The Northern Weekly Salvo

From Th’Edge O’Leet

Incorporating  Slaithwaite Review of Books, Weekly Notices, Sectional Appendices, Tunnel Gazers’ Gazette and Northern Umbrella. Descendant of Teddy Ashton’s Northern Weekly.

No. 250  February 20th 2018 fust o’th’year

Salveson’s nakedly political digest of railwayness, tripe and secessionist nonsense from Up North. Sometimes weekly, often not; but definitely Northern. Read by normal Hawaiians, the highest officers of state, Whitmanites, steam punks, yes women, no men, gay Swedenborgians, cat-spotters, discerning sybarites, bi-guys, pie-eaters, tripe dressers, self-managing VIMTO drinkers, truculent Northerners, grumpy Norwegians, absurd Marxists, members of the clergy and the toiling masses. All views expressed are my own and usually nobody else’s. Official journal of the Station Cat Improvement Network, Pacer Dining Club and Station Buffet Society. Full of creative ambiguity, possibly. Promoting moderate rebellion and sedition, within reason.

“we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” – Jo Cox, maiden speech in House of Commons, June 3rd 2015

General Gossips: new departures for 2018

Welcome to your first Salvo of 2018 – an auspicious number, this being the 250th issue – which isn’t bad going. It’s a good time for taking stock of things and making a few changes. Bizarrely, a lot of people like the thing and I enjoy writing it. My biggest problem is always time – it has been nearly seven weeks since the last issue and it has been purely down to lack of time to write it. I’ve kicked around different possibilities, including splitting the railway stuff from the politics and doing a longer political thing with a much shorter railway update. But I enjoy mixing railway crank material with transport policy, libertarian leftist politics, chip shops and Northern culture. It’s a challenge for me and maybe for many readers. So what I’ve come up with is basically this: I’ll carry on doing the ‘Weekly Salvo’ on an irregular basis, but as near to weekly as possible. However, I’m not going to email it every time – it’s time consuming and a lot of people don’t always like their inboxes getting clogged up. (N.B. I’ve subsequently changed my mind following a deluge of complaints from people who don’t do twitface. Well, four anyway.) So it will go out on facebook, twitter and linked-in, with a link to my website. It will have fewer photos – again, these take time and I’m not sure they add much to it (but welcome your views).

In addition, I’m going to do a more substantial magazine called The Northern Umbrella which will have a clear focus on ‘Northern’ politics, culture, and a range of things going on around the North. It will act as a supporter and sister publication for The Northern Umbrella movement which is starting to edge forward (see their website www.northern-umbrella.org.uk).It will push a strong pro-devolution position acting as a mouthpiece for those who want a democratic regional politics, instead of the dog’s breakfast we’re being offered at the moment. I’ll encourage other people to write for it and there won’t be a hard and fast line. It will be progressive, radical, controversial and hopefully fun. It would be nice to do it as a print publication as well as on-line, but currently resources don’t allow that. The first issue will be out soon, March 1st, World Black Pudding Day, would be a good date to aim for.

If you’d like to contribute an article, poem, joke, image or cartoon, please send it in.

Simple Salvo Says

The media has been dominated by stuff around sexual harassment recently. Hardly a day goes by without a new revelation concerning some celebrity’s mis-deeds, often going back many years. There have been suggestions that many of the complainants (mainly but not entirely women) are jumping on some sort of bandwagon, maybe hoping for compensation or cheap publicity. Perhaps that’s so in some cases but I doubt that it’s true for most. If anything, it’s probably the tip of the iceberg. Obviously it’s true that sexual harassment – and abuse – wasn’t and isn’t confined to men abusing women. There are quite a few cases for men abusing boys and perhaps that’s something that is difficult for many men to open up about (myself included). As I’ve said in a previous Salvo, I experienced sexual abuse in my early teens and it isn’t an easy thing to admit to. So initiatives like #metoo can only be a good thing. Most men have nothing to fear from it. You don’t have to be a signed-up pro-feminist progressive male to understand that women should be treated with respect. In many ways that’s part of a much older conservative tradition when men deferred to women, at least in some ways. Doffing your hat or giving up your seat on the bus to a ‘lady’ is perhaps not part of a modern way of life, but neither is treating women as objects. We’re going through a period of social and cultural change in which women will become more equal and empowered. We’re seeing it in the rail industry where no-one bats an eyelid when they see a female train driver of a woman being MD of a major train company. But there still aren’t enough.

