Billy Boston sculptor hoping for Pankhurst nod

Steve Winterburn and his daughter
Steve Winterburn and his daughter

The sculptor who designed Wigan’s Billy Boston statue is in the running to create the hotly anticipated Emmeline Pankhurst monument.

Steve Winterburn’s vision is one of six shortlisted designs for a new statue which commemorates the Manchester-born former suffragette leader.

Steve, who also designed the rugby league tribute at Wembley Stadium, had his Boston creation unveiled in September by the man himself.

The stunning prototype, which the Hull-based sculptor worked on with daughter Roxy, is called The Key To Equality. It depicts Pankhurst standing atop a plinth of flyers and newspaper front pages relating to her heroic exploits.

The plinth spirals upwards into a ribbon which surrounds the statue of Emmeline, complete with outstretched hand. Her other hand clutches a scroll, most likely representing the petition she tried to deliver to King George V at the gates of Buckingham Palace in 1914.

Her great-granddaughter Helen Pankhurst sat on the committee which chose the shortlist. She said: “The initial pitches were incredible - picking up on Emmeline’s spirit, and in different ways. It was very difficult to narrow down to six, but I cannot wait to see them turned into the maquettes which will go on public display.”

The winning tribute will be chosen by public vote, stand in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square and be unveiled on International Women’s Day 2019. Vote at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/emmelinepankhurst.