Gladys Stringer: A Coventry Mayoress and Suffragette Hero

Amongst the one hundred year anniversary of women gaining the right to vote within the UK, we have decided to take a closer look at an extremely influential female that was heavily involved within the suffragette movement.

Recent discoveries from the Free Library have shown that Coventry was home to a crucial suffragette figure.

Gladys Stringer is not only an iconic woman that played a pivotal role in the suffragette movement in the early 20th century, but she was also a crucial part of Coventry history.

Stringer will always play a part in Coventry history, not just for her work revolving around bringing equal opportunities to women within the UK.

Coventry-born Alderman Sidney Stringer went on to become the mayor of Coventry in 1938 while married to suffragette Gladys Stringer. Gladys went on to fulfill the role as the Mayoress as Coventry despite her earlier involvement in the suffragette movement.

Stringer’s work certainly shaped UK society for the better and is now viewed by a majority as essential progressive protest. However, at the time many bodies and organizations operating within the establishment, monarchy and government in the UK would have frowned upon her behavior and views on equality and equal rights.

It is therefore remarkable that Stinger not only managed to mobilize and progress society with her work, but she also integrated herself within higher roles within UK government by becoming the Mayoress of Coventry.

Within her work with the suffragette movement, Stringer was a notable figure for her protests across the West Midlands.

She met and worked alongside Emmeline Pankhurst – one the most iconic and infamous suffragettes of the UK equality movement in the 20th century.

Further, Stringer held talks across Coventry in areas such as Pool Meadow, which is now a bus station used everyday by Coventry residents.

Stringer’s work towards gaining the vote and equal rights for women should always be recognised and commended. Further, her ability to resist norms and values expressed by the establishment, but to also then become a notable member of Coventry government shows that an individual’s principles need never be abandoned.

Every Coventry resident should be proud to be tracing the footsteps of Gladys Stringer for her brave and progressive work.

Billy Hodder

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