Mary Barbour statue to be unveiled in November

Mary Barbour
Mary Barbour

A lasting memorial to political activist Mary Barbour will be unveiled in Govan on November 17 after a campaign group reached its fundraising target for the statue.

Mary Barbour was a leading campaigner during rent strikes in 1915 that led to a change in government legislation, prohibiting unscrupulous landlords from raising rents and evicting residents who couldn’t afford to pay.

The activists led months of protests which culminated in a large demonstration outside Glasgow Sheriff Court and the city chambers.

Within a month munitions minister Lloyd George changed the law to reduce rents to pre-war levels across the UK.

The winning design from Andrew Brown (far left) was one of five shortlisted entries for the statue
The winning design from Andrew Brown (far left) was one of five shortlisted entries for the statue

Sculptor Andrew Brown’s design for the memorial shows Mary Barbour marching with members of the community behind her.

Maria Fyfe, who chairs the Remember Mary Barbour Association (RMBA) which led the fundraising efforts, said: “This sculptor’s intention was to present Mary Barbour, for now and for generations to come, in a way that captures the achievement for which she is best known.

“The day in November 1915, when she led a 20-thousand-strong protest through the streets of Glasgow to the Sheriff Court and won the victory.”

The fundraising committee raised £110,000 through local donations to pay for the new statue, with Parkhead Housing Association, Linthouse Housing Association, Elderpark Housing Association and ng homes among the organisations to have assisted the campaign.

Parkhead Housing Association CEO, Jim Strang, told Scottish Housing News: “We are delighted that Mary Barbour continues to be recognized in this way and we are proud to say we contributed a small donation towards the statue project. We look forward to the final unveiling!”

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