Bedford Heights supports campaign to install the first female statue in Bedford

December 3, 2019/0/0

Amy Walmsley, 1867 – 1928, Political Figure, Educationalist and Suffragist 

In 2019, there are still no female statues in Bedford. Across the UK, there are only 80 named statues of women, compared to 422 of men.

Campaigning to install the first female statue in Bedford is Women of Bedford, an organisation made up of local women who are fundraising to generate the £100,000 needed to ensure that Bedford has a statue of a named woman. The statue will be of Amy Walmsley, a Bedford educationlist, suffragist, and the town’s first female councillor.

To highlight the campaign and help raise the much needed funds, Bedford Heights hosted an evening cocktail reception on behalf of the Women of Bedford which coincided with Bedfordshire Day on 28th November.

Clare Sumner from the Women of Bedford, Elaine Midgely from Bedford Creative Arts, and Katie Ferola from Verve Developments Ltd, all spoke at the reception to highlight the importance of the campaign and the statue, not just in terms of celebrating the achievements of women in history, but also to inspire the current and next generations of girls and women.

Bedford Creative Arts has recently stepped in to support the campaign, and will do this as part of its wider remit in the town.

Speaking at the event, Katie Ferola from Bedford Heights said: “Amy Walmsley represents all of us; no woman is less important than the other. She represents the strength we all have to strive and go forward. Amy fought for our rights to vote and we should never forget this. To be part of this very important fundraiser is an honour and I hope you can make a contribution however big or small to this worthy cause. The statue is all of us, let’s change that statistic and have 101 statues in the UK and be proud that Bedford has one of the most important ones of all.”

Clare Sumner, co-founder of Women of Bedford, said: “Now is the time for us to inspire  all women of the future and the inclusive society we want to see. As part of this we want to create the first woman’s statue in Bedford of suffragette and educationalist Amy Walmsley. We really want the women and men in our town to help us make this happen. If you are a potential investor and/or advocate then please get in touch and visit www.womenofbedford.org.uk to find out more and help make our vision a reality.”

Helping to raise funds for the statue is a raffle, organised by Bedford Heights, and which raised over £500 on Bedfordshire Day during a Christmas Shopping Event held at the business centre earlier on in the day. Representatives from Women of Bedford attended the shopping event to highlight the cause. Raffle tickets are available from Bedford Heights and Rogan’s Books until 19th December, the raffle will be drawn on 20th December. Prizes include Veuve Clicquot champagne, Chanel gift sets, local Willow Tree Gin, Charlie Wells beer and a whole host of other amazing prizes donated by local businesses. The full list of prizes can be found below.

For more information on the campaign and to donate, visit https://www.womenofbedford.org.uk/donate/

Raffle Prizes

Top Prizes

  • Veuve Clicquot Champagne
  • Chanel gift sets for men and women
  • Willow Tree Gin gift set
  • Charlie Wells beer gift set
  • Best of Bedfordshire gift hamper

£20 homeware voucher from Sarah Diane Creative
Children’s toy from Fairies & Frogs
Bedfordshire gift box from Otter & Moose
Tropic Skincare gift set

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