Ripon's former police station site is being transformed into retirement apartments, in a development that will be named after Britain's first female police volunteer, Margaret Damer Dawson.
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When the building programme on North Street is finished in the autumn this year, Dawson Grange will comprise of a selection of one and two-bedroom luxury apartments, designed for people aged 60 plus.
Margaret Damer Dawson was a prominent figure for feminist issues in the 20th century, campaigning against the trafficking of women and children, and serving on the Criminal Law Amendment Committee in 1914. It was during this campaign that she became friends with Nina Boyle of the Women's Freedom League.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, Dawson and Boyle joined forces and founded the Women Police Volunteers after the majority of the police force joined the British Army. In 1915, Dawson renamed her organisation the Women's Police Service, and was instrumental in the British police making women a permanent part of the force. She was awarded an OBE in 1918 for services to her country during wartime.
Liz Green, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy and Stone North East - the firm that is delivering the development, said: “We’re thrilled to be recognising Margaret Dawson in this way. She was undoubtedly a pioneer for women’s rights whose impact lead to greater equality between sexes, as well as saving the lives of many people. Having co-founded the first British women’s police service, and given the location of our Ripon development, we felt it was fitting to name it Dawson Grange in tribute to her.
“We are looking forward to becoming an integrated part of the Ripon community, and we believe that our development will play a real part in helping to bring friends and family together in later life, something we feel is important and will bring lots of positive benefits to the area.”