The Year 1968

Some Salvo readers will look back on 1968 as ‘the year of revolution’ – riots in France, the Prague Spring, civil rights marches in Northern Ireland and stuff kicking off in America. But quite a few of us will also see it as the year that steam on British Rail came to an end.

Mmm well I can’t find the picture I’m looking for so you’ll have to make do with this shot of the last Channel Islands Boat Train in July 1967, hauled by Bulleid ‘Merchant Navy’ 35023 ascending Upwey Bank

The final curtain came down on August 11th with BR’s ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ from Liverpool to Carlisle via the Settle-Carlisle Line. I was out photographing it and I might be able to dig out an image or two to share with you. My friend Raymond Watton fired the BR ‘Britannia’ 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ from Blackburn to Carlisle and commented that he didn’t get a word of thanks from the passengers!

To me, August 11th was a huge anti-climax. The end had already come, on Saturday June 30th when the last steam working from Bolton shed took place. That in itself was a bit of a letdown as the job was effectively cancelled. LMS Black 5 45269 (Driver Tommy Sammon and Fireman Malcolm Frost, assistant firemen Paul Salveson and Steve Leyland) left the shed in the hope that there would be a coal train to pick up from Agecoft. Unfortunately an NUR guards’ strike meant that although there was a train, there was no guard. So instead we pootled around the Manchester area, in Malcolm’s words ‘playing trains’. Steve had made a headboard out an old bed-head and again I’ll try and share a few pictures with you if I can find them.

Perhaps the most memorable experience was the previous evening when I was assistant fireman (and as it turned out, driver) on Stanier 8F 48652 working a freight to Mottram from (I think) Moston Yard. The driver was Jack Hartley and the fireman was Tommy Withers, another great team. We were routed via Gorton where the old Great Central line rises steadily towards Guide Bridge. After coming off the branch from Philips Park I did a bit in the driving seat. I had a mate living close to the railway next to Gorton station so I asked Jack if I could open her out as we went through. “Meyt as well, she’ll be a scrapper after toneet” he replied. So, the reversing gear was steadily advanced to 75% cut-off, which is, in motoring terms, the lowest gear.

Salvo and Keith smarten up Bolton 8F 48652, featured in the text, sometime 50 years ago. Note the large numbers, suggesting an overhaul at Darlington

The regulator, which controls steam going into the cylinders, was slowly opened up to full. That, in effect, is maximum power, which you very seldom get with a steam locomotive in normal traffic. With a big engine like our ‘8F’ with a full head of steam, moving at about 30 mph, the effect is spectacular. We managed to wake up not just my mate but most of the residents of Gorton as we hurtled through on full power. The only place I would have liked to have been apart from on that footplate was standing on Gorton station watching this apparition storm through. Sadly it wasn’t recorded on tape, though a previous run with Jack and Tommy on BR Standard 5 number 73156 (now preserved) on the evening Bolton – Healey Mills freight did end up as a recording produced by the Bolton Standard 5 Preservation Group. It was another explosive run, with the engine worked particularly hard through Summit Tunnel. After Jack shut off steam before Walsden, fireman Tommy came over to the microphone, exhausted after firing continually since we left Rochdale, and said “I hope it’s worth it, by the hell!” Well Tommy, wherever you are, it was.

The end of steam at Bolton – and rail’s modern role as electrification moves forward, will be marked by a community gala at Bolton Station on Saturday June 30th. There’ll be stalls, music, poetry, food, exhibitions and a vintage bus ride and miniature railway. If you’d like to have a stall for your group, or can offer some sort of entertainment, please get in touch via The Salvo (see below).

A new model for community rail at larger stations?

