It is one hundred years since a group of 100 women from Brighton Suffragettes marched to London to support the call for votes for women.

“Brighton has always been very politically active and an interesting, progressive place,” says Karen Antoni, an actress, museum guide and history obsessive, pointing out how Brighton was the first city to elect a Green council.

“That was no different a hundred years ago.”

Together with another history buff, Helen Waddut, she has put together a tour of Brighton – “a docudrama” – which focuses on the suffragette moment in the city.

Votes For Women pieces together the history of the militant strand – they chained themselves to railings, threw themselves under the king’s horse – of women who campaigned for the vote.

Antoni dresses up as a suffragette to lead the audience to key Brighton places where suffragettes actively contributed to the national movement.

With the help of Brunswick University Of The Third Age, she trawled through archives of The Argus and former weekly newspaper the Brighton Herald.

“I was able to see how it was reported. I got a real picture of the suffragette movement at the time. What is lovely for me is it feels like a story people didn’t realise happened.”

One story she dug up from The Argus archives is headlined “Suffragettes have designs on Brighton”. It relates to the moment women opened up an office at The Quadrant, above what used to be the Singer Sewing Machine premises.

The women would have a parasol march outside the bureau and stand there on Sundays selling the suffragette magazine.

“All this could have been forgotten about but we got loads from the archive,” she adds.

“The Argus recorded a meeting at a free trade demo at the Dome, which was in the paper in November 1907.

“Because women had been banned from meetings, two women, who were part of Brighton WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union), hid overnight in the Dome organ to protest at Prime Minister Herbert Asquith going to speak there.

“Unfortunately they were discovered by a caretaker who heard them sneeze.”

Other big news at the time was Home Rule in Ireland and the lead-up to the First World War.

It meant the Brighton newspapers took notice of national stories with strong Brighton connections.

“During that period the suffragettes sold newspapers. They were heavily dramatic. Anything that happened would be covered by The Argus and the Brighton Herald.”

At The Level – then a free speech area – women often attracted hostility and young men would throw stones at them.

Over in Victoria Road is the site of a former boarding house set up by Minnie Turner, who helped women in need of recuperation after leaving Holloway prison.

Christabel Pankhurst, co-founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), visited the site at number 13 where Turner had opened a library, baked for convalescing visitors and allowed camping in the garden.

“It is important these women are remembered. They have done so much for us. They made it possible for women to vote.”

Antoni is a guide at the Royal Pavilion. She dressed up as a suffragette for the exhibition about Indian military soldiers who used the palace as a hospital during the First World War.

“I love history and people who change things. That is the reason I like the suffragettes. They wanted deeds not words. This tour is set at the point, from 1906 to 1914, when women had had enough. It is the pinnacle of something they had been trying to get for years.”

  • The Votes For Women walk takes place on Saturdays May 11, May 25 and June 1 at 12.30pm, and Thursdays May 16, May 23 and May 30 at 6.30pm. Meet at Visitor Information Centre, Pavilion Buildings, Brighton. Tickets £6.50, call 01273 917272