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Annie Kenney in Oldham.

July 13, 2019

Huge crowds turned out to see the statue of Oldham’s home-grown suffragette Annie Kenney unveiled in December 2019.

The public reveal at Parliament Square marked the centenary of the first women who were able to vote in a general election. Hundreds of people - including Oldham MPs, actor Maxine Peake,

school children and activists - marched with banners and a brass band through the town ahead of the unveiling.The bronze statue by sculptor Denise Dutton depicts the former mill worker wearing a 'Votes for Women' sash, ringing a bell. A working class woman from a poor background, Kenney was one of 12 children and worked in a cotton mill from the age of ten, where she lost a finger in a machine accident. She helped spearhead the campaign for universal suffrage and was imprisoned 13 times for the cause.

Together with Christabel Pankhurst, Kenney was arrested and jailed for three days for challenging then Oldham MP Winston Churchill and Liberal Sir Edward Grey about womens' voting rights.