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. 255  June 19th  2018

WORLD CUP SPECIAL!

Salveson’s nakedly political digest of railwayness, tripe and secessionist nonsense from Up North. Sometimes weekly, often not; but definitely Northern. Read by the highest (and lowest) officers of state, Whitmanites, steam punks, yes women, no men, gay Swedenborgians, cat-spotters, discerning sybarites, bi-guys, pie-eaters, tripe dressers, nail artists, 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

Privacy Stuff

Thanks to everyone whom, for reasons best known for themselves, indicated they wished to carry on receiving this thing (Blog? Newsletter? Organ? I don’t know, you tell me.) I’ve tried to remove sensible people who don’t want to receive it and keep a hard core of strange but dedicated people. I’d call them savants, or possibly cranks. My privacy policy is very simple: I don’t give away (or sell) my database, or any bits of it, to anyone, however nicely they might ask. I don’t sell double glazing, holidays abroad or other more dubious goods and services. You can tell me at any time to stop sending this stuff, and remind me that you are getting two, three or more copies. I will try to act on these reminders.

Crisis? Oh, that crisis….

Welcome to the late-running  Salvo 255. OK, cheap joke, everything else is so why be different?  I’m reminded of an early headline of TR&IN Times, still going strong as ACoRP’s newsletter – “Crisis What Crisis?” (it was the oil crisis of 1996 I seem to remember). So yes, the railways have been in crisis, at least our bit in the North, as well as GTR Thameslink. Maybe the cynic in me thinks the reason it got as far as a parliamentary debate was because part of the problem was down south, but perhaps I’m being too touchy.

Not all gloom…thanks to Network Rail and ISS community volunteers for coming along and painting/cleaning the community parthership office at Bolton

Well-intentioned friends have been urging me to join in the general ’open season’ on the railway industry and put the boot in on our ‘failing privatised railway’. Certainly, many people have almost literally been doing that, with front-line staff (never was a term more apt) being the subject of the most disgusting abuse. I was at Manchester Oxford Road at the height (or depth) of the problem and witnessed one driver being the victim of the sort of abuse that would have justified anyone going sick and having the train cancelled. He didn’t do that, and took the train to its destination. The same kind of verbal assaults were repeated across the network with train crew and station staff getting the blame for a failure which nobody could pin on them.

I’m glad that the various parts of the industry have generally avoided blaming someone else. The nearer you are to something the less simple the ‘answer’ is. If anyone thinks that ‘nationalisation’ on its own would solve the problem, they’re deluding themselves. There may be something in the separation of operations and infrastructure that contributed to the meltdown in services in the North last month, but it’s not all the explanation. It goes without saying (or should do) that lessons must be learned, and let’s see what the ORR investigation comes up with. So far, the most intelligent account of the catastrophic introduction of the new timetable was by The Guardian’s Gwyn Topham. See https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/09/uk-railways-great-timetable-fiasco-whats-gone-wrong But let’s see what ORR has to say.

Meanwhile, anyone for a bash down the Windermere Branch with a West Coast class 37?

Community Rail Strategy – publication imminent

The Department for Transport’s re-vamped Community Rail Development Strategy is on the brink of erupting onto an unsuspecting Joe and Jill Public. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s looking good and irons out some of the illogicalities of the earlier strategy. The emphasis is more on communities, less on operational details. A link to the strategy on the DfT’s website will be published in the next Salvo.

Goodbye Milla

Camilla Kurti died from lung cancer on May 28th….she was my late partner Jo’s closest friend and a very dear friend to me.

Fond of bicycles

She was very well cared for by her friends in her final weeks. This is the message from them:  “Our dearest friend Camilla / Milla died at Katharine House hospice on Monday morning (28 May), a year after receiving the diagnosis of lung cancer, and only three weeks after she rose from her bed to perform Fish from Oblivion’s last concert at Norbury on 4 May. Those who were there will have known she was very ill, but not perhaps the extent of the illness, given the wonderful way she sang extracts from “Don’t Get Married Girls” and “Carry Greenham Home” in honour of our shared history with Pam and John Collard, and joined in new, very suitable, songs “How I Wish That The Wars Were All Over” (Dona Nobis Pacem) and “Some Days There Just Ain’t No Fish.”

