Former Ipswich mayor Mary Whitmore to be honoured with blue plaque on Town Hall

Ipswich Town Hall, Ipswich Icons column August 22, 2015

Ipswich Town Hall, Ipswich Icons column August 22, 2015 - Credit: Archant

A blue plaque honouring Ipswich’s first female mayor is set to be installed above the entrance to Ipswich Town Hall as part of a project to honour women who have helped shape the town.

Mary Whitmore served as the town’s first female mayor from 1946-47, and was seen as a champion for women’s suffrage and public health, before being honoured with an MBE in 1951 for her contribution to public services.

Now, the Ipswich Women’s History Group is working alongside the Ipswich Society and Ipswich Borough Council to honour some of the women who have played a significant part in the town’s history.

Carole Jones, portfolio holder for development at the borough council, said: “The Ipswich Society is a wonderful organisation that put up the blue plaques. Somebody noticed there are 19 plaques in Ipswich and only two that celebrate Ipswich women, so it was about redressing that balance.

“I’m really pleased to have the support of the Ipswich Society and it wouldn’t have happened without the work of the Women’s History Group.”

A planning application for the plaque has been submitted to the borough council, and is one of a number planned alongside archeologist Nina Leyard and illustrator Margaret Tempest.

Joy Bounds from the history group said: “We are hoping we have got the paperwork in place for three and thinking of a launch in the Autumn.

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“There have been those really significant women and you don’t hear much about them and we want to put that right. The blue plaques are a simple but effective way of honouring their achievements.”

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman added: “We put up a blue plaque every six months or so, and we are delighted to support the Ipswich Women’s History Group in honouring the female members of society.”

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