All invited to unveiling of Annie Kenney statue

TWO years of hard work and fundraising will come together on Friday, December 14 when a statue of Springhead-born suffragette Annie Kenney is unveiled outside the Old Town Hall in Oldham.

Annie Kenney

The statue commemorates Annie’s role in extending the rights of women in Britain on the exact day women voted for the first time.

On the same day in Manchester, a similar monument will be unveiled in St Peter’s Square to fellow suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The unveiling is being organised by the director of Oldham Theatre Workshop in conjunction with Oldham’s Town Centre Management team.

A march has been organised to Parliament Square, headed by a brass band and with representative from trade unions, local businesses, schools, community organisations, and residents.

Artist Stan Chow and Maxine Peake and Amy Gavin, actors who have portrayed Annie in the past, have agreed to attend along with members of Annie’s extended family.

Children from St Thomas’ School, Lees have been invited to unveil the statue due to the work they have done telling Annie’s story throughout the year.

Jim McMahon, Oldham West and Royton MP and Chair of the Annie Kenney Memorial Fund, said:

“It goes to show what we can achieve for Oldham when we work together, which is why we want as many local residents as possible to head down to the Old Town Hall on the day.

“The most inspiring thing for me is the thought of Annie’s presence once again in the Town Centre, telling her story and inspiring future generations.”

• AN illustrated book capturing the life of Annie Kenney has been written by Carol Talbot from Saddleworth.

Working-class suffragette – The Life of Annie Kenney tells of how the working-class cotton girl from Springhead became one of the leaders of the suffragettes.

Carol, a former history teacher who has an MA in the subject, explained: “A friend told me she had been unable to find a book about Annie Kenney and this prompted me to research and write her story.”

The soft-back book costs £9.50 and is on sale from The Reclamation Room or The Towpath Book Shop, both in Uppermill, or online from Amazon.

Carol will also be selling signed copies at the unveiling of the Annie Kenney statue on December 14 for £9.

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