Politics, Source, Women's History

Suffragettes and Tea Rooms

Even as late as 1911 a woman’s presence still caused consternation in some places of public refreshment. Kate Frye, staying in a hotel in a small Norfolk market town while organizing suffrage meetings, notes in her diary:

22 March 1911 ‘Had my lunch [in the hotel dining room] in company with four motorists. It is funny the way men come in here and, seeing me, shoot out again and I hear whispered conversations outside on the landing with the waitress. Then they come in very subdued and make conversation one to another and try not to look at me. Awfully funny – they might never have seen a woman before – but I suppose it does seem a strange place to find one.’