Alice Hawkins statue unveiled in Leicester's New Market Square
Hundreds gathered yesterday for the unveiling of a 7ft bronze statue of suffragette Alice Hawkins, in Leicester’s New Market Square.
Hawkins was a shoe factory machinist who led the women’s suffrage movement in Leicester in the early 1900s. The statue signifies 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave all men and some women the right to vote. The location of the statue is significant as it is where Alice would have delivered her speeches to large crowds about equality for women and the suffrage movement. Alice was jailed on multiple occasions due to her beliefs, and worked closely with the Pankhursts who led the British suffrage movement in the early 1900’s.
At the unveiling ceremony was the great-grandson of Alice Hawkins, Peter Barratt, who said that Alice and other women were ‘often heckled by crowds, but today we are here to cheer Alice on’. He also said how he hoped that the statue of Alice would raise awareness of the working class women who continued to work hard, manual jobs but ‘stood up for what they believed in and became suffragettes’. Using Alice’s own words, he said ‘deeds not words...the fight for equality continues’.
Head down to New Market Square, Leicester to catch a glimpse for yourself!