From September 15th 2018 an Exhibition portraying the life of
Laura Annie Willson MBE
Suffragette, Builder, Engineer
Laura Annie Willson, an extraordinary Halifax woman who rose from obscurity in the early twentieth century and then disappeared from view after her death in the 1940s. Before WW1 she became a prominent suffragette in Halifax, and was imprisoned twice. During the war, she was instrumental in getting women into factories to help the war effort. She set up one of the first works canteens in the engineering firm she ran with her husband [Willson Lathes], which became a model for others. She was awarded the MBE for her efforts. After the war she was a founder member of the Women’s Engineering Society, later its President, and later set up an electrical engineering company to get the new power source into more rural areas. If that was not enough, she decided something needed to be done about the poor housing stock available for working people, so she became a house builder. There are still four housing estates dotted across Halifax which she designed and built.