THE Townswomen’s Guild grew from the days of the Suffragettes, as women fought for the right to vote after the First World War.

In 1929, the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship brought women together in urban areas so they could learn how to use the vote they had striven so hard for.

The Darwen Townswomen’s Guild in Darwen was formed in 1952 – one of the founder members was Elizabeth Van Dijk, who was born in Holland, but moved to East Lancashire with her husband Franke, a technical director at Mullard, in 1948.

The couple, who had six children, lived for many years in Belgrave Road, before moving to Turton.

Mrs Van Dijk was also a founder of Darwen Civic Society in 1963, an honorary member of Darwen Inner Wheel.

Her membership of the guild continued until her death in 1992 – its 40th anniversary and she was selected as the chairman for the year, in tribute to her long service.

The Guild celebrated its 21st birthday in 1973 and pictured at the celebration, are from left, are mayoress Mrs C Talbot, Mrs E Haddow and Mrs Van Dijk.