ONE must be wary of attributing some suffragette connection to this parade up Edwardian Cavendish Street.

In reality, in their best outfits and decorated hats, these were Catholic ladies taking part in their traditional Whitsuntide procession.

Keighley did, however, witness a suffragette confrontation on Sunday, May 24, 1908, when Miss Adela Pankhurst and Miss Nellie Kenney addressed afternoon and evening meetings in Victoria Park, attended by “many prominent residents”. The afternoon meeting was “subjected to some interruption, but there was no actual disorder”.

In the evening a large group of youths worked their way into the middle of some 500 listeners and roared out popular songs “with gusto” – ‘She’s a lassie from Lancashire’ and ‘I wouldn’t leave my little wooden hut for you’ – interspersed with “ironical cheers”. It became impossible for Miss Kenney, “well-seasoned in opposition” as she was, to continue.

A policeman on duty “had had to leave” and although the police were sent for, they never came. The meeting had to be abandoned.

The Keighley News reported the story factually, but its rival the Keighley Herald adopted a more facetious tone, calling the suffragettes “vote-seeking sisters” and the absent policemen “gentlemen in blue”.

The disturbance was considered all the more disgraceful because it occurred on a Sunday.

The photograph was supplied by Mrs Mary Woolridge, of Penzance, who used to work at the Bronte Parsonage.