Gala concert to commemorate Mary Barbour

A gala concert is to be held to raise funds for a statue commemorating rent strike leader and social reformer, Mary Barbour

Picture: Mary Barbour

The concert, which will take place in Glasgow, will see some of Scotland’s best performers take to the stage at the Old Fruitmarket in honour of the fearless Govan resident.

Barbour was the figurehead of the Glasgow rent strikes of 1915 which went on to force a change in the law to to put an end to profiteering landlords.

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Her pioneering community activism continues to inspire and was recently honoured with the installation of a commemorative stone cairn in Kilbarchan, where she was born in 1875.

Picture of Mary Barbour. Picture: John Devlin

After the conclusion of the strikes, Barbour went on to become one of Glasgow’s first female councillors and remains one of the most important social reformers.

A funding campaign to erect the statue was denied by Creative Scotland last month, leading to much anger among those who supported it.

Half the money needed for a permanent sculpture in the city has already been collected but a request for funds to reach the target of £110,000 was rejected by Creative Scotland due to lack of community engagement.

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Among the celebrities involved in the campaign is footballing legend Alex Ferguson.

It is hoped February’s gala concert will help plug the funding gap and go towards creating a tribute suitable for one the country’s most iconic women.

MP Maria Fyfe, chair of the Remember Mary Barbour Association, has been at the forefront of the campaign to create a statue in her honour.

Speaking at the opening of the unveiling of the Mary Barbour memorial cairn, she said: “Mary is regarded as the mother of social housing. She had a huge ability to engage people and make them think they could win in spite of everything that was against them, including the law and the government’s laissez faire attitude. Her rallying cry at meetings was, ‘Are we going to let them get away with this?’ We have a huge amount to thank Mary Barbour for, especially her drive to help others.”

Tickets for the gala concert, priced £25, are available from Glasgow Concert Halls box office. 0141 353 8000