Remaining with Bolton: an exciting new development (well not entirely new) which is relevant to larger stations around the network. Bolton has a large amount of vacant space, little of which has commercial potential. However, it could be perfect for community groups and social enterprises which need space to do a range of things, including possible services which passengers might benefit from (e.g. a cafe, art gallery, museum, etc.). A group of individuals and organisations have come together to form Bolton Station Community Development Partnership which will work with Northern, Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester to bring some of that space back to use, as well as organise the gala on June 30th. Other organisations involved include Bolton at Home (which manages most of the town’s social housing), Bolton University, Octagon Theatre, Bolton School, Bolton Film Festival, Bolton City of Sanctuary and Bolton Rail Users’ Group. The group has been formally established as a voluntary association but could grow into a more formal legal structure (e.g. community benefit society) in due course. The nearest parallel is Kilmarnock, where space at the station is managed by Kilmarnock Station Heritage Trust, working closely with ScotRail (see below). The trust is structured as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

Our Grand Day Out to Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock is perhaps best known to the outside world as the home of Johnnie Walker Whisky, though the distillery long since left the town. Railway types will know it more as a centre of railway manufacturing, notably the works of Andrew Barclay and Co., whose activities are continued by Wabtec which still has a base in the town.

But for the community rail sector, the town is notable for its award-winning ‘community village’ on the station. A group of us from Northern, Transport for Greater Manchester, Community Rail Lancashire and the newly-formed Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, visited the station on Monday. We were accompanied by John Yellowlees of Scotrail and hosted by Allan Brown and Laura Yetton of the Kilmarnock Station Heritage Trust. It was good to be joined by avid Salvo reader Andy Savage of the Railway Heritage Trust. On the station, we visited the headquarters of the Glasgow and South Western Railway Association, a complementary therapy studio, gift shop, community cafe and bookshop. Plus the fantastic active travel hub supported by East Ayrshire Council (see www.activetravelhubkilmarnock.org). What a fascinating visit it was, a very big thanks to our hosts.

More celebrations: Heart of Wales Line

The Heart of Wales Line (Swansea to Shrewsbury) celebrates its 150th birthday this year. As part of the celebrations there will be a wide range of events taking place up and down the line, co-ordinated by the Heart of Wales Line Development Company. This will include a special train, a Cynghordy Viaduct Walk and a range of arts activities along the line. Arriva Trains Wales has kindly sponsored a number of events over the next few months.

The celebrations kick off on Friday March 23rd, with the 10.09 from Shrewsbury to Swansea acting as a mobile reception for local councils and community groups. There will be a trolley service and some entertainment. A commemorative booklet for the line’s 150th will be launched on the day.

On Sunday April 22nd there will be a guided walk over Cynghordy Viaduct, courtesy of Network Rail. Places are limited and further details will be announced (see Heart of Wales website). A shuttle bus will operate from Llandovery station so there’s no need to take the car down the very narrow lanes to the railway. Further events will take place later in the year.

A big theme of the 150 celebrations will be arts along the line. which we’re hoping will lead to some permanent displays, adding up to a line-long art gallery, with art work at stations, galleries accessible from stations and links to other arts activities.

Local artists along the line are getting together and planning events at different locations. Between Friday June 1st and Monday June 4th artists in the Knighton, Bucknell and Knucklas area will be organising special events which will include open studios, film shows and walks linking the railway with studios.

Bishops Castle Open Studios and Shropshire Hills Art Weekend takes place at the Bank House on 8, 9, 10 & 11 June. Although it’s a long time since Bishops Castle had a railway there is great enthusiasm for the railway and it is only a 20 minutes’ drive from Craven Arms, or Broome, or Hopton Heath or Bucknell. Direct buses run from Shrewsbury. At Craven Arms, Art Cafe Artists will hold their annual exhibition at the Shropshire Hill Discovery Centre on the 15, 16, 17 and 18 June 2018. Llandovery’s big day is Sunday July 1st when the station will be at the centre of several events including an art exhibition. Llangamarch and Garth will be holding events on the same weekend as Llandovery, June 30th and July 1st, with an exhibition at the Institute, Llangamarch Wells.

