OAKWORTH residents hope to create a permanent reminder of one of the village’s most important historical figures.

Margaret Wintringham was the first British woman to become an MP in the Houses of Parliament after winning the seat for Louth in Lincolnshire in the 1920s.

Keighley town councillor Luke Maunsell is among villagers campaigning for a plaque to highlight Margaret’s birthplace.

Locally, Margaret is best known in Silsden where she grew up, but she had moved there soon after being born in 1879 in the Oakworth hamlet of Oldfield.

In 1900 she married Lincolnshire timber merchant Thomas Wintringham, who became MP for Louth in 1920. After his sudden death a year later, she was selected as the Liberal candidate to replace him.

Serving as an MP for three years, Mrs Wintringham soon became a leading member of her party and one of two women to serve on its National Executive by the end of the 1920s. She never returned to Parliament after being defeated in Louth in 1924, and she died in London in 1955.

Cllr Maunsell is supporting the campaign by fellow villagers Tim Clapham – a distant relative of Margaret – and Eric Bishop, with Oldfield Primary School head James Travers.

Local historian and taxi driver Mr Bishop said: “There is little doubt that Margaret Wintringham was a landmark, political figure and well deserving of acknowledgment.

“She was the first British born woman to take her seat in Parliament and the second overall to become an MP. She very much helped to lay the foundations for the women who came after her.”

Cllr Maunsell, who represents Oakworth, Oldfield and Newsholme on the town council, said Margaret Wintringham was undoubtedly one of the most important people to come from his ward in its history.

He added: “It is only right that she is honoured where she was born and her achievements as a pioneer for women are properly appreciated. The three of us are in talks with Oldfield Primary School and the Yorkshire Society to help facilitate the purchasing of and placing of the plaque.

“We are hopeful that it will be a success and will enable us to mark the role of Mrs Wintringham on the political makeup of this country and on the local area.”