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Alice... who on earth was Alice

The St. Mary’s in the Woods church in Morley was ravaged by fire in 2010. The church sign is almost entirely gone, time and weather slowly erasing the ‘Pale Kings Blue’ paint and gold leaf lettering once giving wayfaring strangers a hint to what was behind its walls.

Now behind those walls is a shell of a building, a spire that can be seen for miles and an overgrown graveyard home to one, amongst many, Alice Cliff Scatcherd.

Alice Cliff Scatcherd was a suffragist, the secretary for the Leeds chapter of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage and a founding member of the Women’s Franchise League.

The Women’s Franchise League, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, worked to secure the vote for married women in local elections. The organisation was founded early in the suffrage movement and while its ambitions were modest by today’s standards, Alice was one of the women that nudged the stone, which bumped the boulder that shook the mountain of societal change forever.

Alice did much for the town of Morley and beyond; campaigning for a woman’s right to better employment, more jobs, more protections, better education and greater consideration.

Alice donated her land to the town. Scatcherd Park, so named for her and her family, is a fitting, lasting and much enjoyed memorial to a person who, in a world that defined her as less, just gave more.

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