The first half of a permanent tribute to Emmeline Pankhurst has been unveiled today in St Peter’s Square on what would have been her 160th birthday.
The white Portland stone wall, which will surround a statue of the Suffragette leader, has inscriptions of her famous quotes: “Deeds Not Words” and “Rise Up Women.”
Councillor Andrew Simcock who has been instrumental in the campaign to get the statue, led the ceremony this morning which featured the crowd being led in a rendition of Suffragette anthem ‘The March of the Women.’
Dr Helen Pankhurst, Great-Granddaughter of Emmeline, talked of how proud she is:
It’s really lovely to see the first half. It’s symbolically incredibly important the whole sculpture is starting with a meeting circle, that idea of bringing people together. Whenever you mention the name Pankhurst, or Emmeline in Manchester there’s a collective shout out. To have a place where she is going to be honoured as well as all the other men is important
The second part, a bronze statue of Emmeline stood on a chair as if addressing a crowd, will be unveiled this December and will face the site of the former Free Trade Hall- an iconic building in the Suffragette movement.
The sculptor Hazel Reeves said:
I was so excited when I was appointed- my background is working for womens’ rights and then I became a sculptor and so what better job could I have than combining my two passions
The statue will be one of only two of women in Manchester. The only other statue is of Queen Victoria and was erected in 1901.