Meet the guild fighting for everything from maternity benefits to cannabis legalisation
Never heard of the Co-operative Women's Guild? It is not a surprise. Even though they have helped influence some of the biggest women's rights milestones, they are not ones to blow their own trumpet.
The guild has been pressuring politicians for the past 130 years and members are still keen to get the results they want.
Many might assume the group are quite conservative, but that is not the case.
Yorkshire president of the guild, Lyn Longbottom, said: "The first resolution I ever put forward was the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
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"We thought we would get hammered about it but not one of the others went against it. They each had stories on the subject."
Every year there is a national congress for the guild, and an elected delegate from each branch can put forward their own resolutions. Resolutions that get a majority are put to the Government.
Lyn's cannabis resolution was in 2000, and was unexpected even for her, as she was never interested in politics.
She said: "I always thought someone else should do it."
At first, Lyn, 65, was a hesitant member, showing up to her first meeting back in 1998.
"I popped in and thought, 'This isn't for me," she said.
But curiosity convinced her to try again.
She said: "I gave it a go a second time, about the time of the local elections, and the discussions just amazed me.
"I was hooked."
The guild's powers of persuasion were taken seriously and she even received a severe reproach from former Home Secretary Jack Straw about the proposed cannabis reform.
Any members can go as high up the ranks as they want – or just join in when they fancy.
Lyn said: "The problem is not the lack of people, it is the lack of time.
"People are afraid to get involved and take up a position."
She emphasises that the organisation does not pressure anyone into taking on a role.
The main purpose is just to give support and build confidence.
Lyn said: "Before I joined, I would never speak up.
"They encouraged me to be the delegate and to speak at the congress."
Although almost unheard of now, so many of the steps forward for equality have been helped along because of the guild.
Maternity benefits were included in the National Insurance Act 1911 because of the pressure exerted by the organisation.
At its peak, the guild boasted 1,500 branches and 72,000 members across Britain.
Lyn said: "In the early days, they were powerful.
"But I noticed that during the Seventies and Eighties, they became a bit quiet."
There used to be 15 guilds in Hull alone, but now there are only two left in Yorkshire, one in Hull and the other in Sheffield.
Born and bred in east Hull, Lyn is resurrecting the "dinosaur" and believes the guild is not fossilised just yet.
In a room full of 60-plus women, you would guess they spend most of their time nattering over tea and biscuits about the grandkids.
But this lot are more than willing to pitch in and stand their ground.
The two Yorkshire groups are currently joining forces, arguing two heads are better than one, to fight against the NHS privatisation reforms. They even took to the streets to protest last month.
Lyn, who has been married to supportive husband and "honorary guild member" Alan for 26 years, said: "When we can, those that are able to, are out with the unions.
"We let people know when we are not happy with something.
"It gets them worried thinking that they 'might have the old ladies with the placards out in front'.
"Times have changed but there still women who need a helping hand."
The guild is putting together an exhibition at Hull History Centre, to chart the changes it has made over the years.
Recently, the organisation has brought in the chance to be an "individual member". These members do not have to attend regular meetings.
Their youngest member is student Sarah Conroy, 21 , who during research for her dissertation, was looking into the women's movement in the East Riding and discovered the group.
Even though there are plenty more arguments to win, the guild does have fun too.
It is their sisterly spirit that Lyn credits with giving her the confidence to not only rise up to national president, until last year but also to gain her role as women's officer in the Labour party.
"I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing in politics without them," she said.
"Even though we've got the vote, and we've got our freedom, we can still hold ourselves back."
The group meets every third Tuesday at Central Library.