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Descendant of Emmeline Pankhurst unveils historic statue

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Thousands of people took to the streets of Manchester to pay tribute to Emmeline Pankhurst, as a statue of the suffragette leader was unveiled by her great-granddaughter in her home city, 100 years to the day the first women went to the polls in a UK General Election and stood as MPs.

 

Honouring the suffragettes

Emmeline’s legacy was honoured by people of all ages, including more than 1,000 schoolchildren who marched from her former home, the Pankhurst Centre, to take part in the unveiling of the statue, which depicts Emmeline aloft on a chair in St Peter’s Square as she addresses the crowds. The meeting circle in which she stands is orientated towards the former Free Trade Hall, where the first disruptive actions of the suffragettes, including her own daughter Sylvia, took place.

 

Speaking at the unveiling on 14 December, Emmeline’s great-granddaughter Helen Pankhurst said: ‘Today we honour Emmeline here in Manchester, her personal and political home, and we remember all of those who fought alongside her in the country and beyond. Women and men. Today, she has been welcomed back with a march, as of old, to a meeting circle, as of old.’

 

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Remembering 'sacrifices and bravery'

The event followed a four-year campaign led by Councillor Andrew Simcock for Manchester to have its own statue of a woman of significance. He said the event ‘celebrated the legacy of those who campaigned for the right to vote and remembered their sacrifices and bravery’. Designed by Hazel Reeves, it is only the second female monument to stand in the city since the statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled in Piccadilly Gardens in 1901. Find out more here.

 

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