A little-known Halifax woman deserves to be better remembered as one of the pioneers in the campaign for women's votes.
Dinah Connelly nee Binns was born in Ingrow, Keighley in 1879, but her family moved to Halifax in the early 1880's and by the age of 12 was already working as a button factory hand. She went on to work as a weaver and in 1900 she married Charles Connelly, a Halifax born stone mason and convinced trade unionist. They lived at 25 Wainhouse Road(1901), 22 Howard Street(1911) and 33 Penn Street(1939).
In August 1906, Dinah went to listen to militant Saddleworth-born suffragette Annie Kenney at an open-air meeting on Savile Park and was so inspired that she formed a local branch of Women's Social and and Political Union and became prominent local supporter of "Votes for Women".
Soon after, the noted suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst visited town and addressed a meeting at the Halifax Trades and Friendly Club.
Dinah began to travel to London to take part in campaigning for the cause.
During the fustian weavers' strike of 1906, she, Lavena Saltonstall, Lillian Cobbe, Lizzie Berkly, Louisa Saltonstall, Lily Draper and Laura Annie Wilson, were amongst 57 suffragettes and others who were arrested and imprisoned following an attack on the House of Commons in March 1907. All were given the option of 20/- fine plus costs or imprisonment. They all opted for 14 days' imprisonment in Holloway Gaol.
After a few weeks she returned to Halifax where she was treated as a heroine. She remained undeterred and continued alongside other campaigners.
by David Glover