Emily memorial will include walking trail

More details about the lasting memorial for suffragette Emily Wilding Davison in Morpeth have been revealed.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 07:00 am
From left, Mike Turner, head of property services and capital programming at Northumberland County Council, Coun Glen Sanderson, Frances Povey, parks and green spaces officer at Northumberland County Council, and Morpeth Town Council clerk Tracey Bell, viewing the site where the new Emily Davison sculpture is to be erected.

Northumberland County Council and Morpeth Town Council have been working closely on proposals for the monument, which will be erected in the formal garden of Carlisle Park, and those involved hope it will be in place by August.

In addition, information panels will be provided in the park to highlight the significant role Emily – who lived in Longhorsley – played in the suffragette movement and there will be a walking trail to help guide visitors to her grave and other points of interest in the local area.

A design concept of how the memorial could look.

Renowned sculptor Ray Lonsdale, the man behind the famous Tommy sculpture in Seaham, has been contacted and has already provided some ideas for the monument.

The designs of a life-size sculpture in steel have been shared with Morpeth’s Emily Inspires! group and other interested parties in the town.

The county council’s cabinet has agreed the proposals for the scheme and to contribute £50,000 towards the monument, which will be met from the Parks Enhancement Programme budget.

County councillor Glen Sanderson, Longhorsley ward member and cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “Emily Davison was a true local hero who brought about votes for women and she was an international figure.

A design concept of how the memorial could look.

“After deciding to make this investment, we now have a one-off opportunity to put in place a lasting memorial that will be designed by an internationally-renowned sculptor.

“It will be of enormous interest, not only to local residents but to visitors to the town as well.

“There have been online comments from people raising concerns about this investment. I would ask these people to bear with us, come along to see it for themselves in August and see it as something that will be enjoyed by many people and make Carlisle Park an even more popular place to visit.

“The town trail will be a welcome addition to this scheme and will help visitors and local residents, in particular the younger generation, to learn more about Emily Davison, her close links to the area and the huge historical importance of her actions.”

The tenacious campaigner died four days after being struck by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. She was buried in graveyard of St Mary’s Church in Morpeth.

The town council has agreed a financial contribution of £5,000 and efforts are continuing to secure additional funding for the project.

County and town councillor for Morpeth North, David Bawn, said: “Emily Davison is one of the iconic figures from Morpeth’s history.

“The overwhelming response to the 100th anniversary of her death in 2013 and the on-going Emily Inspires! campaign show the central part she plays in our heritage.

“In the year marking 100 years from the first time women could vote in our country, what could be more fitting to commemorate this milestone than this tribute to such a campaigner for gender equality?”