Exactly 100 years after Nancy Astor was voted into parliament for Plymouth, a statue in her honour has been unveiled.
As the first female to take a seat in the House of Commons, Nancy Astor served the city of Plymouth for 26 years, fighting for the rights of women and children.
Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, organised by Plymouth Women in Business Networking, more than £125,000 has been raised for a bronze statue in the former MP’s honour, which now sits outside the Astor family home on Plymouth Hoe.
The statue was unveiled today by former Prime Minister, Theresa May who made her first-public appearance since resigning in June. The event and significance of the Nancy Astor statue also saw Prime Minister, Boris Johnson attend, along with several other politicians.
Bishop Fleming, which is also celebrating 100 years in business, are proud to have supported the appeal by offering compliance, regulation, VAT and accounts advice to enable the campaign to be in a financial situation to happen.
As the statue is revealed, Bishop Fleming celebrate their support to the successful campaign and how its female colleagues have contributed. As a historic moment for the city of Plymouth takes place, we reflect on our female contributors to the campaign.
Bishop Fleming Corporate and Business Services Manager, Claire Ambrose has sat on the all-female committee for the statue since day one, after being formally invited by campaign leader, Alexis Bowater.
Claire has committed a lot of her own time to be able to pull together the budget for the campaign and assist directors with the project’s finances.
Claire has provided the Lady Astor Statue committee with daily updates on the accounts, to ensure the funding was there in order to reveal the cast on November 28.
Based in our Exeter office, VAT Director, Wendy Andrews has provided VAT advice to the Lady Astor Campaign, as well as providing her own personal donation.
Originally from Plymouth, Wendy has always been very interested in politics and women’s rights, holding a strong interest in Nancy Astor.
As the firm celebrates its centenary year, Wendy was delighted to get involved in the campaign, particularly from a woman in business perspective.
Wendy said: “Women continue to be under-represented in Parliament, business and public life in general. It’s important to recognise and celebrate what has been achieved and build on this to continue the fight against prejudice, discrimination and lack of opportunity for women and other disadvantaged groups.”
Partner at Bishop Fleming, Hazel Tucker donated personally to the campaign. The firm also pledged for a Bishop Fleming 100-years stone to be placed around the statue in addition to a further contribution of £500 following a firm-wide dress down day.
The campaign became an important one to Hazel as its celebration of women in Parliament coincides with Bishop Fleming’s centenary year.
Hazel said: “Nancy Astor’s achievement was courageous and changes the world in terms of equality, democracy, fairness and hope. There are few statues of females in the UK, the Nancy Astor Statue will be a legacy for future generations of young people.”