How the Women's Social and Political Union used events and branded merchandise to raise funds for their campaigning.
The Pank-a-Squith board game was first advertised in Votes for Women on 22 October 1909. The game depicts the suffragettes' struggle with Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and the Liberal government.
By rolling the dice, players attempt to move a Suffragette figure from her home to the Houses of Parliament, her course being hindered by a number of obstructions along the way.
The game was distributed and sold through the network of high-street shops run by the Women's Social and Political Union. As well as raising funds for the campaign, it brought the Votes for Women debate into the domestic drawing room and was popular with the whole family.
Over fifty stalls, decorated in purple, white and green, sold items made and donated by Suffragettes or local businesses, keen to appeal to the female consumer.
Stalls were organised and manned by local WSPU branches, including the Millinery Stall, run by the Kensington branch, with donations of hats from leading London stores including the department store Liberty.
To capitalise on the fund raising potential of the event, every stall was expected to display goods with a value of at least £100 (worth almost £10,000 by 2018 values).
The tea service was designed for use in the refreshment stall. Staffed by young volunteers, dressed in green dresses and white muslin aprons with a purple ribbon, this was the most successful and popular of the 50 stalls, taking a total of £600 over the two weeks.
At the close of the exhibition, additional funds were raised by selling the tea services - either as individual pieces or whole sets.
Hence many have survived beyond the exhibition, and are still to be found in museums and private collections.
At the Museum of London we hold a sugar bowl, teapot, and cup and saucer.
Many visitors to the exhibition were, according to Votes for Women, previously ‘strangers to the militant cause’.
Many were encouraged to pay the entrance fee after seeing the promotional processions that took place in the days leading up to the event, including the street performances by the newly formed Women’s Drum and Fife Band.