Roads in North Littlehampton development to be named after suffragists

A plaque unveiling for Mary Neal, Littlehampton suffragette, at Marina Gardens. Picture: Mal Simms SUS-180703-145617001
A plaque unveiling for Mary Neal, Littlehampton suffragette, at Marina Gardens. Picture: Mal Simms SUS-180703-145617001

The man behind a campaign to memorialise Littlehampton’s suffragists has spoken of his delight after discovering several roads will be named after prominent figures in the local movement.

On August 16, Kevin Page, leader of the Votes for All Women Centenary Group, received a letter from Arun District Council to say that seven roads in the new Toddington Lane development would feature the surnames of women who campaigned for the right to vote more than a century ago.

These roads will be called Kenney Drive, Anderson Way and flats 1-6 Garrett House, Marion Mead, Fawcett Grove, Lytton Copse, Pethick Road and Neal Crescent.

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Mr Page said: “I am pleasantly surprised. I thought there might be one, two or three roads, but to have seven all together is quite impressive really.”

Neal Crescent is named after Mary Neal, a folk and morris dance revivalist who ran the Green Lady Hostel off East Street in Littlehampton from 1901 to 1940, which offered working women from London a place to go on holiday.

Mr Page believed Neal Crescent was the first road to be named after Mary in the country. The centenary group was also instrumental in getting a plaque dedicated to the pioneer with a tree and bench in Marina Gardens, which was unveiled in February by her great-great niece Lucy Neal. Mr Page said that she was ‘very pleased’ about news of the road.

This comes in the centenary year of women getting the right to vote in 1918, which saw Dame Millicent Fawcett become the first woman to have a statue in Parliament Square.

Mr Page called on Persimmon Homes, developers of Toddington Lane, to also dedicate a small piece of the site as a meeting place where folk dancing could be performed, in memory of Mary Neal. He said: “These women were very brave and they deserve to be commemorated.”