SWINDON’s first blue plaque, marking the birthplace of suffragette Edith New, was officially unveiled on Saturday afternoon.

Organised by the Swindon Heritage Magazine, the plaque is located on the North Street property where the icon of the votes for women movement was born in 1877.

The former teacher is best-known for chaining herself to the railings of 10 Downing Street in January 1908 together with Olivia Smith, as a diversion so fellow suffragettes Flora Drummond and Mary Macarthur could sneak in.

Tamara Dugdale, who is the great-niece of Edith, did the honours to reveal blue disk in front of onlookers, some of whom had dressed as suffragettes for the occasion.

She said: “This feels very special. It was all a big surprise to me as it was only a week ago I heard it had all been organised.

“It’s very exciting, especially as it is the first blue plaque in Swindon. This Wednesday would have been her 139th birthday so it’s amazing to see so many people coming together to make this happen. For the whole town to take it on board has been great.

“I feel it’s very important that the story of what she did goes out into schools for the youngsters of today to find out not only what she and the others did but also to take on board some of their qualities themselves.”

There is no organisation which arranges blue plaques so Swindon Heritage have both organised and funded Saturday’s event.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland was at the unveiling and hopes it will lead to more in Swindon.

He said: “I am a big supporter of blue plaques and I am looking forward to seeing more of them because we have a rich history which should be celebrated.”