at 35 Coney Street and later in Coppergate.

- Mrs Coultate, a school teacher, who founded the WSPU branch in York and lived in Nunthorpe Road.

Sadly, we have very little information about York's suffragettes - and no photographs. The Press archives are remarkably quiet about them and their activities.

We would love to find out more. So if any Press readers have information about the Suffrage movement in York - and in particular any photographs of York suffragettes or of the WSPU building - we'd love to hear from you.

Contact Stephen Lewis on 01904 567263 or email