Further events are being planned at other locations including Llandrindod, Llandeilo, Llangadog and Llanelli. We hope to support events at other locations including Church Stretton, Ammanford, Pontarddulais and Builth Road but we need local people to take the lead on these. We’re also planning events on some trains including music, poetry and story-telling. And there may be something a bit special coming down the line, in July. For further details take a look at the Heart of Wales Line Development Co. website http://heart-of-wales.co.uk/

The Development Company is still looking for more offers of help from local artists and musicians. All enquiries to Moira Davidson at moira@bluekite.org.uk

Vintage Stuff

It’s possibly one of the most exciting initiatives on the UK rail scene for many years – the launching of a community benefit society to run steam trains – and much more. Vintage Trains Community Benefit Society (CBS) is an off-shoot of Tyseley-based Vintage Trains, developed by longstanding community-rail supporter Michael Whitehouse. The CBS will operate its own trains once it has been awarded an operator’s license, later this year. This will enable it to run its own trains using its fleet of Tyseley-based locomotives, and others, anywhere on the national network. It has launched a share offer to raise funds to help it launch a series of regular operations, based in the West Midlands, later this year. Also closely involved is Adrian Shooter, another highly respected railwayman whose current activities include the Vivarail project, which has featured in these columns (water columns?).

http://www.vintagetrains.co.uk/offerinfo.aspx

In praise of parish councils (to be published in the March issue of Chartist magazine)

One of the most significant books on politics published in recent years was Peter McFadyen’s Flatpack Democracy. It didn’t hit the headlines and was almost a sort of village samizdat publication, circulating amongst a small but growing community of grassroots activists involved in those reviled bodies, parish councils.

The name in itself doesn’t exactly conjure up images of modern, progressive – let alone radical – democracy. Some Labour activists in areas where parish councils exist adopt a sanctimonious disdain towards them, not even bothering to contest ‘pointless’ parish elections. In other areas, particularly more urban communities, parish councils seldom exist. They’re seen as something, at best, that might suit rural villages but aren’t right for the gritty inner city. I’d argue that’s a mistaken view and there are opportunities to intervene in local grassroots politics through existing or new parish councils.

They have two major advantages over other local neighbourhood groups. The first is democratic – as elected bodies they can really speak for their community, rather than as is sometimes the case give the impression of being ‘representative’ but often aren’t. The other advantage is that there is a clear revenue stream to do things. And that can be anything from building a new community centre to employing community arts workers, re-opening public toilets, running a community bus service or employing street sweepers.

McFadyen’s book, currently being updated, tells the story of the re-energising of local democracy in Frome, a Somerset market town. The local council had been run by a tired group of small and large ‘c’ Conservatives for years and it wasn’t uncommon for elections to be uncontested. Nobody was bothered – a picture all too familiar in many other areas where parish (or ‘town’) councils existed. A few local activists, from various political backgrounds, decided to contest the election and to their surprise did remarkably well.

Today, they run the council and have made a very palpable difference to the town. The ‘precept’- what the council can charge to generate revenue on top of the local rate – was massively increased. It was a calculated risk but the council explained exactly how the extra money would be spent. Better local facilities, an improved environment. People accepted it. Unlike mainstream local government, parish councils have got much greater freedom in the level of rate they can set. It isn’t usually that much, ranging from around £20 to £100 per household depending on its rate. Frome raised theirs substantially and is now £143.65 per year for a Band D household .

Frome isn’t an isolated example of parish democracy, and I wouldn’t want to idealise it. It’s a prosperous place where many well-to-do professionals have chosen to move to. But the example of Frome has relevance to many other small towns or even neighbourhoods where either the existing council is useless, or one doesn’t exist. Often it’s about enabling things to happen, not always doing it directly. Small grants to local projects, help in setting up new initiatives or persuading the district or county council to do something are all part of their armoury.

The model is highly relevant to smaller towns which may well have had their own council before local government ‘reform’ in the 1970s. Places like Farnworth in Bolton, and Colne Valley in what is now called ‘Kirklees’ had their own, highly effective, local government before re-organisation. They built their own council houses and encouraged local industry. But perhaps above all they instilled a sense of civic pride. Now, many people who live there – and in similar places like them – feel voiceless.

However, there are examples around where urban neighbourhoods have formed their own parish council, including Birmingham, Bradford, Newcastle and Queen’s Park in London.  They’ve made a real difference to their communities. (see Joseph Rowntree Foundation report https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/new-parish-and-town-councils-urban-areas)

It has become easier to set up a parish council, with or without support for the parent authority. Obviously, it helps having their support and starting off with a conflictual relationship with your district or county council isn’t helpful. The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) provides an excellent resource for both existing local councils and for people wanting to set up a new one for their community.

