Liverpool City Council is moving forward on plans to erect a permanent statue of Liverpool health pioneer Kitty Wilkinson at the iconic St George's Hall. The statue of Kitty will be the first female ever to be commemorated in the building, and will be followed by fellow female social reformers Eleanor Rathbone and Josephine Butler. Kitty's statue will be made from £150,000 of Italian Marble and will sit in 'The Great Hall'.
Bids for the commission have already begun taking place, and an artist will be selected from a shortlist by the panel, which includes among others Cllr Flo Clucas and descendents of Kitty, in April 2010.
We have today learned that local artist Terry McGunigle is out of the running for the Kitty Wilkinson bid.
Terry is comitted to the project however and will continue with his original plans to create a £60,000 statue of the health pioneer,which will be donated to the City of Liverpool.
We will keep readers informed of any developments with regard to Terry's project.
On Friday 13th March 2009 pupils from Holy Cross School visited Denison Street, Liverpool 3 as part of their Kitty Wilkinson Project. Kitty Wilkinson is recognised as the woman who pioneered the Wash Houses and she began her crusade against the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of Liverpool's poor people in Denison Street, Holy Cross pupils are also pictured (13th March) with Margaret Donnelly who spoke about her Wash House memories. Margaret is pictured with the polystyrene and plaster statue of Kitty Wilkinson that sculptor Terry McGunigle made (in 2008) for the Scottie Press to help the community newspaper promote the book 'The Life & Times of Kitty Wilkinson' written by local author Mike Kelly. Copies of this book can be obtained through the Liverpool Authors website a link to which is featured on the homepage of the Scottie Press website or view http://www.liverpoolauthors.com/ Terry McGunigle, is leading a project to have a permanent 6ft tall marble statue of Kitty Wilkinson displayed in the city, and hopefully within St Georges Hall. Terry is pictured above with his smaller scale model, which he is using to promote the project and to help raise money. For more information about this statue contact Terry on merseyforum.kitty_Wilkinson@hotmail.co.uk
The photos above picture part of the evolution in washing clothes. The older of the two photos pictures a lady using the facilities in one of the former Public Wash Houses in Liverpool.
Throughout 2008 the Scottie Press has promoted the Life and Times of Kitty Wilkinson by specially commissioning a statue to be displayed at a mix of venues. Kitty Wilkinson is recognised as the woman who pioneered the Wash Houses. Kitty rose to fame after arriving destitute in Liverpool from Ireland in 1794. When the cholera epidemic broke out in Liverpool in 1832 she started up the use of public washrooms to help inhabitants of the cramped parts of the city gain some protection from the disease. Kitty began her crusade against the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of Liverpool's poor people in Denison Street, Liverpool 3.
On Friday 5th December 2008 the Kitty Wilkinson statue was displayed at a Capital of Culture Arts & Health Conference, which took place at Martins Building, Water Street. The, Conference entitled 'The Big Conversation' was attended by arts and health professionals. A feature of the event was a short play about Kitty Wilkinson.
The Kitty Wilkinson statue is now at Holy Cross School, Fontenoy Street, Liverpool 3, as part of a school project. Readers who might like to help pupils at Holy Cross with their project can contact Angela Holleran (Headteacher) at Holy Cross School, phone 0151 236 9505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitty Wilkinson could become the first female to be commemorated by a statue in Liverpool’s famous St George’s Hall, which was built in 1842. City Councillors are to discuss whether Kitty’s statue should be placed in the hall to recognise her pioneering work in Liverpool post 1832.
Kitty rose to fame after arriving destitute in Liverpool from Ireland in 1794. When the cholera epidemic broke out in Liverpool in 1832 she started up the use of public washrooms to help inhabitants of the cramped parts of the city gain some protection from the disease.
Readers of the Scottie Press will be aware that in December 2000, Mike Kelly had his book about The Life and Times of Kitty Wilkinson published. Efforts are now ongoing to have this book reprinted as it is felt that the book is of great significance not only as a public health document but also to the pioneering history of Liverpool. If you would like to support Mike’s efforts please phone:
Massive investment over the past ten years has transformed Liverpool's historic environment into a powerful force for regeneration. Liverpool is now a classic example of where historic buildings have a part to play in its regeneration, but there is a widening gap between the investment into buildings in the city centre and those historic buildings which are located in the districts of Liverpool. The net result is a focussing of attention within the half-mile radius of Liverpool city centre at the expense of allowing buildings outside that radius to fall into disrepair.
It is also true to say that by concentrating on restoration of historic buildings in the city centre - with an eye to attracting tourist's money - whatever money is spent will not be to the immediate benefit of local economies wherein there are located just as historic and just as interesting and important buildings.
Added to this is the definite danger that those tourists to Liverpool and sadly lots of Liverpool's future generations will come to believe that the history, heritage and culture of Liverpool, was all city centre based. In much the same way as lots of people world wide associate Liverpool with the Beatles and think Liverpool lacked any importance prior to the Fab Four's arrival of the music scene.
In 2000 I had a book about the Life & Times of Kitty Wilkinson published. Since it's publication I have been praised for putting together the information contained in the book and for taking what I know about Kitty Wilkinson to local history groups etc across Liverpool. This has encouraged me to suggest that to do full justice to the impact and value of the life of Kitty Wilkinson there should be a 'Heritage Centre' built as close as possible to where Kitty began her crusade against the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of Liverpool's poor people in the 1830s. This was in Denison Street, Liverpool 3. Very close to where the derelict King Edward pub stands.
The Liverpool Daily Post recently featured an article on 100 reasons why Merseyside is Great and listed Kitty Wilkinson as pioneering the first public wash-house.
I would be very interested to hear from readers who may wish to support or help with this project.