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Peterborough Becomes a Unitary Authority



In 1998 Peterborough gained autonomy from Cambridgeshire County Council control as a unitary authority area. It continues to form part of Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes.

(Some) Women Get the Vote!



In 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed which allowed women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification to vote. Although 8.5 million women met this criteria, it only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. The same act abolished property and other restrictions for men, and extended the vote to all men over the age of 21. Additionally, men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. The electorate increased from eight to 21 million, but there was still huge inequality between women and men.

Women Achieve the Same Voting Rights as Men



It was with the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 that women over 21 were able to vote and women finally achieved the same voting rights as men. This act increased the number of women eligible to vote to 15 million.

Education Becomes Compulsory for All



In 1880 an Education Act made school attendance compulsory between the ages of five and ten, though by the early 1890s attendance within this age group was falling well short at 82 per cent. Many children worked outside school hours and truancy was a major problem due to the fact that parents could not afford to give up income earned by their children. Compulsory education was also extended to blind and deaf children under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act of 1893, which established special schools. Similar provision was made for physically-impaired children in the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act of 1899.

Slavery Abolished in the British Empire



The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolished slavery throughout the British Empire,the Act had its third reading in the House of Commons on 26 July 1833, three days before William Wilberforce, one of the leading figures in the Anti-Slavery Society, died. This Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, expanded the jurisdiction of the Slave Trade Act 1807, making the purchase or ownership of slaves illegal within Britain and the British Empire, with the exception "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Saint Helena. The Act was repealed in 1998 though slavery remains illegal.


Opening of Peterborough Prison



HMP Peterborough was opened in March 2005 on the former site of the Baker Perkins engineering works. It is a local category B prison and is the country's only dual purpose-built prison for men and women. The prison also has a 12 place Mother and Baby Unit. The prison is operated by Sodexo Justice Services.  

‘Our Journey’ Launched



'Our Journey', the digital timeline for Peterborough was launched on 8th June 2018, during the year of 'Peterborough Celebrates', commemorating 900 years since the building of Peterborough Cathedral. It aims to tell the story of Peterborough and its people and is designed to grow over time, as more and more of the people of Peterborough; individuals, groups and communities add their stories, so that it truly represents the dynamic, diverse city that is PETERBOROUGH!

Peterborough’s 2011 Census



The census taken in 2011 shows the diversity of people to be found in the city. Peterborough’s population rose by 27,570 to 183,631 between 2001 and 2011. The population included people born in Italy, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, Australia, USA, and the Caribbean. The vast majority of new arrivals were of the most economically active age range, between 20 and 44 years. Peterborough continues to be a growing, thriving and diverse city.

Mrs Pankhurst Visits Peterborough



Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst the leader of the Women's Social and Political Union visited Peterborough in February 1911. She was chief speaker at an 'at home' at the Fitzwilliam Assembly Rooms preceding an evening meeting at the Corn Exchange.


‘Welcome’ to the Suffragettes!



The Great Pilgrimage was a march in Britain by suffragists campaigning non-violently for women's suffrage, organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).  The march finished at Hyde Park in London and women (50 000 of them) came from all around England and Wales. When the Great Pilgrimage reached Peterborough in November 1912 their welcome was not very warm! The suffragettes had planned a meeting in the Stanley Recreation Ground, even though the Chief Constable of the City had advised them to hire a hall; his advice proved wise as the meeting was stormed by young men who threw eggs and did not allow anyone to speak. The suffragettes were chased back to their headquarters at the Bedford Hotel. Mrs Fordham of Fletton Avenue, the honorary secretary of the Peterborough Branch of the Women's Social and Political Union was quoted in the Peterborough Advertiser of 16 November 2012 saying, " I am thoroughly ashamed of Peterborough boys. It was not full grown and sensible citizens who rushed our meeting, threw rotten eggs and endangered life; it was not the college boys either, but two or three hundred schoolboys of about fourteen years of age. And these are the young hopefuls who are to be given a voice in the government of their imperial motherland, so soon as they reach the mature age of twenty one, while women, however educated, sensible, wise, sedate, however wealthy in property, however hard they have to work for their living in factory, shop and home, are denied that elemental right of citizenship".