Statue in honour od suffragette Alice Hawkins to be put in Leicester Market
by Peter Warzynski
A statue of city suffragette Alice Hawkins is set to be put up at Leicester Market, where she delivered many of her speeches aiming to win women the right to vote.
It comes after a campaign by people determined to honour Alice, who died 67 years ago, aged 83.
During her life, she fought for women's rights and equality and was imprisoned five times for standing up for her beliefs.
The campaigners, including councillor Adam Clarke, members of the Civic Society, the National Union of Teachers and Alice's relatives, have been told by city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby they can erect a memorial statue at Leicester Market.
The group will meet later this month to draw up an artist's brief for how they want the monument to look.
Coun Clarke said: "We're looking at somewhere in the market place, but we are nowhere near specifics yet.
"I think the market would be very fitting, it's where Alice spoke to crowds and we want to highlight it as a civic space, as well as a place of commerce.
"Sir Peter has been very good and said he would give us a spot and provide a plinth.
"It's just a start and there's a long way to go, but I think we've got a real argument for putting something together."
Sir Peter said he was happy for the market place to become home to the statue.
He said: "Alice Hawkins is one of the real heroines of modern democracy and she deserves to be properly commemorated.
"I can't think of anywhere better suited than the place where she gave her speeches.
"I'm very happy to consider any suggestions put forward."
A Facebook campaign calling for the statue has been supported by more than 140 people.
The group behind the campaign is looking at ways to raise money for the project, which will be funded by the public, except for the plinth, which will be donated by Leicester City Council.
Leicester Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: "This brave woman spoke out and even went to Gaol in the suffragette cause.
The ideal place would be in Leicester Market, on the spot where she used to put down her soapbox."
Alice's great-grandson Peter Barratt, 57, is also backing the project.
He said: "This statue is aimed at marking all the work Alice did for women's rights, but it's also going to be dedicated to all the women who fought for the same beliefs."