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Putney & Fulham WSPU branch shop

Broom, Christina1910

Museum of London

Museum of London

The Putney & Fulham WSPU branch shop and office, 905 Fulham Road. There were 19 WSPU high street shops in London from Bow and Bromley in the east to Wimbledon in the south, Hampstead in the north and Hammersmith in the west.  They sold propaganda literature, postcards, Votes for Women newspapers, badges and accessories in the colours and also provided meeting venues for local members. This shop in Fulham Road was opened by the Fulham & Putney branch of the WSPU on 12th February 1910 with a 'Shop Warming' that attracted such a crowd that a Policeman had to be on duty outside the whole day.  The Votes for Women advertising poster seen through the doorway refers to a cartoon 'The Dog & the Shadow' that appeared on the front cover of the weekly Suffragette newspaper on September 9th 1910.  Thus it is likely this photograph was taken soon after this date. Previously the branch had occupied a shop at 9 High Street, Putney that opened in July 1909. A full description of the first shop and its activities appears in the 16th July 1909 edition of Votes for Women newspaper. The account notes the shop at 9 High Street, was rented from a photographer for a £1 a week, raised by subscriptions and occasional social evenings. Run by Chief Shopkeepers Miss Lenanton & Mrs Roberts with the help of 20 volunteer assistants the shop stocked a range of WSPU merchandise and also included a subscription lending library of books on female sufrage. The article encourages others to set up similar shops noting their benefits by providing a 'rallying ground for members and a centre of communication' a base for visiting speakers attending open air meetings, a storage space for banners and temporary speech platforms, a venue for jumble sales and Afternoon tea meetings and a drop in centre for supporters to pick up flyers and Votes for Women newspapers for distribution.

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