Camilla then spent her last few weeks at home as she so much wanted, cared for by a group of very close friends – her sister Susannah, Helen, Jane, Julia, Karin, Laura and Sue – and increasing professional support, before spending her last 24 hours peacefully at Katharine House.

This has been a cruelly early end to a beautiful, creative and inspirational life, “a force for love and for life.” We will have many opportunities to remember her – her memorial/ funeral at St Mary’s Stafford will be on Saturday June 30th. Her body has been accepted by Keele Medical School as she so much wanted – https://www.keele.ac.uk/medicine/anatomy/bequeathalsdonatingyourbody – there is therefore no physical body, and this allows a little more time for the memorial to be planned.”

I paid my own respects to Milla by walking along part of the Heart of Wales Line Trail which skirts Hesterworth House, near Aston-on-Clun, where Milla and Jo used to go on their singing weekends with their friends (above) from ‘Fish From Oblivion’.

The Heart of Wales Line Trail above Hesterworth, between Hopesay and Broome. Waymarker on right

Jo’s ashes were scattered by the path which now forms part of the Trail. Milla was a keen cyclist and an informed rail user who did her best to avoid using a car if at all possible (I don’t think she ever owned one). What a terrible loss. Viszlat Millakam.

Jo Cox, in remembrance

It’s the anniversary of the murder of Jo Cox, one of the finest politicians I ever met, whose killing I still find it very difficult to come to terms with. But out of an evil act has come some good. The ‘great get together’ gatherings across the country have mushroomed – this year there are nearly 6,000.  See http://www.greatgettogether.org/  I’m heading down to Harlech (Llanfair) for an event organised by Ardudwy Labour Party. Why there? Well, just that I was asked and it’s a nice place to go. The meal is at the Llanfair Slate Caverns and has a Greek Theme. I’ll be bringing a touch of Lancashire to the proceedings, with a short talk on Lancashire children’s solidarity with the Penryhn Quarrymen’s Lock-out of 1900-3. Look out for an account in next Salvo.

Whitmanising in Bolton

The annual Walt Whitman celebrations in Bolton were nothing if not extensive. Events kicked off with a ‘rehearsed reading’ of Stephen Hornby’s new play, Whitman and Wallace, at Bolton Socialist Club. That was followed by the annual Whitman Walk from Barrow Bridge.

Whitman Walk at Walker Fold….

We had fine weather and some 25 of us enjoyed ‘the gleesome saunter o’er fields and hillsides’ before ice cream at Brian Hey Farm. As ever, excerpts from Leaves of Grass were read en route, a wine-filled loving cup was passed round and a general air of camaraderie pervaded. A Whitman birthday garden party was held in Lostock, recreating the 1907 party at Fred Wild’s in Bolton, complete with lilacs, poetry and wine. No wining but lots of strawberries and cream were in evidence at Rivington Unitarian Chapel on June 2nd for a special Whitman service with a talk on ‘Whitman and Rivingon’. Next year is the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth and plans are afoot for major events in Bolton, including an international conference at The University of Bolton.

Party time at Bolton Station

Plans for a community gala at Bolton rail station and bus interchange are on track, to use that hackneyed term so beloved of newspaper editors.  The event marks 50 years since the last steam loco left Bolton loco sheds, on Crescent Road, and the continuing importance of public transport in our lives today. It’s on Saturday June 30th, starting at 10.30 and will feature over 35 stalls from community groups, small businesses, railway societies and arts bodies. There will be live music to suit all tastes and live poetry, some of which may not. Bolton Octagon’s Youth Theatre will perform a specially-written short play and there will be face painting and other children’s activities. Bolton School’s Young Company in association with Rough House Theatre will perform during the day.

The gala will take place in and around the railway station and the new bus interchange, where a classic Bolton Corporation double-decker will give short rides around town, departing from Stand G.

