GROUPS from south Essex joined tens of thousands of marchers through London to celebrate a hundred years since some women were given the right to vote.

A hundred organisations from across the UK, including Metal based in Chalkwell Hall, Westcliff, were invited to take part in Processions.

The mass participation artwork took place on Sunday, June 10 simultaneously in London, Belfast, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.

Thousands of women came together to create banners celebrating inspirational women from the last 100 years from their areas and displayed them at the march, which celebrated the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote.

Metal oversaw the creation of two banners in collaboration with artist Heidi Wigmore - the first of which was created at their headquarters and aimed to tackle the Essex girl stereotype.

Women represented on the banner included suffragettes with Essex connections and women from Metal’s Clever Essex project who have achieved great things in literature, science, theatre, and politics, and contemporary women representing activist group, the Essex Girls Liberation Front.

The second banner was created with female pupils from the Deanes School in Thundersley.

Metal artistic director and chief executive officer Colette Bailey said: “The march was absolutely amazing. We took around 50 women from Southend and south Essex of all different ages, and it was just fantastic to join thousands of women, all from different backgrounds, to celebrate something so important, and ultimately, very empowering.”

Thurrock-based arts group Kinetika also took part in Processions, where they paraded banners from five communities based around the Thames Estuary - including Southend.

Their banner represented prolific Southend suffragette and shopkeeper Rosina Skye, as well as blind gold-medal sailor Lucy Hodges and youth mayor Maise Riley.

Kinetika’s creative director Ali Pretty said: “It’s been an empowering process, to bring so many local women artists together, and collectively discover the powerful line of Estuary women we come from.

“And to look towards the younger generation who are making the most of the opportunities the Thames Creative Corridor is about to offer them.”