Suffragette incident inspires new name for Leatherhead development

A man born in Leatherhead has won a competition to name the new development of luxury retirement apartments to be built in the town.

Gordon Peters, who is 86 and currently lives in South London, selected the name Emmeline Lodge, after Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement.

He said: “I chose the name because Mrs Pankhurst, who was causing a bit of bother in the area one evening in 1913, was detained in the police station on Kingston Road on the site where the new Churchill apartments will be built.  She was held there overnight and the story goes that the chief of police gave up his bedroom for her.”

Mr Peters, who is a professional philatelist – a stamp expert – lives in South London. He is retried but still works two days a week for a stamp dealer and auctioneers. He was born in Leatherhead and plans to move back to the town.

He said: “I was born in Leatherhead and I have relatives in Fetcham and I would love to move back. When I saw that Churchill was awaiting planning permission I contacted them to ask all about the development. They have kept in touch with me and that’s how I heard about the competition. I was very pleased to be selected as the winner!”

Mr Peter’s suggestion was chosen from a host of entries after Churchill ran a competition for people to suggest a name for the site. He has won £100 prize money for his idea.

Anne Scherrer, Regional Marketing Manager from Churchill Retirement Living said: “We were delighted with Mr Peter’s suggested name. It’s fantastic to be able to mark a little bit of local history and choose such a celebrated name.

“Emmeline Lodge will be an exciting development of 38 one and two bedroom apartments which will provide much–needed accommodation for older people in the local area. Like all of our developments, it will offer safe and independent living close to local shops and amenities.

“With the name officially announced, we will soon be opening a welcome centre where local people who are interested in retirement living can enquire about the accommodation and what help is on offer to make the move as easy as possible.”

The Emmeline Lodge welcome centre is due to open shortly. For more information please call 0800 458 1857 or visit

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