An exciting new project is starting in Luton to mark the centenary (2018) of women gaining the right to vote in Great Britain.

But the suffrage movement was happening across the world and a series of workshops will explore women’s stories from places as diverse as India and Ireland. For example, did you know that in Britain in 1918 it was only women over 30 years old who were householders that could vote, and it was not until 1928 that all women over the age of 21 were granted the vote on the same terms as men? Or that India gave equal voting rights upon its independence from the United Kingdom?

The Vote, Luton Irish Forum’s new heritage project, is run by their Heritage Officer, Fiona Martin who says: “We want to rediscover some of the countless womens’ stories and experiences from different countries that have been almost forgotten. This is a great opportunity to come along and find out how the various suffrage movements fought their cause – and won!”

Free workshops, open to all, will run 1pm-2.30pm on Saturday afternoons in January (13th, 20th, 27th) and February (3rd, 10th, 17th) at Connor’s Café at the Hat Factory, Luton. The workshops will look at individual women’s stories with something new each week.  It is an informal course, designed to enable people to attend as many workshops as they wish and discover the history.

The project will conclude with a special afternoon tea at 12pm-3pm on Saturday 24th February, at Putteridge Bury, Hitchin Rd, Luton LU2 8LE.  Tickets are on sale now at £22 per person (plus booking fee).

For more information or to reserve your place (numbers are limited) please contact Fiona on, 07957 192174, or complete a booking form at reception in the Luton Irish Forum, 102 Hitchin Rd, Luton, LU2 0ES.

Check out the event on our Facebook page.


  • The Vote project is funded by The Near Neighbours programme which offers small grants as seed funding for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities.
  • Luton Irish Forum (LIF) is a registered charity and limited company formed in 1997, with over 500 members and a fully accessible centre close to Luton Town Centre. Whilst originally set up to safeguard the needs of the Irish residents in Luton, LIF is now a truly representative community organisation serving Luton’s diverse vulnerable and socially excluded people. Our activities and events which promote health and wellbeing, improve quality of life and increase social inclusion are accessed 1,000s times annually.