Bronze statue of Alice Hawkins unveiled in Leicester Market Square
By Callum Faulds
A 7ft bronze statue of suffragette Alice Hawkins has been unveiled in Leicester to recognise her contribution to the Women’s Social and Political Union militant campaign.
The event in the new Market Square began at 2pm on Sunday (Feb 4) when a mass procession marched from Humberstone Gate East to the clock tower and then to the square.
At the front of the procession was city councillor and comedy actress Elain Pantling. When the procession arrived at the square, Cllr Pantling gave a speech which was a true-to-life tale of the movement’s golf course sabotage.
Cllr Pantling herself has a show on at the Curve theatre on October 28 entitled ‘Alice in her shoes’.
Many other notable names were at the grand unveiling, including city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Peter Barratt (Alice’s great grandson), Kate Barratt (Alice’s great great granddaughter) and Leicester West MP Liz Kendall.
Hawkins was among the boot and shoe machinists of Leicester. There she learned of socialism and the writings of Thomas Mann.
In 1894 she joined the Independent Labour Party where she met another notable Suffragette activist, Sylvia Pankhurst.
During her time in the Independent Labour Party, Hawkins was jailed 4 times standing up for women’s rights.
Prior to this statue, Hawkins has had a plaque devoted to her at her workplace and another on the Leicester Walk of Fame. However, this is the first statue in Leicester to be devoted to a woman.
Leicester city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby said at the event that he hoped it would be “the first of many.”
To find out more information about Alice Hawkins and her role in the Women’s Social and Political Union militant campaign visit www.storyofleicester.info.