Who are the greatest Yorkshirewomen?

BYGONES
OBIT BERYL BURTON YP 6TH MAY 1996
BYGONES OBIT BERYL BURTON YP 6TH MAY 1996
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As Yorkshire celebrates the news that a statue of pioneering female pilot Amy Johnson is to be erected in Hull, we want to know which Yorkshirewomen you think should be immortalised on a plinth.

Only 15 per cent of the UK’s statues are of female figures - and many of these are of Queen Victoria or goddesses from classical mythology.

There are 12 listed statues of women in Yorkshire, but all are either of the 19th century monarch or mythical characters.

More recently, the Women of Steel statue was erected in Sheffield as a tribute to the collective efforts of the steelworkers.

Here are our top suggestions for the women from the region we think should be honoured:-

1. Betty Boothroyd (politics). Raised in Dewsbury, where her parents were textile workers, Betty was a dancer who went on to work for an American Congressman in Washington and was later elected as an MP. She is the only woman to have served as speaker of the House of Commons, a position she held from 1992 until 2000.

2. Barbara Taylor Bradford (literature). Writer who grew up in Armley, Leeds, and once worked as a typist at the Yorkshire Evening Post. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, has sold 30 million copies and is one of the biggest-selling books of all time. She is now an American citizen.

3.Dame Judi Dench (arts). The actress was born in the village of Heworth and went to school in York. She is one of the UK’s most successful post-war actors and often tops polls of the nation’s favourite stage and screen stars.

4. Nicola Adams (sport). The boxer from Leeds won the world’s first Olympic gold medal in the women’s sport at London 2012, and went on to defend her title at Rio 2016.

5. Alice Bacon (politics). Grew up in Normanton and served as Leeds’s first female MP from 1945 until 1970. She is now a baroness.

6. The Bronte sisters (literature). Charlotte, Emily and Anne took the literary world by storm from their parsonage home in Haworth.

7. Beryl Burton (sport). The Morley cyclist broke road racing records. She won 90 domestic championships and seven world titles, and set a women’s record for the 12-hour time trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years.

8. Eileen Fenton (sport). A Channel swimmer who competed in a race from England to France in 1950. She was one of only nine swimmers to finish, placed sixth and was the first woman. Still lives in her hometown of Dewsbury.

9. Barbara Hepworth (arts). Born in Wakefield, she was a leading post-war artist and sculptor whose influence is still felt today in her home city. An old girl of Wakefield Girls’ High School.

10. Mary Ward (religion). A Catholic nun from Ripon who fought against restrictive religious practices in the 16th century. Famously crossed the Alps on foot to reach the Pope in Rome. Established a convent near York, where she is buried.

A British Rail Class 155 diesel multiple unit (DMU) at Leeds station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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