I’ll be coming to the gala on June 30th

A miniature railway using coal-fired steam locos will operate at the station. Most of the 35 stalls already booked will be on Platforms 4 and 5.

The event is being organised by Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, a not-for-profit body which includes Transport for Greater Manchester, Bolton Library and Museum Service, Octagon Theatre, University of Bolton, Bolton at Home, Bolton School, Network Rail, Northern, Bolton Rail Users’ Group, Community Rail Lancashire and many community groups from in and around Bolton.

“It has been a difficult few weeks for rail users,” said a Partnership spokesperson, with typical Boltonian understatement. “This event re-affirms the continuing importance of railways in our community.

We’re marking an event of 50 years ago but looking to the future as well, when electric trains start running from Bolton. Owing to the electrification work taking place, trains won’t be operating through the station on that day so we have the platforms to ourselves!” He might have added, to raise a few more laughs, that some trains WILL be operating and giving rides, it’s just that they will be 7’ ¼” gauge….

On the Friday evening, June 29th, there is an illustrated talk on ‘Bolton in its Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Heyday’ by Noel Coates of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society. It starts at 6.30 with complementary refreshments, and is free of charge (thanks to Farnworth Suffragette Fund). The venue is The Brooklyn Hotel, Green Lane BL3 2EF.

Network Rail’s Orange Army Attack

A very big thanks to Network Rail’s ‘community volunteering’ team who descended on the former Guards’ Mess Room on Platform 5 of Bolton to clean, paint and generally spruce the place up.

Thank you Network Rail, ISS and Northern…a team job

They were helped by a couple of lovely guys from ISS. Northern has made the space available to the Station Community Development Partnership to sue as an office and meeting place. We’ve put up some rail-themed posters and there’s a guard’s handlamp to remind us of the room’s origins. We’re hoping this will be the first step in the transformation of the huge swathes of vacant space on the station, both at platform level and upstairs in the former Training Academy (before that, AM Bolton’s offices).

Hitting the North: why we need a Northern Remain lobby

There’s an easy assumption amongst some pro-Remain campaigners that much of the North is a lost cause given the large majorities for leave in many Northern towns and cities. Yet there’s growing recognition that a large part of that vote was motivated by a vague but real sense of marginalisation and a desire to hit back at ‘them’ – whoever them might be. At the same time, some Labour ‘leavers’ still push the idea that ‘most’ Labour voters in the North voted to leave the EU. This is a very questionable assertion – my suspicion is that much of the ‘leave’ vote in Northern working class communities came from people who were not regular voters at all, many turning out to put two figures up to the EU and ‘the establishment’. Trying to justify one’s acquiescence for Brexit on the basis of what MPs’ and pundits think which way Labour supporters voted is dodgy, to say the least. This is on top of any ‘change of mind’ that people might have had since the vote in 2016.

Many (but not all) Salvo readers would probably agree that the consequences for Britain in leaving the UK range from dire to catastrophic. Yet there is a regional element to this, and ironically the areas likely to suffer most from Brexit are the ones that votes so strongly to leave.

The IPPR has done some very useful research on the impact of Brexit on the North. It makes the point that “The North of England depends more heavily on trade with Europe than other parts of the country, and has been a significant recipient of EU funding.” (Brexit North: Securing a united voice at the negotiating table, IPPR 2016).

The IPPR paper focussed on the economic implications of the result. IPPR argues that alongside trade and funding issues, arguing “the North has distinct economic assets and interests that will be affected by Brexit. This includes strengths in key sectors such as advanced materials and manufacturing, energy generation, distribution and storage, health innovation, and the digital economy.”

Add to that is the vibrant higher education sector in the North which has done very well out of EU research grants and other funding programmes. Many towns and smaller cities – such as Bolton, Huddersfield, Chester, Sunderland, Preston and Hull – are increasingly dependent on the economic clout of their universities and any faltering in their performance will have huge knock-on effects.

