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Emmeline Pankhurst film screened at Radisson Blu Edwardian

A BBC documentary about suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst provided a poignant supporting role for Manchester’s Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel – a key venue in the historic story of votes for women.

The Radisson Blu is within the former Free Trade Hall in Peter Street, Manchester, where the first public meeting on women’s suffrage took place in 1868. The militant campaign for votes for women subsequently began after two leading members of the Women’s Social and Political Union, Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, were arrested after disrupting a meeting in the Free Trade Hall in 1905.

Set for broadcast in June, Emmeline Pankhurst: Making of a Militant received a premiere screening in front of 400 guests at the Radisson Blu. The hotel also provided the backdrop for actress and presenter Sally Lindsay’s documentary interviews with experts on the suffrage story, including the suffragette leader’s relatives. Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham was also in attendance.


Lindsay visited landmark locations across Manchester piecing together the story of the iconic suffragette leader’s life in the city.

Emmeline Pankhurst: Making of a Militant was commissioned by the BBC based at MediaCityUK in Manchester and made by independent producer Saffron Cherry TV working with TV production company Lion Eyes TV. Both companies are based in Manchester.


Marketing Manchester is supporting Making of a Militant as part of its #RadicalManchester campaign to mark the centenary of votes for women and celebrate Manchester’s role as the birthplace of innovation and progress. The programme is being promoted on social media using the hashtag #BeMoreEmmeline.

Ryan Thompson, commercial manager at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel said: “We are extremely proud to work in such an iconic building with a rich political history. The Free Trade Hall has such a strong sense of place within Manchester and we are honoured that our guests enjoy learning about past events from the exciting history of the city, whether they are here on business or enjoying a leisure trip.


“Manchester stories have shaped the modern world and this iconic building has been at the heart of creating that incredible history. The documentary really brings this fascinating story to life.”

Sheona Southern, managing director of Marketing Manchester, said: “Revealing fascinating detail about the life of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, Making of a Militant provides a timely reminder of Manchester’s role in the story of women’s suffrage.


The Free Trade Hall premiere of Emmeline Pankhurst: The Making Of A Militant concluded with a Q&A session with Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter, Dr Helen Pankhurst, Sally Lindsay, and producer/director Helen Tither.

Lindsay says that Manchester was ‘massively’ important in making Emmeline Pankhurst the iconic figure she is today and that it was a privilege to have been able to find out more about her life.