Feminist band release musical birthday tribute to Brighton Suffragette

A local group has released a song in memory of a Brighton Suffragette whose birthday would have fallen on polling day last week.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 10:03 am
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 10:15 am
Brighton band Sirens released 'Song for Mary' in aid of an appeal to erect a statue of the Suffragette in Brighton

Members of a city-based band have released a new song to honour Mary Clarke, a Brighton Suffragette.

A trio of musicians from the feminist Brighton band Siren released ‘Song for Mary’ on Thursday, December 12- The date of the 2019 General Election and also Mary Clarke’s birthday.

Song for Mary was released alongside images of the suffrage struggle and forms part of an ongoing campaign to build a statue of Mary Clarke in Brighton.

Read our original article here.

Songwriter Jude Winter said: “We strongly support the campaign for a statue. Mary Clarke was the first suffragette to die for womens’ right to vote and she should be remembered.

“It seems right that Song for Mary went public on the day of the General Election. This is our birthday gift to Mary - and to the statue appeal.”

The Mary Clarke Statue Appeal was set up in 2018 to fund a statue of the Suffragette who lived and worked in Brighton.

Currently, there is no public UK memorial to Mary Clarke, who was also Emmeline Pankhurst’s sister and there is only one statue of a woman, Queen Victoria, in Brighton.

Jean Calder, chairwoman of the appeal, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Jude, Deb, and Emilia. We love the song and hope people will watch the accompanying film on Youtube and find out more about Mary at our website.

“Mary was sent to Brighton, among other things to organise the General Election campaigns of 1910.

“She was known for her good humour and unfailing courtesy and also for her strength and bravery.”

Brighton and Hove City Council have pledged funding to help towards the cost of a bronze maquette, or an initial model, of the statue which will be sculpted by Staffordshire artist Denise Dutton.

A further £60,000 is needed to fund the final statue.

Other supporters of the appeal include jazz musicians Claire Martin and Liane Carroll who will perform at a benefit concert on March 4 2020 to raise funds for the campaign.

Sirens will perform Song for Mary live for the first time at the concert which will be at St George’s Church, Kemptown.

Find out more about The Mary Clarke Statue Appeal here.