By Andy Tong andy@timesoftonbridge.co.uk 

THE WAY FORWARD Suffragettes and supporters march up Tonbridge High Street

SUZANNAH NIKLAS, the voice behind the blog Tonbridge Daily, has come up with an ingenious way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women being given the vote.

She is presenting a series of pen portraits of influential figures in the town called Celebrating Inspirational Tonbridge Women.

The Fourth Representation of the People Act was passed on February 6, 1918 – bringing the enfranchisement of women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications.

Some 8.4 million women gained the vote – although they would have to wait another 10 years before all women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote.

Suzannah says: “There will be a large focus on women’s achievement and women’s rights in 2018, for instance London Underground are displaying a series of women painters this year and many other concerns will follow.

“It was a perfect way Tonbridge Daily could join in the celebration of women by focusing on those who have contributed to our local community in a positive way.

“I believe they deserve the recognition. It is about women who are making a difference today or those still living who have recently been an inspiration.”

MOVERS AND SHAKERS The first three inspirational women of Tonbridge are (from top) the author and local historian Jacquie Wyatt, business executive and dementia campaigner Christine Parker environmentalist and community leader Fran Long

For Suzannah, the anniversary is ‘a reminder how far the rights of women have positively changed in the last 100 years, and a time to focus on how they still need to improve’.

So how does she choose her subjects? “I know the community well and many of these women I come across in my day-to-day life.

“However, I have asked people to nominate inspiring women through Tonbridge Daily, and every woman I have featured or interviewed very quickly has another woman to nominate. I hope I do the town proud.”

Her three subjects so far are Jacquie Wyatt, Chris Parker and Fran Long. They can be found by searching for Celebrating Inspirational Tonbridge Women on www.tonbridgedaily.com

Suzannah is hoping to put on an exhibition of all the women at the end of the project.

To nominate someone for the series, contact Suzannah on tonbridgenews@hotmail.co.uk