On International Women's Day, PGHS celebrates its close links with the Suffragettes

1st August 2020

Palmers Green High School has been celebrating its strong association with the Suffragettes in the centenary year which marks the first time women could vote. Avondale Hall, which is now part of Palmers Green High School, was a popular venue for Suffragette meetings. A report from The Recorder in April 1914 refers to a meeting of the ‘Women’s Freedom League’ in Avondale Hall.

Originally located at Number 1, Osborne Road, Palmers Green, the School had twelve pupils when it began in 1905, but by 1918 the School had grown to 300 pupils and had moved to Avondale Hall, in Hoppers Road. Although the Avondale Hall site is where the school is currently located, pupils from the early days would hardly recognise PGHS now since many renovations, alterations and additions have taken place since that time.

Girls in the Lower School through to the Senior school have been studying the Suffragette movement in the run up to International Women’s Day today. Started in the early 1900’s, the Suffragettes forged purposeful action for equality and started “International Women’s Day”. The first officially named event was held in 1911.

Headmistress Mrs Wendy Kempster said, “The girls have really enjoyed learning about the history of the Suffragettes and were thrilled to find out that their school hall had housed important Suffragette meetings. Avondale Hall still stands at the heart of Palmers Green High School today and, being an all girls’ school, we are all especially proud of its connection with the movement to give all women the right to vote.”

The suffragettes were very active in Palmers Green and the brother of well-known Suffragette Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, Mr Herbert Brownridge Goulden and his wife Laura Goulden, ran campaigns advocating the rights of women from their home at 23 Radcliffe Road, in the older part of Winchmore Hill near the railway station.