|Our Emmeline, photo by Sue Anders|
This Friday, 14 December 2018, a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst will be unveiled in her home city of Manchester, exactly 100 years to the day after the first women cast votes in a UK General Election.
Amidst a deeply turbulent and depressing period of history, it's sometimes worth celebrating the achievements.
The statue in St Peter's Square has been designed by sculptor Hazel Reeves and will be the highlight of a campaign to celebrate the significant contribution of women to the city and will take place on the day that exactly 100 years ago the first women voted in UK General Election for the first time.
Credit where it is due to Councillor Andrew Simcock who in May 2014 kicked off the Womanchester Statue Campaign to commission a new statue for Manchester to recognise the significant contribution of women to the city’s history. The campaign was prompted by the fact that of Manchester’s 17 statues at the time, only one represented a woman, a monument to Queen Victoria that was erected over 100 years ago, which is situated in Piccadilly Gardens.
|Andrew Simcock and Hazel Reeves|
From a long list of 20 potential figures, through a series of public events, a shortlist of six finalists was reached, with Emmeline Pankhurst emerging as the people's favourite.
Once 'Our Emmeline' was chosen, and the artist selected in a public competition, the build up has been fantastic with schools, with parades to the unveiling in St Peter's Square. It is a day that everyone is invited to participate in that will embrace and bring together all those who have supported the Our Emmeline project. To reflect the coming together of people, two symbolic meeting points have been selected; the Pankhurst Centre, the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst and the birthplace of the suffragette movement; and People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy. Those taking part are invited to meet at locations near these points, or along the route, which we will be doing from Manchester Metropolitan University at All Saints Square, before converging at St Peter’s Square to greet Our Emmeline.