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The role of women

In 1905 the Leyton Ratepayers’ Association supported the unopposed candidacy of a Miss Skelton as a member of the West Ham Board of Guardians for the Forest Ward.  She was one of the leading campaigners against high expenditure and corrupt practices in the West Ham Poor Law Union, carrying out intensive research.  The campaign “was a very harassing experience for her”. 1

In 1906 the Association got Mrs Price of Leytonstone College elected as Miss Skelton’s successor.  (The committee of the Leyton Ratepayers’ Association committee seems to have been all-male and most of its candidates for Leyton Council were men.  The responsibility of the West Ham Union for a large number of children may have made the managerial role of women in its affairs more acceptable for the time.)

1  Thirty Years, A Generation of Service, The Record & Romance of the Borough of  Leyton  Ratepayers' Association 1903-1933 (VHM Pamphlet L32.5)

the later Victorian and Edwardian times 1890 to 1919

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