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

Yesterday, 11:00
The Read Easy Honiton team at Honiton Library.

The scheme helps adults who either can’t read or who lacks confidence with reading.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Pictured (l to r) Debbie Humberstone (founder), Flo Coleman Tom Metcalf (volunteers), Kerry Cable (mental health support worker), Matthew Lathey, Nigel Collins, Grant Jones (volunteer).

Axminster based young persons’ mental health charity receives more than £2,000 after 300-mile marathon

Read more
Thu, 17:00
Members of Honiton and District Lions Club are celebrating another cracking fundraising year. Photo by Bob Francis.

The group has been a strong presence on community days, putting on a popular classic car rally at the annual Charter Day celebrations, and hosting the ever-popular duck race in Weston.

Read more
Thu, 14:59
Pictured at the crossing (l to r) Keith Mitchell, tram car inspector; PC Steve Lee  and Lee Taylor, engineering and operations manager Seaton Tramway nspect the new CCTV installation Picture: SUBMITTED

Police crackdown on red light jumpers after car hits tram at the Colyford road crossing

Read more
Thu, 12:45
Rob and Steve outside a DAAT shop.

Rob Conabeer and Steve Wilson made it to their final shop at 7.45pm, after setting off in the morning.

Read more
Thu, 07:55
Beryl Denham

‘It’s incredibnly sad but the the time has come to retire gracefully,’ says chairman Beryl Denham

Read more
Wed, 17:30
Tesco community champion Louisa Littlewood and store manager Leanne Eamshaw with The King's Centre food bank manager Teresa Hawkes. Ref mhh 3169-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

More than 50 boxes were filled throughout last weekend and donated to the food bank.

Read more
Wed, 11:17
Supermarket trolley

The revelation has been heralded as a ‘blessing in disguise’ by the town’s chamber of commerce chairman.

Read more
Wed, 11:16

Are your children addicted to TV or computer games? Do they rarely stir from the sofa? Are they getting enough exercise? With the children back at school this week, it’s the perfect time for them to get fitter.

Read more
Wed, 07:39
Exeter Magistrates' Court

Woman left upset after pensioner exposed himself

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°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
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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


Honiton's trusted business finder