A life-sized statue of Emily Wilding Davison is set to be placed in the centre of Epsom’s Market Place as part of the high streets update.
Emily Davison, an English militant suffragette, fought for votes for women in Britain in the early twentieth century. On 4 June 1913, Davison ran out in front of the King’s horse as it was taking part in the Epsom Derby. Whilst the exact reasons behind her actions are still unclear, Emily died on 8th June from her injuries.
The local council now plans to unveil the statue of Davison in Epsom town centre on October 11th 2020, which would have been her 148th birthday, to pay tribute to her role in campaigning to give women the vote.
The proposed bronze sculpture commissioned by Emily Davidson Memorial Project is said to cost in the region of £50,000. Christine Charlesworth was selected to produce the statue that represents gender equality and justice. The sculpture will show Emily sat on a bench and hopes to encourage visitors to stop and sit with her by the Clock Tower.
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Beside the statue, Christine has chosen to place some of Davison’s favourite books, together with the mortarboard from the suffragette marches. Davison will be wearing a copy of the hat she wore on that fateful day of 4th June 1913.
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council are planning to support the funding of the sculpture with £20,000, along with generous donations from the local residents.
As part of ongoing support for local businesses and the community, the council has plans for a major redevelopment of the town centre to make it a ‘more attractive and vibrant place’. The upgrade to the high street will replace the current paving and include new seating, ‘wayfinding’ signs as well as more trees.
The upgrade of the town centre is part of the £7.5m infrastructure project in the current Epsom Plan E that started in January 2017 and is expected to carry on through to the end of 2020.