Women’s history trail

Our first Women’s History trail celebrates the many women who came before us, and the women making our borough an amazing place to live, work and visit today.

Mary (May) Morris

1: Mary (May) Morris


Director of Embroidery at Morris and Co

William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA

May Morris was an artist and embroidery designer, the daughter of famous fabric designer, William Morris. She lived at Kelmscott House, which is now home to the William Morris Society, and Hammersmith Terrace. May became the director of the sewing department at Morris & Co. and created many new designs, some of which were wrongly credited to her father. In 1907 she founded the Women’s Guild of Arts, as women could not join other organisations for artists.

Anne Cobden Sanderson

2: Anne Cobden Sanderson



River House, 24 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA

Anne Cobden Sanderson was a suffragette who believed strongly in women’s rights. She spent time in prison as punishment for taking part in a demonstration to try and get women the vote. She believed in taking stronger action to fight for that right, and became a founder of the Women’s Freedom League. Anne always fought for important causes, and helped her husband fund his printing and book binding shop, Doves Press.

Janet Olufunmilayo Adegoke

3: Janet Olufunmilayo Adegoke


First Black Woman Mayor in London

King St, Hammersmith, W6 9JU

When Janet Olufunmilayo Adegoke was elected Mayor of Hammersmith in 1987, she became the first Black woman to hold the position of mayor of a London borough. Janet was born in Nigeria and came to Britain to study nursing. In her role as a councillor, she was passionate about improving housing and living conditions. Sadly, Janet died aged only 45 a few months after becoming mayor. Today, the swimming pool in White City is named after her.

Lillie Langtry

4: Lillie Langtry



Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, W6 0QL

Lillie Langtry was the first upper class woman to make a career as a stage actor. When Pears soap used her in their adverts, Lillie also became the first celebrity to use her famous face to sell products. As she became more successful, Lillie became a close friend of Oscar Wilde, and managed her own theatre company and horse racing stable. When the Lyric Theatre reopened after building works in 1895, Lillie gave the opening speech.

Eartha Kitt

5: Eartha Kitt


Singer and actress

Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith, W6 9BN

American singer Eartha Kitt began her career on stage in New York, although today she is perhaps best known for the Christmas song, ‘Santa Baby’. She starred in plays, shows and musicals on stage and on screen. Eartha also cared a lot about causes supporting young people and promoting peace. In 1956 she performed in Mrs Patterson which was broadcast live on the BBC, and was the first show to be televised from the new Riverside Studios.

Verity Lambert

6: Verity Lambert


TV and film producer

Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith, W6 9BN

Verity Lambert started working in television in the 1950s and was the first producer for Dr Who between 1963 and 1965, based at Riverside Studios. It was rare for a woman to work in TV production, and she was the BBC’s only female drama producer at the time. After leaving the BBC she was Head of Drama for Thames Television. Later, Verity ran her own production company and produced a film starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. Today, there is a blue plaque celebrating her on the Riverside Studios building.

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