Institute of Quarrying make generous donation to Buxton Advertiser statue campaign

The Institute of Quarrying has made a £500 donation to the Buxton Advertiser’s campaign to install a female quarry worker statue in Grin Low Woods – taking the total over the halfway mark.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 11:56 am

Back in May The Advertiser launched a new campaign to raise £4,000 for a female quarry worker to sit alongside the much loved Jack statue in Grin Low Woods.

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Buxton Advertiser launches campaign for female quarry worker statue in Grin Low ...

The Institute of Quarrying (IQ), which has branches across the country, has made a £500 donation to the campaign, taking the total so far to more than £2,400.

Pat Bowles, Chairman of the Derbyshire branch of the Institute of Quarrying; Viv Russell, Chair of the Institute of Quarrying, and Sarah Fry, head of membership and marketing at the Institute of Quarrying, with Simon Fussell and Lucy Marsden, of Buxton Civic Association and Buxton Advertiser Editor Louise Cooper.

Viv Russell, from the Derbyshire branch and the managing director at Longcliffe Quarries, said: “The Institute of Quarrying is delighted to be backing a campaign which brings awareness to the contribution that quarrying and wider mineral products industry makes every day to the way we live, work and travel.

"It is also really important for us to acknowledge the women in the industry both past and present; women are an integral part of the industry and its right that they are equally recognised.”

Owners of the woods, Buxton Civic Association (BCA) have wanted to place a female statue there for some time but have not been able to raise the funds so far, so the Advertiser joined forces with BCA to launch the fundraiser.

For more than 100 years, the Institute of Quarrying has been supporting people working in the mineral extraction industry.

The original sculptor Lorraine Botterill will return to create a female sculptor once £4,000 has been raised to cover the costs

The IQ Derbyshire branch is an active and vibrant community of quarrying professionals and Viv said it was important for the group to be involved in a campaign which brings that community together.

Over the years the IQ has always championed women in the quarries and in 1925 welcomed its first female member, Anne Greaves.

She was a quarry manager and developed a new type of artificial cast stone which was vital at a time when the country was rebuilding after World War 1.

Viv said: “Today women are making equally important contributions in operations, product development, restoration – all aspects of quarrying and the wider mineral products industry.

Women at work in the quarrying industry during the World Wars

“I think the statue is a fantastic recognition of the town’s rich industrial heritage and the women who helped to shape it and will continue to shape it in the future.”

Buxton’s history with quarrying goes back hundreds of years. Limestone workers who worked to quarry out the lime were not just men – women and children were also involved.

These small cottage industries developed over the years, to the huge scale quarrying currently is, employing hundreds of people across Buxton and the Peak District.

Quarrying brings an important financial benefit to Derbyshire, Viv said, generating £2.1bn Gross Value Added per year to the national economy. The IQ is now keen to welcome more women into quarrying.

The industry welcomes and supports people from diverse backgrounds and it’s recognised that this is an industry that is successful because of the important contribution that the people within it make every day, Viv explained.

“There is no glass ceiling in the quarrying industry.

“You can enter the quarry unqualified and unexperienced but there is training and courses which can improve your knowledge. To us it doesn’t matter what gender you are and women in the quarry are excelling,” he said.

As a membership organisation, Viv said the IQ are committed to supporting and developing professionals in the industry and this statue will be a lasting testament to the many and important roles that women continue to hold in quarrying.

He said: "This is a super campaign and I hope more women in Buxton and the High Peak and beyond will see this and realise they do have a place in the quarries and a piece in the history we are creating now.”

Advertiser Editor Louise Cooper added: “Thank you to the Institute of Quarrying for this generous donation for our campaign. Quarrying continues to be a really important industry in the High Peak so to have the IQ involved in the campaign is fantastic.

"We're really grateful to have had the support of local groups, local businesses and local residents for this fundraiser, which we believe is so important as a way of celebrating the history of our town and surrounding area.

"We've now surpassed the halfway mark but we'd love to push on even more and so if any other local businesses, residents or groups would like to support us, please do get in touch."

Generous donations from the public and other employers in the area have been steadily coming in for months and once the £4,000 has been reached it will pay for the same sculptor who created Jack to return to the woods and craft him a female friend to remember female quarry workers of the past and celebrate the future of women in the quarrying industry.

As this campaign continues we will be shining a light on the area’s female quarry workers past and present, the living and working conditions of the early cottage industries and how things have changed over time.

We want this to be something the community can all get behind so whether you would like to make a donation or share your memories of quarry workers over the years we would love to hear from you.

You can get in contact via email to [email protected]

You can make an online donation to the campaign via https://www.gofundme.com/f/female-quarry-worker-statue-campaign or cash donations are being taken at Poole’s Cavern main reception.