Posts

Moves to Honour Women with Civic Statues

It is great to see the Amy Johnson project being used as a ‘Result’ and encouraging to see other projects underway. Read the latest inVISIBLEewomen article for more results of moves to honour women with civic statues.

“Believe Nothing to be Impossible”

inVISIBLEwomen has been running for one year and aviator Amy Johnson’s words “believe nothing to be impossible” begin to ring true; we are witnessing a change in attitudes to civic statues. And this is not before time, given that 85% of civic statues are of men and arguably form the UK’s oldest subliminal ad-campaign for the patriarchy.

There is a quiet, persistent power in a civic statue

Support for this shift has come from such diverse people as Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, both approving, across the party divide, of the statue of Millicent Fawcett to be erected in Parliament Square, an all-male preserve since 1832; the most prominent ‘gentleman’s club’ in the capital.

This campaign for a female statue began with an open letter from Caroline Criado Perez followed by an online petition with over 70,000 signatures and has shown the weight of approval behind this kind of long overdue public recognition.

Progress – the status quo is shifting

This year new statues to women have been erected around the country, honouring both historical and present day figures, beginning to rebalance who we are “looking up to” in our city squares and public places. Two statues were erected of aviator Amy Johnson, in Herne Bay and Hull. They were the result of a fast, dynamic campaign run by Jane Priston, who harnessed local interest, goodwill and funding, and even went as far as posing for the sculptor to speed the process along!

Amy on the seafront at Herne Bay and the “Women of Steel” who kept the steel factories running during the war, are now commemorated in a beautiful memorial in Sheffield resulting from a campaign using “Just Giving” to raise funds; a cause so popular that it raised more than was needed for the statue.

Another route to success was taken by the sons of Cylla Black who funded this memorial to their mother. This lively likeness of the singer, entertainer and household name now stands in Liverpool where she launched her career.

A singer from another era, Gracie Fields, described as “the Madonna of her day” was honoured in Rochdale, with funds raised by the town’s Rotary Clubs.

Mary Seacole, a pioneering nurse in the Crimea, is at last commemorated outside St Thomas Hospital in London. The long campaign has been ultimately victorious despite meeting with some resistance, surprisingly from the Florence Nightingale Association.

The achievements of real women must not be airbrushed out of history. Gender equality in civic statues is possible. It really is time for more Plinths for Women!

Find out more about current campaigns and how you can get involved.

Modelling of Amy Johnson in Clay – Time-lapse film

Amy Johnson Bronze

Amy Johnson Bronze

Meltdowns who created the Amy Johnson bronze statue have created this fabulous time lapse film and blog.

Amy Johnson statue unveiling – ITV news video clip

View the ITV news clip of the unveiling of the Amy Johnson statue in Herne Bay on Saturday 17 September 2016.

Herne Bay Amy Johnson Bronze Unveiling details

Amy bronze maquette

Amy Johnson bronze maquette

Our special day is nearly here and this silhouette picture of the maquette will soon be a reality as the sun sets on Herne Bay seafront on Saturday evening.  The bronze statue will be unveiled at midday between the bandstand and the pier (bandstand end).   We are very proud to have HRH Prince Michael of Kent and modern day aviatrix Tracey Curtis-Taylor in attendance along with over 100 invited guests and sponsors.  We are also delighted to announce an exciting last minute addition to the event.  Champion aerobatics pilot and regular to Herne Bay skies, Lauren Richardson will be flying her stunning Pitts Special biplane in a breath taking solo display to honour the woman who inspired her to fly.  This is scheduled to take place at 12.15pm and Lauren will return to the seafront and be in the bandstand Makcaris for a ‘meet the pilot’ session at around 4pm.  A real treat for everyone and the icing on the cake for what looks to be a truly memorable day for the town and for Amy’s memory.

A rare Amy Johnson find to coincide with the unveiling of the bronze statue

We are delighted to announce the Amy Johnson bronze is now complete and ready for installation! A day at the Meltdowns studio on Friday saw the completion of our Amy and it was a very memorable experience. More details of the unveiling to come soon but in the meantime I would like to share with you another image of Amy. Very exciting find.

Amy Johnson bronze to be unveiled 17 September 2016

We are delighted to announce the Amy Johnson bronze statue is near completion, planning has been approved and the royal unveiling set for Saturday 17 September.  More details to follow soon. Read the KM article

Herne Bay commemorates Amy Johnson

Today we saw Herne Bay come together again to make another very memorable event. Thank you to Makcaris Herne Bay for sponsoring the event and providing refreshments for our guests. Thank you Wild Daisy Florist for the beautiful wreath. Thank you to everyone who attended the service, some of whom came a very long way to be with us. Thank you to MHWcreative for capturing the event on film. And thank you to Mike McLaughlin Photography for taking the lovely pictures which you can access through the Facebook link: Facebook

Tracey Curtis-Taylor lands in Darwin

Wonderful news – Tracey has landed in Darwin, Australia, safe and sound. Throughout her journey so far she has been doing incredible work inspiring young women in aviation and engineering and bringing Amy’s memory back to life. She flies on across Australia and is due to complete this part of the trip in Sydney. Well done Tracey! Read more

STEM Ambassador

Project manager Jane Priston has joined the 30,000 volunteers who give their time illuminating futures by becoming a STEM Ambassador through STEMNET. She will be working with more schools in 2016 inspriring young people into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) through Amy’s story.

STEMNET

Tracey Curtis-Taylor commences epic solo flight to Australia

It was a privilege and honour to be present as Tracey Curtis-Taylor began her solo flight to Australia, following in Amy Johnson’s footsteps. Project Manager Jane Priston (left), Pauline Vahey, Chair of the British Women Pilot’s Association (right), Angela Riddle, friend and the only one of the group who has flown with Tracey, and Candy Adkins, daughter of Jackie Moggridge who flew with Amy in the ATA, commissioned a bracelet for Tracey to mark the occasion. The bracelet was designed and made by Daniel Wilds of Herne BayFacebook