Address: 54.553176, -1.245385
Origin: circa 1880s
Site Type: Dwelling
Little is known about this humble little cottage on the edge of Middlesbrough, but one very special person lived here. This was Alice Schofield Coates, a very well known Suffragette who advanced the cause of women's rights and the eventual right for women to vote on an equal basis to men.
Alice was originally born in 1881 in Lancashire. Her early life was modest and restricted, as her parents didn't have much money. She trained as a teacher in Manchester and eventually met Emmeline Pankhurst (you might have heard of that surname!) at a meeting with her boss as she refused to teach religious education. She then started working at a Jewish school where it wasn't necessary to teach religion.
Thanks to her background, she was politically motivated and joined the Independent Labour Party (which was the predecessor to todays Labour Party) as well as Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union.
Not long later she was based in Middlesbrough, and married a member of the Women's Freedom League which was a democratic suffrage group, rather than militant. In 1919, she stood as the first woman
Under these maps, Alice's house is listed as Ashgate!
councillor in Middlesbrough and won!
She was actively involved in campaigns that secured votes for women as well as equal pay, and helped the women of Middlesbrough have a better life than before. This included other campaigns such as improving public health. She was still politically active all the was into the 50s!