Blackpool's first woman mayor honoured with plaque

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The mayoralty of Blackpool was celebrated when a plaque to commemorate the first woman to hold the honour was unveiled by the current mayor who is the youngest person ever to fill the role.

Jean Robinson made history when she was elected Blackpool's first woman mayor 51 years ago, serving from 1968 to 1969.

The blue plaque honouring Jean

The blue plaque honouring Jean

Current mayor Coun Amy Cross, who became the resort's youngest ever mayor when she was inaugurated into the role last May at age 30, unveiled the blue plaque.

It has been provided by Blackpool Civic Trust and put up at Abingdon Street Market where Jean ran a cafe for 27 years.

Coun Cross said: "It was a privilege to be asked to unveil the blue plaque dedicated to Jean Robinson.

"Jean and others like her paved the way for women like me to become the mayor of Blackpool.

Guest at the unveiling ceremony

Guest at the unveiling ceremony

"It feels fantastic to follow in her footsteps but building on that I can say, not only can women stand to be mayor, but you can also be in your thirties when you do it."

Jean had been a councillor for 14 years when she became Blackpool's 78th mayor, and was proposed for the role by Coun Ivan Taylor, who is still a councillor and was among those who attended the unveiling ceremony.

The plaque was commissioned by Jean's granddaughter Stella Griffiths and great-granddaughter.

Joan Humble, chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, said: “I am very pleased that we have a lasting record of the first female mayor of Blackpool.

Blackpool's first woman mayor Jean Robinson

Blackpool's first woman mayor Jean Robinson

"It is very fitting that the blue plaque was unveiled by the current female mayor of Blackpool Coun Amy Cross.”

Jean, who died in 1987, started work at the age of 12 in the East Lancashire cotton industry before moving to Blackpool in 1934 with her husband where they set up a stall in Abingdon Street Market.

According to a report in The Gazette's Memory Lane pages, she told guests at her mayor-making that "women should make their voices heard louder in the corridors of power to insist that the things which matter most to them - their homes, their children, the health of their families, both young and old - are given the benefits of what the 20th century ought to be able to offer from its great wealth of technical and physical resources.”