Are you involved in a parish or town council? I’d be interested to hear about what you’re doing, and experiences, both good and bad (paul.salveson@myphone.coop)

Salvo’s Travelling Post Office

A good haul of comments on issue no. 249…..

Cllr Tim Young writes: I would not go down the road of a pan-Lancashire Authority, but I would like to see the abolition of Lancashire County Council, especially with its current shambolic administration led by a man currently under criminal investigation. LCC is also powerless, having refused permission for fracking to take place, only for that refusal to be overturned by central government. Let’s see Sefton returned to Lancashire and merged with West Lancs as a Unitary Authority, with the rest of Lancashire also reorganised into Unitary areas, Preston, South Ribble & Chorley forming one, Lancaster, Fylde & Wyre forming another, Hyndburn & Ribble Valley another and finally Burnley, Pendle & Rossendale another. Let’s keep Local Government local in this great county I’ve been proud to call home since moving here 35 years ago!

Martin Arthur adds….I’m afraid , Paul, that I can’t agree with your suggestion of re- creating a bigger Lancashire, if I have understood you correctly. I worked for the rambling pre 1974 re- organisation Lancashire, and it just wasn’t a coherent planning unit, beset by the pressures of expansion and overspill from Manchester and Liverpool – like a massive cheese with holes in it. Although you don’t like Greater Manchester, it was at least a partial attempt to establish a local government unit which reflected an economic entity and journey patterns. The way forward must be to create proper city regions below the Regional level One based on Manchester, one on Liverpool and one based on Preston/ NE Lancs. Lancaster is a difficulty but maybe better to put it in Cumbria – for example given that the NHS have moved A and E from Kendal to Lancaster.

Andy Savage of Railway Heritage Trust comments on the Soham Targedy: Paul Just caught up with this. One comment on your quiz questions James Nighthall and Benjamin Gimbert did not just attempt to separate the burning wagon, they did so, and moved it clear of Soham, saving the village, but at the cost of James’ life and a 6-week hospitalisation and residual damage for the rest of his (happily long) life for Ben – they removed 32 items of gravel, shrapnel, etc, from him after the explosion. Both were very justified winners of the George Cross. Andy

Stuart Parkes has this to say: As a boy and young man I felt a Northern identity thanks to the regional broadcasting the BBC abandoned for local radio in about 1970. In my boyhood I listened assiduously to the sports programme (name forgotten) at about 6.30 p.m. on Saturday evening which I preferred to Sports Report because it included Rugby League. Football news from the North East came from Arthur Appleton who had a lovely gentle accent. Later on there was the cultural offering at Sunday lunchtime with, if I remember rightly, Henry Livings and Alex Glasgow. I particularly remember north-eastern stories about ‘Uncle Hal’. The same people had a music and poetry show called ‘The Northern Drift’ which I saw during the first Harrogate literary festival. Some of the above may not be entirely accurate (it is a long time ago) but when this wider regional broadcasting stopped, I certainly missed it. Is there anyone else who remembers Tom Naisby reading news that covered both sides of the Pennines? I believe he was once ticked off by the BBC for pronouncing ‘Brighouse’ as ‘Brigus’.

Roger Smith says Your proposal for regional government based on “cultural identity” would seem to fly in the face of your standing quote: “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” – Jo Cox.

Steve Brown comments  I’m not sure the apathy evident in Barnsley and Doncaster (in terms of turn-out) was a ringing endorsement of their council leaders’ enthusiasm for a pan-Yorkshire devolution deal! Rotherham and Sheffield’s views seem to have been subordinated to a daft vision that Yorkshire is some kind of homogeneous entity, rather than a disparate conglomeration of people who at the extreme can barely understand each other (or stand each other for that matter!) Has anyone from Leeds and Sheffield ever found anything to agree about? A Yorkshire mayor is pure hubris.

