HARD WORK – BUT GLORIOUS: Stories from the Herefordshire Suffrage Campaign by Clare Wichbold

Hard Work – but Glorious is the first book devoted to exploring the story of the women’s suffrage campaign in Herefordshire. All sides of the debate are covered: the militant suffragettes and peaceful suffragists, often working collectively in the county, ranged against the anti-suffrage activists who were equally passionate about their opposition to women gaining the Parliamentary vote.

Author Clare Wichbold began uncovering these stories about the significance of Hereford to the suffrage campaign when she was working with activity officer Sarah Hollingdale on the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Eastern Cloisters Project at Hereford Cathedral. Their research led to the NLHF-funded Violet Plaques initiative, highlighting a number of unsung women and men who played a role in bringing about universal suffrage, with temporary plaques around the city of Hereford and information available online and in leaflets.

It was clear that there was more to be discovered, and while the Covid-19 pandemic brought opportunities for in-person archival research to a temporary halt, being furloughed from her current job allowed Clare Wichbold to supplement her material using online resources and prepare Hard Work – but Glorious for publication. The title comes from a letter sent in 1908 by Gladice Keevil, head of the Midlands office of the Women's Social and Political Union, to Herefordshire suffragist Bea Parlby, asking her to help rally local campaigners to attend a Women’s Demonstration in Hyde Park, London.

Clare Wichbold says: ‘I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the remarkable stories behind the suffrage campaign in Herefordshire. Some surprising discoveries have come to light about the people on either side of the suffrage debate, both for and against votes for women. I'm delighted to be able to share my research in Hard Work – But Glorious, and hope that my readers will be inspired to find out more.’

Now available to purchase from the Cathedral Shop