Stature project – the eight women we celebrated
24 February – 30 March 2014 crocheted masks representing these great achievers were installed on the marble man busts in Manchester Town Hall entrance corridor:
Louise da-Cocodia (1934-2008) anti-racism campaigner, fighter for social justice and Bob Marley fan. Her work to improve housing, education and employment opportunities for Manchester’s inner city residents earned her an MBE. Find out more
Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker (1901–1957) scientist, University of Manchester. In Japan she’s revered as the ‘Mother of the Sea’, the saviour of their sushi industry. Each April 14 her life is celebrated in the annual ‘Drew Festival’ in Osaka. Find out more
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) novelist, short story writer and biographer. She used her writing talent for the public good, to highlight the plight of the industrial poor. Her fiction, tackling controversial social issues, sparked moral outrage but inspired social change. Find out more
Annie Horniman (1860–1937) – eccentric, Alps-cycling, arts patron. She pioneered a ‘repertory’ theatre system at the Gaiety Theatre, assembling a resident company of actors to perform a rotating programme of classic and contemporary work. Find out more
Ethel ‘Sunny’ Lowry (1911–2008) – marathon swimmer.
In 1933 she fulfilled her ambition to swim the English Channel. She ditched the traditional woollen costume in favour of a more streamline, risqué outfit. On board her support boat a bagpipe player helped her keep her stroke regular. She trained in Victoria Baths, Manchester, and in later life supported the media campaign for the restoration of the building. Find out more
Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw (1912-2014) mathematician, politician, Rubik’s cube solver. She invented a waterproof cotton which was used to make army tents in the Second World War and used statistics to influence government policy on social issues especially education. She helped establish the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester’s lesbian and gay centre. Find out more
Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960) – artist, suffragette, and strident anti-colonialist. She was disowned by her mother for refusing to marry. Passionate about Ethiopian culture
she eventually moved there and in 1960 received a full state funeral as an honorary Ethiopian. Find out more
Esther Roper (1868–1938) – social justice campaigner.
She fought for working class women’s rights, helping set up trades unions. When women’s livelihoods were threatened by moral crusaders – including barmaids and coalpit girls – she led groups campaigns and demonstrations to defend their right to work. The partner of Irish poet Eva Gore-Booth, in 1916 they established Urania magazine which explored lesbian, gay and trans issues. Find out more