On Saturday 24th March 23 of us met at Bow Lane tube statin to follow in the footsteps of brave rebel women; the East End Suffragettes, led by our blue badge guide Mo, who was suitably dressed for the part.

First stop was to see the restored Minnie Lansbury Clock. She was a suffragette, later a local councillor and champion of local people. After her tragic early death, her husband remarried. His daughter is the famous actress Angela. She helped pay for the restoration of the clock. We visited the Bow Quarter, now a housing complex, which was the old Bryant and May match factory and learnt of the terrible working conditions. Most of the workers were women and they were among the first to organise strike action to improve those conditions, led by Annie Bessant.

We walked in the footsteps of Sylvia Pankhurst to discover the police cells she was held in, the site of her rallying calls and the places she set up; youth clubs, a toy workshop and children’s day nursery to name but a few. I was amazed to learn that she is buried in Addis Ababa. We walked through Roman Road Market , ending our tour in the lovely Victoria Park. Some of us then repaired to the Crown for a delicious pub lunch.

Helen Pickstone