Cracker Packers’ statue unveiled
On International Women’s Day, 8 March, the so-called Cracker Packers unveil their bronze statue dedicated to their work, lives and friendships. It’s in the perfect spot in Caldewgate, Carlisle, right near to the Carr’s (now McVitie’s) factory. I hope the statue conveys the humour, warmth and camaraderie of these women. But this was only made possible by their generosity in sharing their vibrant and hilarious stories with me at the start, at the McVitie’s factory in April 2017. (Full press release here, unveiling blog post, and extensive media coverage)
Hunter Davies writes about the Cracker Packers in the Sunday Times – 4 March 2018
Author Hunter Davies tells the story of the Cracker Packers and their statue, soon to be unveiled, in ‘Biscuit heroines, I give you a cracker of a statue‘ (p12). Here we are last summer with my well-thumbed copy of the Biscuit Girls.
Cracker Packers’ blog
In the lead up to the unveiling on International Women’s Day, I’m telling the story of the Cracker Packers statue, celebrating women biscuit factory workers for Caldewgate, Carlisle. See my blog updates. Below I talk about the workshop where the Cracker Packers – current and retired – helped me design their statue (Video by Stuart Walker.)
Latest commission: Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton
It’s a real joy to sculpt crossbench peer Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton. She is such an inspiration, working tirelessly to promote the rights of people with disabilities. Listen to her Desert Island Disc selection. (Photo by Jane Mingay.)
Hazel on BBC Radio 3
On Tuesday the 13 February I chose my favourite woman composer as part of the “30 on 30” initiative on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast, as part of the centenary of the first women gaining the vote. 30 people are speaking for one minute about their choice, on the 30 days between the centenary (6 February) and International Women’s Day (8 March). Helen Pankhurst chose Ethel Smyth’s ‘March of the Women’, and I chose Jocelyn Pook’s ‘Dionysus’. Happily BBC Breakfast listeners loved my choice so I made it into the top 6 of the ’30 on 30′ feature.
Planning permission granted – 8 February
Planning permission for the Emmeline Pankhurst statue has been granted by Manchester City Council Planning Committee during an historic meeting. This means that the statue will now be created and unveiled in 2018, the centenary year of the first women getting the right to vote. In a project that has sought representation and engagement at every stage, it was eleven year old Fatima Shahid, a pupil at Newall Green Primary School in Wythenshawe, who spoke on behalf of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue. See press release. (Photo credit: Karen Wright.)
Emmeline meets the PM
For the centenary, on 6 February, Theresa May makes a surprise visit to the Pankhurst Centre, the home of the Pankhursts, in Manchester. Helen Pankhurst signs her new book – Deeds not Words – while Emmeline urges Theresa May to rise up and fight for women’s rights!
Happy #Vote100 – 6 February
Today, 6 February, I’m in Manchester, joining the celebrations of the centenary of some women gaining the vote. My day will start with filming for the BBC’s ‘Emmeline Pankhurst: making of a militant’, inside the former Free Trade Hall, a significant site for the Suffragettes. And my day will end at the Pankhurst Centre, with the launch of ‘Deeds not Words: the story of women’s rights then and now’, the new book by Emmeline’s Great Granddaughter, Helen Pankhurst.
BBC filming in the studio
Fun day in the studio with Lucy and Peter from BBC South East filming part of a feature on the Emmeline Pankhurst commission for the
evening news (18 January 2018).
BBC Breakfast feature on three forthcoming statues – of Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Hawkins and Millicent Fawcett – on 2 February 2018.
Pankhurst Statue wins centenary grant
The Government has recognised the legacy of Emmeline Pankhurst and Manchester in gaining women’s suffrage, by giving a major grant (£370,000) to the city to support the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue and the Pankhurst Centre. This is part of the Centenary Cities: 100 years of votes for women initiative, recognising 100 years since the first cohort of women gained the vote. Full press release here. (Photo: Sue Anders)
Hazel wins Pankhurst commission
Delighted to have won this prestigious commission, which was announced in St Peter’s Square, Manchester, Tuesday 4 April. There is now a limited bronze edition of my maquette “Rise up, women” (email me for further information) (4 April 2017).
Hazel wins ‘Cracker Packer’ commission
What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 than with the announcement of a statue commission celebrating women biscuit factory workers – the ‘Cracker Packers’ – to be sculpted by a woman artist! I had great fun today meeting past and current Cracker Packers at the McVities factory (formerly Carr’s) in Carlisle. The bronzes of the two Cracker Packers, one from past times and one from today, will be unveiled next International Women’s Day, 2018. For the full details see the press release. Photo by Stuart Walker. (March 2017)
Sir Nigel Gresley statue’s unveiling at King’s Cross
The Unseen Steam team were there to capture the unveiling of my 7ft 4in Sir Nigel Gresley Statue at King’s Cross station on the 5 April 2016. Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, removed the veil in front of a large crowd. Sir Nigel’s grandson Tim Godfrey spoke as did I, before everyone was invited to Platform 8 to inspect the Gresley N2 steam engine. Below is a lovely photo of Bessie cosying up to Sir Nigel after the unveiling. The original maquette (model) is available in a bronze edition of 20.