William Cross had the vision for Winckley Square but it was his wife and widow Ellen Cross who drove through the realisation of the vision. Confounding the assumptions about women in her time she combined motherhood with business and management skills that have helped shape Winckley Square and East Preston. Cornelia Connelly’s life is a mix of deep tragedy, public shaming, the burning of her effigy and legal struggles that fascinated the newspapers of the day. Her family torn apart she nevertheless oversaw the creation of a caring education system for many of Preston’s children. Finally there is Beatrice Todd; suffragist wife of a leading Liberal businessman. She led the organisation that provided the station buffet during WWI. She fought successfully for mother and baby care in Preston and Leyland at a time when men were dying on the battle field and their babies were dying from inadequate provision in Preston.
The world comes together for International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements and reinforce a commitment to women’s equality.