Peter Hayward agrees with Barry: I fully concur with Barry Coward’s comment: just where does ‘The North’ start and finish? To equate ‘The North’ with Yorkshire is overly restrictive, especially insofar as transport is concerned. Here in Dronfield, we are just one mile from the South Yorkshire boundary, but in terms of local authority structure and policy, we are in Derbyshire which tends to align itself more with the East Midlands. Yes, Derbyshire is a member of the Transport for the North network, but understandably has other priorities when it comes to rail services. Perhaps there needs to be a greater recognition of the wider economic implications. In simple terms, between 60% and 70% of rail passengers using Dronfield Station are travelling north, not south, a factor which has remained stable since the station (effectively) re-generated in 2008 which has seen passenger numbers rise from ~10,000p.a. then to 250,000p.a.today. Top regional destinations are Leeds and Manchester, not Derby or points south. Whatever the ‘final’ structure of regional government, inter-regional cooperation and ‘soft’ boundaries will be essential for the greater economic good of the regions and the country as a whole.

Who says…. (Barry Coward, that is…): The trouble with defining The North is where do the boundaries go? Here in Gainsborough (Lincs) folks associate not only with Doncaster and Sheffield, but also Nottingham. We are just 11 miles from Yorkshire (at Bawtry). People here clearly see themselves as part of the North. However Lincolnshire County Council are focussed with connecting the county to London and the South East and only half hearted about the East Midlands and have not conception of the northern part of the county being connected to South Yorkshire. After all what do the good folks of Stamford in the south of Lincolnshire have in common with the good folks of Scunthorpe in the north? Half the folks who use our town for work, shopping, leisure, school and medical services live in Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. I find boundaries that circumscribe politicians and bureaucrats get in the way of folks and local businesses aspirations. There is of course no easy answer to boundaries (as HMG will find out in Ireland). In my mind the best solution is the foster cross boundary working in partnership’ which is exactly what our little Community Rail Partnership covering 11 stations in two regions (Yorkshire & Humberside and East Midlands), two counties, one unitary authority and three district councils is trying to do, with some success I might add. May I wish you a happy and prosperous 2018 and keep the Salvos coming. Barry

Aidan Turner-Bishop comments:  A corollary of a regionally administered England could be a revived lower tier of ‘natural’ local government with powers devolved to towns and districts such as Dewsbury, Darwen, Morecambe, Sale and the like. This might shadow the French system with local village ‘maires’. Town Councils in places like Appleby seem to be popular and effective so why not expand this network away from the failing and under-resourced structure of 1974 authorities?

And Richard Greenwood has the final word…One gentleman of my acquaintance was so annoyed when as a resident of Newton-le-Willows (which has a very early railway history) was forcefully removed to Cheshire in 1973 that he took as his email address: “Eddie in occupied Lancashire.”

Editorial responses are largely superfluous, it’s good that readers contribute their ideas, all of which are well made. I certainly endorse Tim’s support for strong local government, though I don’t think the solution is bigger units. My preference is for smaller councils which reflect clear identities, within a new regional structure. I would take issue with Roger Smith’s comments about regional governments ‘based on cultural identity’ flying in the face of Jo Cox’s progressive and expansive sense of inclusion. ‘Cultural identity’ isn’t about a narrow white Anglo-Saxon identity (and apologies if it came across like that), it’s about a region encompassing a broad swath of ethnicities and local identities. Emphasis on regions, rather than nations, somehow does that far better. The current fad for a left-wing take on ‘Englishness’ is (again, in my view) doomed to failure. But a progressive English regionalism has much more potential, ideally based on a shared ‘Northern’ identity for the North-West, Yorkshire and the North-East. The boundary issue is a red herring. Just ask people where they want to be.  And for the record, Jo Cox was a strong Northern regionalist and supporter of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. I had a conversation with her at Westminster a few months before she was murdered, when she sketched out ideas for taking the democratic devolution agenda, for the North, further forward. A particular emphasis in what she said was the importance of winning as broad a cross-party approach as possible. What a loss she has been in so many ways.

Crank Quiz: Why no female Sam Gingell or Bill Hoole?

There has been a bit of a gap since the last one, so here we go. Given the centenary of women’s suffrage (OK, for some women), it should have some kind of female emphasis. Pity there were no great women steam drivers that can be celebrated.  However, how about this: who was the first female managing director of a railway company and b) (for all you cranks) – list steam locomotives named after female characters who were not part of the aristocracy.

