A celebration of Councillor Olive Gibbs

Published: Tuesday, 30th January 2018

Born in Osney Lane in 1918, Olive Gibbs went on to become, twice, Lord Mayor of Oxford, as well achieving much else in local and national politics.

Now her life is to be celebrated at a public event on 6 February at Oxford Town Hall. The free event runs from 6pm until 7:30pm in the Assembly Room and marks the start of this year's centenary commemorations of the Representation of the People Act, along with the flying of flags in suffragette colours across Oxford earlier in the day.

Cllr Susanna Pressel, who is leading on the 100th anniversary events for the City Council, said: “It’s brilliant that we have been able to combine these two events; the flying of flags marking 100 years since of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed some women to vote at last, with a celebration of the centenary of the birth of Olive Gibbs, our own local firebrand activist.

Cllr Pressel is the City Councillor for Jericho and Osney, part of the old West Ward, which Olive Gibbs once represented. She added: "At the event celebrating the life of Olive Gibbs on 6 February, a range of speakers, most of whom knew Olive, will paint a picture of her childhood in the fairly rough and poor part of Oxford known as St Thomas’s, and her rise to national distinction – and notoriety.”

For more information on the 6 February event visit The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities website.

Other events planned as part of the centenary commemorations include:

  • a BBC Radio Oxford documentary on the suffrage movement
  • events to mark the centenary during the Oxford Women's Festival on 8 March
  • "Vote 100 EqualiTeas" to celebrate and discuss the extension of the franchise in June and July. 

View a video of the Olive Gibbs Celebration evening.