Hannah Kate

poet, short story writer and editor based in Manchester

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 2 July, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 on North Manchester FM for another Helping of History. This week, I’ll be talking about one of Manchester’s forgotten (by some) heroes: Hannah Mitchell.

If you go to Broadway Baths, you may have seen the Manchester Corporation plaque to mark the opening of the baths by Councillor Hannah Mitchell in 1932. If you’ve ever been to Ingham Street in Newton Heath, you may have spotted a blue plaque on one of the houses, commemorating the same councillor. But who was Hannah Mitchell? And what was her contribution to the city, and to the country as a whole?

Born to a poor Derbyshire farming family in 1872, Hannah Mitchell was a self-educated writer, politician, socialist and suffragette. She left home at 14 to find work as seamstress, before moving to Ashton, then later Newton Heath. Mitchell became a member of the Independent Labour Party, and, despite having only two years of formal schooling, wrote articles and made speeches for the ILP. She was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union, spending time in Strangeways for her actions as a suffragette, and then later the Women’s Freedom League. She was elected to Manchester City Council in 1924, and served until 1935. She was also a magistrate, an outspoken advocate for public baths and municipal facilities, and the author of short sketches about working class life in Lancashire dialect. Her autobiography, The Hard Way Up, was published posthumously in 1968.

This is only a brief sketch of Mitchell’s life and work – I’ll be talking about this in lots more detail on Tuesday’s show!

And, of course, I’ll also be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers!

Catch the show on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

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