Special Traffic Notices

Saturday March 11th; 7.30. Shama Rahman at Bolton Socialist Club. Brilliant sitar player and singer-song writer. £12 on the door.

Thursday March 8th: Launch of ‘Women Who Wander’ project in Manchester

Sunday March 11th: 1.00: Film about the Women’s Peace Crusade during WW1

May 6th: Blackstone Edge Gathering: celebrate the 1842 Chartist gathering! Walk from Littleborough station. Details to follow but book the date.

June 30th: Bolton Station Community Gala 10.30 – 4.00

The Salvo Publications List

The following are all available from The Salvo Publishing HQ, here at 8 Moorhey Cottages, Bretherton, Leyland PR26 9AE. Cheques should be made out to ‘Paul Salveson’ though you can send cash if you like but don’t expect any change. Bottles of whisky, old bound volumes of Railway Magazine, numberplates etc. by negotiation.

‘Lancashire’s Romantic Radical – the life and writings of Allen Clarke/Teddy Ashton‘ (2009). The story of Lancashire’s errant genius – cyclist, philosopher, unsuccesful politician, amazingly popular dialect writer. Normal Price £15  – can now offer it for £10 with free postage. There are a few hardback versions left – Normal price £25  – now at £15 with free postage. This book outlines the life and writings of one of Lancashire’s most prolific – and interesting – writers. Allen Clarke (1863-1935) was the son of mill workers and began work in the mill himself at the age of 11. He became a much-loved writer and an early piopneer of the socialist movement. He wrote in Lancashire dialect as ‘Teddy Ashton;’ and his sketches sold by the thousand. He was a keen cyclist and rambler; his books on the Lancashire countryside – ‘Windmill Land’ and ‘Moorlands and Memories’ are wonderful mixtures of history, landscape and philosophy.

‘With Walt Whitman in Bolton – Lancashire’s Links to Walt Whitman‘. This charts the remarkable story of Bolton’s long-lasting links to America’s great poet. Price £9.90 including post and packing. New edition published in May 2016. Bolton’s links with the great American poet Walt Whitman make up one of the most fascinating footnotes in liteary history. From the 1880s a small group of Boltonians began a correspondence with Whitman and two (John Johnston and J W Wallace) visited the poet in America. Each year on Whitman’s birthday (May 31) the Bolton group threw a party to celebrate his memory, with poems, lectures and passing round a loving cup of spiced claret. Each wore a sprig of lilac in Whitman’s memory. The group were close to the founders of the ILP – Keir Hardie, Bruce and Katharine Bruce Glasier and Robert Blatchford. The links with Whitman lovers in the USA continue to this day.

‘Northern Rail Heritage’. A short introduction to the social history of the North’s railways. Price £6.00. The North ushered in the railway age  with the Stockton and Darlington in 1825 followed by the Liverpool and Manchester in 1830. But too often the story of the people who worked on the railways has been ignored. This booklet outlines the social history of railways in the North. It includes the growth of railways in the 19th century, railways in the two world wars, the general strike and the impact of Beeching.

Will Yo’ Come O’ Sunday Mornin? The Winter Hill Mass Trespass of 1896′. The story of Lancashire’s Winter Hill Trespass of 1896. 10,000 people marched over Winter Hill to reclaim a right of way. Price: £5.00 (not many left). The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass of 1932 was by no means the first attempt by working class people to reclaim the countryside. probably the biggest-ever rights of way struggle took place on the moors above Bolton in 1896, with three successive weekends of huge demonstrations to reclaim a blocked path. Over 12,000 took part in the biggest march. The demonstrations were led by a coalition of socialists and radical liberals and Allen Clarke (see above!) wrote a great song about the events – ‘Will Yo’ Come O’ Sunday Mornin’?’ Only a couple left.

 ‘Songs of a Northerner‘  by Jo Barnes. Photos by Paul Salveson. Price £3.50 inc postage  – please make cheques payble to ‘The Jo Barnes Fund’. A lovely collection of Jo’s poems written in the two years before she died; about landscape, emotions and day dreams.

You can probably get a better idea from going to my website: http://www.paulsalveson.org.uk/little-northern-books-2/