Pankhurst plays part in HMRC’s Suffrage Flag relay in Croydon

It took 56 members of staff, and their families, to relay the Suffrage Flag from East Croydon Station to the HMRC offices at Ruskin Square yesterday

A human chain of 56 people delivered the Suffrage Flag to Croydon yesterday.

HM Revenue and Customs staff – and some of their children on half-term holiday – joined the flag relay from East Croydon Station to the nearby office in Ruskin Square. They were marking the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote in the Representation of the People Act of 1918.

The Suffrage Flag will be in various government departments throughout 2018, and its first HMRC host office is in Croydon. It then moves on to other HMRC locations and will fly over head office in Parliament Street this weekend.

“I am proud that we in Croydon Regional Centre are the first HMRC community to be hosting the Suffrage Flag and that I am receiving it on behalf of all the staff here,” said Narmada de Silva, HMRC’s deputy director of the fraud investigation service.

Croydon Mayor Toni Letts, right, at the flag ceremony yesterday with HMRC staff member, Rhonda Pankhurst

“The 100th anniversary of women starting to get the right to vote is an important event and I’m delighted we’re marking it in such an engaging way with colleagues from across the Regional Centre and from Croydon Council, as well as children on their half-term break.

“They are the future and this will help them take away the message that we should all be treated equally and with respect, values we share in HMRC.”

Among those attending yesterday’s ceremony was Rhonda Pankhurst, who works in HMRC’s tax evasion section and, by marriage to Warren Pankhurst, is related to Emmeline Pankhurst, the founder of the suffrage movement who campaigned for votes for women for decades.

There is an added piece of feminist symbolism over the location of the flag while it is in Croydon: it is flying in the Amy Johnson Lounge at 1 Ruskin Square, named after pioneering aviator and the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930, starting her historic flight from Croydon Airport.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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