January 10, 2017 at 02:21AM

We are glad to add our own statue to those you mention (Tributes to ‘Red’ Ellen and Pankhurst show male domination is no longer set in stone, 9 January). We have been planning and raising funds for two years to create a lasting memorial to Mary Barbour, who led the Glasgow rent strike in 1915 against the greedy landlords pushing rents up in the rundown tenement flats while many men were away fighting in France. That year men in the shipyards and engineering works downed tools in support when 20,000 marched to the sheriff court. By Christmas Day Lloyd George, then munitions minister, pushed a new law through parliament to bring rents back to prewar levels for the duration of the war and six months after.

This new law benefited tenants throughout Britain. Yet Mary Barbour’s name is not mentioned in the histories of red Clydeside. That is why we are having a statue unveiled in a few months’ time, not only to honour Mary Barbour, but to remind people of what so-called ordinary people can achieve. This happened years before the first Labour government came to power. Mary became one of the first female Labour councillors in 1920, then went on to battle for numerous reforms: clean milk free to schoolchildren, provision of public baths and washhouses, play parks, and the first ever family planning clinic.
Maria Fyfe
Chair, Remember Mary Barbour Association

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from Education | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2j4AVW4