Emmeline Pankhurst voted Greatest Northerner of all time


Emmeline Pankhurst has been declared the Greatest Northerner of all time following a public vote.

The political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, came top of a 10-strong shortlist.

More than 1,000 people voted in the poll on the Great Northern’s Facebook page, with World War II hero Alan Turing coming a close second.

The shortlist also included Alan Turing, L.S. Lowry, Victoria Wood, Maxine Peake, Caroline Aherne, Sir Ian McKellan, Tony Wilson, Liam Gallagher and Sir Bobby Charlton.

They have all been immortalised by renowned artist Stanley Chow in portraits which form a permanent, free-to-view exhibition at Manchester’s Great Northern.

The artworks are also being sold in postcard form, with the proceeds going to Forever Manchester. There are still some available via the charity’s website.

Mrs Pankhurst was born in Moss Side in 1858 and went on to lead the movement which  helped women win the right to vote.

A full size statue of her will be only the second statue of a woman on the streets of Manchester when it is unveiled in St Peter’s Square on 8 March 2019.

“These amazing, legendary men and women from the worlds of science, drama, politics, and art have not only established the north as the centre of radical new modes of thought and cultural innovation, but also changed the world with their contributions,” said Eloise Moss, a lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Manchester.

“Whether it be Turing’s creation of the computer or Pankhurst’s fight for women’s rights, or the wonderful acting and activism of Maxine Peake and Sir Ian McKellen, these are figures who have, literally, made the world a better place.

“Bridging historic and contemporary periods, and continuing to inspire us through their intelligence, passion, and – in the case of the legendary Victoria Wood – keep us smiling with their humour, our Great Northerners are people of whom the region can be truly proud.”

“We’ve been delighted with the public’s response to our celebration of Manchester’s greatest sons and daughters,” said Great Northern centre director Mark Schofield.

“Greater Manchester has played host to some truly game-changing artists, innovators, sport people actors and activist, and we’re delighted to pay homage to their achievements and contributions with our own art exhibition.”


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