Tribute to ‘leading light’ Juanita Maxwell Phillips

17:00 23 May 2014

The great niece of Honiton

The great niece of Honiton's famous suffragette Mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips; Caroline de Bayer, Dr Julia Neville and Tony Simpson are pictured at the Beehive this week. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhh 2030-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

Former Honiton mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips - a ‘leading light’ in the East Devon movement for votes for women and ‘woman ahead of her time’ - was the focus of a commemorative talk and exhibition.

Julia Neville's book on the life of Honiton's famous suffragette Mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips . Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhh 2041-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on Photo OrdersJulia Neville's book on the life of Honiton's famous suffragette Mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips . Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhh 2041-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

The talk, One Woman and her Vote, was given by Dr Julia Neville, the author of Viva Juanita, at The Beehive in Dowell Street.

Those in attendance heard after moving to Honiton in 1906 Mrs Phillips, who went on to be mayor of Honiton 11 times, became involved with the militant wing of the suffragette movement.

Historian Dr Neville said recent research suggested Mrs Phillips may have become a suffragette through the influence of two of her sisters who were committed to the cause and to equal opportunities for women. Juanita chaired the first meeting about votes for women held in Honiton in January 1910 when the meeting resoundingly voted in favour. She was then invited as part of a select group of supporters to take tea with Mrs Pankhurst in the Royal Clarence Hotel on the Cathedral green in Exeter. Then, Emmeline Pankhurst gave a stirring address at a public meeting in Exeter’s Barnfield Hall.

During World War One Mrs Phillips worked at the war office and after the war, when many women were given the vote, Juanita was moved to take up public service and try to help build a better world for the returning heroes.

As councillor and first Lady Mayor for Honiton Borough Council she threw herself into the plans for building council houses for the working classes as part of the national plan to create half a million homes. The talk heard she spent a long time during the early 1920s battling to get the grant from the Ministry unlocked including attending as part of a deputation to the Minister, one of only two women in a party of 74, to press for action.

It took four years to unlock the grant for the Dowell Street houses; the half a million houses promised nationally as ‘homes for heroes’ were eventually cut by 50 per cent. Chairing the meeting and exhibition Tony Simpson welcomed Mrs Phillips great niece, Caroline Merry de Bayer, who recalled the strong impression her aunt made on her when she visited Awliscombe House.

“She was certainly a woman many years ahead of her time,” said Caroline. “This occasion is a significant tribute to her memory. I am very proud to have such an illustrious ancestor.”

Viva Juanita is available to buy from Honiton Information Centre in Lace Walk car park.

Other News Stories

07:00
Sam Bader

Dad-of-one Sam Bader, 28, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, supports Devon Freewheelers by sponsoring one of the motorbikes, Bravo One.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:24
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Independent councillors call for extraordinary meeting to debate the office relocation

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50
Checks were carried out by police at Honiton Tesco as part of a drive to cut down on defective vehicles. PC Steve Lee with Tesco staff Michael Williams, Mark Dowell, Angela Lockyer and Naomi Curtis. Ref mhh 6528-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The activity was part of Operation Mascot, the rural East Devon policing sector’s initiative to tackle travelling criminals, address driving offences and improve road safety.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:42
First year Sixth Form students Mikey Rose, Brad Burraston and Tom Broderick

Axe Valley Community College sixth formers selected to take part in for philosophy, politics and economics programme

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon Freewheelers founder Daniel Lavery will do whatever it takes to keep his lifeline service on the road so other families can receive the same help and care that saved his wife’s life.

Read more
Thu, 14:09
Seaton Wetlands

Money raised will to towards the management of the nature reserve

Read more
Thu, 11:30
The Beviss & Beckingsale team. Photo by Matt Austin.

The law firm has recently taken over the entire ground floor of The Manor House, in High Street.

Read more
Thu, 07:00
Devon County Show 2012. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 9931-20-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Myphotos24

Organisers of the Devon County Show are putting the final touches to the county’s largest annual event, which opens today (Thursday) and runs until May 23 at Westpoint, Exeter.

Read more
Wed, 17:40
A new bench at Honiton cricket club was unveiled in memory of Sue Linsdell. Terry Linsdell with family and friends. Ref mhh 6088-19-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The bench is in Sue and her husband Terry’s favourite spot in the grounds.

Read more
Wed, 12:35
The Imam visited Offwell Primary School.

The Imam shared his own little book of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder