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Friday, July 10, 2020

News of autumn events at the Working Class Movement Library

News of autumn events at the Working Class Movement Library

Bones of Paine

In November 1819 the bones of radical writer Thomas Paine were brought to Salford (dug up from their original resting place in New York by campaigning journalist William Cobbett), only to be refused entry to Manchester by the authorities, with the horrors of Peterloo still fresh… And then the bones disappeared.

To mark the bicentenary of this bizarre event and to celebrate Paine’s revolutionary writings and ideas (Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason) the Working Class Movement Library and Walk the Plank are working together to deliver an Arts Council-funded project which mixes the traditional with the contemporary, and the unusual with the familiar.

Our giant Paine puppet was first sighted during the Peterloo commemoration weekend, and can be encountered again on the following occasions:

Saturday 14 September, 11am to 4pm – Salford’s Big Day Out

Sunday 6 October, 10am to 6pm – East Salford Fun Palace, Walk the Plank, Cobden Works, Salford M6 6WF

Friday 25 October, times tbc – Witches Walk, Buile Hill Park, Salford

Friday 1 November, times tbc – Irlam Fireworks, Princes Park, Salford M44 6BR

Saturday 30 November, times tbc – the big finale parade.

If you’re interested in volunteering as part of the project, please email us on info@wcml.org.uk.

And there’s another chance to be involved in a creative way.  Poet, playwright and performer Louise Wallwein will be leading a series of three workshops at the Library on Wednesday evenings, 2/9/16 October 6 pm, firstly reading and discussing the works of Paine and then creating poetic responses.  Find out more about Louise’s work here.

We are seeking expressions of interest from people who are keen to participate in the workshops – NB you’ll need to be available for all three.  We anticipate there will be much more interest than we have places (which means that we’re thinking of running self-led sessions in the wake of these initial ones led by Louise.  If you’re interested in finding out more about what leading such sessions, with support from our creative project partners Walk the Plank, involves, do get in touch).

Please email info@wcml.org.uk by Sunday 15 September if you’d like to be involved in the workshops – we’ll let you know by Friday 20 September whether you’ve got a place. 

There are a range of other events taking place as part of the project too (see our Bones of Paine project page for details).


Heritage Open Days tours

A reminder that the Library is marking Heritage Open Days 2019 with free ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours on Friday 13 and Thursday 19 September at 2pm. Book in advance via info@wcml.org.uk.


The plan that came from the bottom up

The Plan is a film essay which chronicles the extraordinary story of the Lucas Aerospace engineer, who 40 years ago responded to the threat of redundancy with their own plan of action, developing alternatives to the military products their company made.  On Saturday 14 September at 2pm we will be screening the 30-minute version of the film, where Lucas workers outline and reflect on key aspects of their plan. Mike Sanders from Manchester University will then chair a discussion about changing not just what we produce, but how we produce it, and thinking politically about technology.

Admission free; light refreshments available; all welcome.


Tastes of honey

Tastes of honey: the making of Shelagh Delaney and a cultural revolution is Selina Todd’s new authorised biography of Salford playwright Shelagh Delaney, which tells the story of how a working class teenager stormed late 1950s theatreland, and what happened next…  Tastes of honey was Book of the Week in yesterday’s Observer.

On Wednesday 18 September at 2pm Selina will discuss Delaney’s upbringing, life and work, while Rob Lees (MaD Theatre Company) will talk about the experience of bringing Delaney’s work to life on stage in 2019, and Jenna Omeltschenko (Touring Partnerships Manager, National Theatre) will discuss the National Theatre’s new production of A Taste of Honey, which premieres at the Lowry in September.

This is not a ticketed event but we expect it to be very busy – please arrive early to ensure a place…


Remembering the 1969 Manchester anti-apartheid march to the Springboks match

As part of the Library’s ‘Not just Peterloo’ series of events, looking at the policing of popular protest, a free witness event on Thursday 3 October at 2pm brings together a panel of people who were at the Manchester demonstration on 26 November 1969 against the controversial South African rugby tour. 7,000 people marched, to be met by nearly 2,000 police officers. 150 protestors were arrested, with 77 charged.

The discussion will include why the protest was so large, the second largest of the whole tour (the Anti-Apartheid Movement organised protests at all 26 matches), and why the police acted so decisively with the chief constable telling the press afterwards they could say the demonstrators were frightened.

All are welcome. Please contact organiser Geoff Brown via the Library on info@wcml.org.uk if you were there on the day and would like to join the panel.


Invisible Histories talks

Our autumn series of free Wednesday 2pm talks start up again on 9 October with a talk on sculptor Arthur Dooley.

Subsequent subjects include:

Full details at www.wcml.org.uk/events.

Wigan Diggers’ Festival

On Saturday 7 September from 11am to 9.30pm the 9th Diggers’ Festival takes place in Gerrard Winstanley Gardens, The Wiend, Wigan.  There will be live music, poetry, comedy, educational talks, exhibitions, and food and drink.  More details about this free event at wigandiggersfestival.org.


Salford Histories Festival

On Saturday 21 September from 10am to 4pm the Salford Histories Festival takes place at Walkden Methodist Church, Manchester Road, Walkden M38 9AN.  Organised by Salford Local History Forum, this free event includes displays, talks, stalls and refreshements, as well as a walk along the Walkden Heritage Trail from 10.30am to 12.30pm.  Come and say hello to us on the Library stall, and hear more about our Bones of Paine project