This photograph shows the National Women’s Social and Political Union shop in Glastonbury. It carries several banners ‘Taxation without representation is tyranny’, ‘Votes for women’ and an advert for the ‘weekly newspaper Votes for Women’ available for one penny. According to Spartacus Educational, the newspaper was established in 1907 and was published monthly until April 1908 when it went weekly and from May 1908 it was reduced in price from 3 pennies to one penny.
The shop is now gone but the photograph below shows how Glastonbury High Street (number 82) looked when this photograph was taken a couple of years ago.
The NWSPU shop is where ‘Meridens’ is now situated. Clues that match the location are the windows of the upper two floors of the solid stone building next door – the window treatment, the door opening of the further (yellow) door and particularly the stringcourse, the stone line that defines the first and second floors—it’s stepped down a few inches in the centre of the building. An echo of the original building can also be seen on the side of stone building showing a mark where the roofline of the lower building abutted it.
There is a paper entitled ‘Commercial places, public spaces: suffragette shops and the public sphere‘ by John Mercer available online and a blog that also discusses the role of the WSPU shops in women’s lives.
Dr Miss F. This is Votes for Womens agricultural show series. Regards from […] Norbins Rd Victoria House Glastonbury
Sent to: Miss Francis Bridgewater Road Ashcott Nr B.Water
Postmarked: 8 April 1911
Images of other shops
- Fulham and Putney branch of the WSPU shop, 905 Fulham Road
- Women’s Social Defence League, Bow Road, east London [image 9]
- Tunbridge Wells, 18 Crescent Road
- Leicester WSPU Shop, Bowling Green Street
- The Woman’s Press, Charing Cross Road, London
- Bristol WPSU shop, burnt by students