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Betty Campbell Statue, Central Square, Cardiff

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Map ReferenceST17NE
Grid ReferenceST1818676049
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCardiff
Old CountyGlamorgan
CommunityCastle (Cardiff)
Type Of SiteSTATUE
Period21st Century

The statue in Central Square, Cardiff commemorating Betty Campbell MBE is by Eve Shepherd and is the first of five proposed statues commemorating Welsh women as part of the 'Monumental Welsh Women' campaign.

The four metre high sculpture to commemorate Wales' first black headteacher, Betty Campbell MBE, was unveiled on 29th September 2021 in a ceremony which included speeches by members of her family, politician and academics. A poem ‘When I Speak of Bravery’, inspired by Betty Campbell’s life, was read by the Future Generations Commissioner Wales’ Poet in Residence, Taylor Edmonds; and the choir of Mount Stuart Primary School Choir, the school in Butetown where Betty Campbell had been headteacher for 28 years, performed her favourite song, "Something Inside so Strong".

Born in Butetown in 1934, her mother, Honora, was Welsh Barbadian, her father, Simon Vickers Johnson, had come to Cardiff from Jamaica at the age of 15. She won a scholarship to Lady Margaret High School for Girls in Cardiff and later trained as a teacher, eventually becoming headteacher of Mount Stuart Primary School in Butetown. She is remembered for putting black culture on the curriculum and teaching children about slavery, apartheid and the contribution to British society made by people of colour. She also championed multiculturalism in her role as Butetown Councillor.

The bronze statue created by sculptor Eve Shepherd, depicts a canopy made up of Campbell's head and shoulders, beneath which are ten children of different ages and eras, reading, talking and playing. The children's feet are embedded into a miniature model of the buildings and streets of Tiger Bay, including the Pierhead Building and the Millenium Centre. There are chairs designed for people to sit on.


Various news reports accessed September 2021