Art Galleries and Museums group take part in the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue celebrations

Nine members of the Art Galleries and Museums Group attended the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue “Rise Up” in St Peters Square this month, on the centenary of the first election when some women were able to vote. 

Nine members of the Art Galleries and Museums Group attended the unveiling of the Emmeline Pankhurst statue “Rise Up” in St Peters Square this month, on the centenary of the first election when some women were able to vote. They were invited by the organiser Cllr Andrew Simcock, and so were safe in the VIP enclosure, behind the barriers separating the crowd of thousands of people, some of whom arrived in two women’s marches.

After the unveiling, the group were invited up to touch Emmeline standing on her chair, with her arm outstretched in the direction of the old Free Trade Hall, the site of many suffragette protests.

Some of our event attendees said:

“What can I say!  For a start it was a privilege to be invited and included on such a momentous occasion.  I thought the programme was well thought out and each song and speech was just the right length to capture the passion and importance of the event.  And how lovely to finish off by going over to Central Library.” – Sue

“The statue was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of some women being allowed to vote in a general election for the first time.  The ceremony was both moving and motivating and something I was extremely proud to be a part of.

The slogan of the Suffragettes is ‘Deeds not Words’.  I am ashamed to say that I have only voted in an election once – mainly because, being visually impaired, I found it difficult to read the ballot paper and know where I was putting my cross.  This is not a good excuse and when I realise what these women went through to give me the right to vote, I now feel resolved to vote at each and every election in the future. This experience has left me feeling motivated and empowered.” – Roz

“Emmeline would have risen in pride, I am quite sure. A wholly inclusive celebration and welcome to an accessible statue of our City Heroine. Thanks to Manchester City Council.” – Beverley

Our group visits a museum or gallery, many of which include audio description and sometimes a touch and handling element, every month across Manchester. For more information, get in touch on 0300 222 5555 or visit our web page.

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