Our Emmeline Meeting Circle unveiling
The Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign will celebrate a landmark moment on Sunday 15 July, as the meeting circle which will surround the statue is unveiled to the public on what would have been her 160th birthday.
The ceremony will be the first glimpse of the meeting circle, the white Portland stone wall which will complement the other similar structures in St Peter’s Square, and is an important element of the overall design for sculptor Hazel Reeves’ statue, ‘Rise up Women’. The statue itself will be unveiled on 14 December, marking 100 years since some women first voted in a UK General Election. The meeting circle’s reveal will be part of a ceremony including the laying of flowers to mark the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst, the political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. She was born Emmeline Goulden on 15th July 1858 in Moss Side.
The circle will be inscribed quite simply with Emmeline Pankhurst’s name, the date of her birth and death, and two of her famous quotations “Rise Up Women” and “Deeds Not Words”.
Attending the ceremony will be Dr Helen Pankhurst, activist, writer and the Great Granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst. An ardent supporter of the campaign, Helen will be talking about the significance of the statue and the legacy of Our Emmeline, 100 years since some women obtained the right to vote. Councillor Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Project, will be present to introduce those that have supported the campaign alongside the Government’s Centenary Cities fund. This includes Corporate Sponsors, Property Alliance Group and Manchester Airport and individual Gold Sponsors Edwina Wolstencroft, Dennis Morgan, Mr and Mrs Gosztony, Laura and Peter Carstensen and Andrew Simcock himself, who all purchased one of a limited edition of Hazel Reeves’ maquette design.
Councillor Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Project, comments, “With 2018 marking 100 years since the first women received the vote, this is another landmark moment in Manchester’s suffragette story and an opportunity to celebrate the life of one of the city’s most iconic figures. It’s so exciting to have reached this stage in the campaign, knowing the next step will be the unveiling of the statue itself!”
The statue will be the first of a woman in Manchester since Queen Victoria was unveiled in Piccadilly Gardens in 1901. Emmeline Pankhurst was selected as the public’s chosen female icon to be immortalised as a statue from a long list of 20 inspiring Mancunian females. She will take her place alongside the city’s 18 male statues and the statue of Queen Victoria. This will be the culmination of a campaign launched in 2014 to celebrate the significant contribution of women to the city.
For further information on the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign visit: www.womanchesterstatue.org.