Bessie, 9, piper and suffragette

At the start of the last century, women continued to campaign for sexual equality and the right to vote. When the peaceful women’s suffrage movement of the 1860s proved unable to achieve change, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was established in 1903. The members of this militant group, called suffragettes, were even prepared to go to prison for their cause. In 1909, the first militant demonstrations took place throughout Scotland, including Edinburgh. Bessie WatsonThat’s when a nine year old girl named Bessie Watson entered the stage. As a female piper she played not only the bagpipes, but also an important role in the suffragette’s movement. Read our latest story on Our Town Stories and find out more about Bessie’s extraordinary childhood as a young suffragette.


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