The North needs to fight back against Brexit with a common voice, but how? The IPPR report  makes some interesting points about the lack of a coherent voice for the North to articulate a clear stance on Brexit, unlike the devolved nations and London. It says “the nascent and patchy development of combined authorities, metro-mayors and devolution ‘deals’ in the North means that the region is not well-placed to formulate a coherent response to Brexit that will match those of the devolved administrations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, or that of the mayor of London or other well-established lobbying groups. Furthermore, it is quite impossible for central government to deal meaningfully with the demands of over 30 upper-tier local authorities, and 11 local enterprise partnership areas, in the North one by one”.

Can’t disagree with that.  IPPR North has played an important role in providing space to debate how the North should be governed and is one of the few ‘think tanks’ to question the value of the current third-rate devolution offered to Northern cities. The IPPR argues for a ‘Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee’ to determine” the type of Brexit that the North needs, and speak with one voice in the negotiations, rather than have others shape the debate”. That’s a valuable suggestion and in the short-term is probably the only option – but is really “mekkin’ th’best out of of a bad job” as we might say up ‘ere. What the North really should have is an elected regional government with something like the powers of the devolved nations (after all, there’s 15 million of us).

But committees and commissions tend to attract the great and the good who like being on committees. A Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee could put itself at the head of a powerful movement which brings together campaigners, local authorities, further and higher education, voluntary associations, businesses and individuals who want to avoid the catastrophe which is facing Northern communities, industries and universities. The risk is that we’ll end up with a committee of politicians who don’t want to upset their masters (Tory or Labour) in Westminster.

There are growing voices across the UK arguing for a second referendum that would, in all likelihood, stop Brexit before any more harm is done to the country. The North has very strong and specific interests in this and needs its own voice, alongside our friends in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London and the English regions.

Q: Could the much-vaunted Northern Umbrella form the basis of this Northern pro-European movement?

(This is based on the current ‘Points and Crossings’ column in Chartist magazine, out soon)

Scotland’s Top Gardener Named but Not Shamed

A volunteer who has transformed railway gardens in south west Scotland has been named as one of Scotland’s Gardeners of the Year by Gardening Scotland 2018. Avid Salvo reader Louis Wall from Newton Stewart is the founder of the South West Scotland Rail Adopters Gardening Group, which maintains the gardens at more than 20 stations between Gretna, Stranraer and Glasgow. Every year he grows 5,000 bedding plants and, at the height of summer, he travels 1000 miles a week by train helping to maintain the colourful displays. Well done Louis!

A new co-operative hits the railways: Vintage Trains Community Benefit Society

I am delighted to tell you that we are now firmly on our journey to operate express steam trains on the main line in Britain. We have achieved our first target and raised over £850,000 so far. This means that we can now keep the share offer open until the end of the year to raise further funds to improve our carriages and develop the Tyseley Locomotive Works site.

hmmm, nearest I could get to something Swindon-built. Any guesses where? (this month’s Crank Quiz!)

The board has made funds available to Vintage Trains Limited to secure its passenger charter licence from the ORR and establish its mobilisation plan. We authorised Tyseley Locomotive Works (TLW) to begin the carriage restoration plan which will start with undertaking safety & maintenance checks, ensuring we have a train fit to run on the Shakespeare Express, Cotswold Express and similar services.

TLW has completed fitting Clun Castle (a steam locomotive not built at Horwich – ed.) with all the electronic apparatus required to comply with Network Rail’s regulations and, as soon as VTL receives its steam safety certificate and licence, we will begin main line trials. We will, of course, advise you when we are ready to do this as you will have priority booking opportunities. It is wholly appropriate that we begin our steam services with Clun Castle as she inaugurated the Tyseley Collection. Clun was one of the first privately owned steam locomotives to see service on excursion trains on British Railways and the first to begin the services subsequently authorised by BR after the end of regular main line steam.

I am delighted that the Community Benefit Society will be run and managed by shareholders as a true co-operative. Whilst Vintage Trains Charitable Trust will be our Parent, all our CBS Directors and initial officers are shareholders. The board currently comprises Adrian Shooter, Michael Gilbert, Robin Coombes (also company secretary) and myself. On Friday we appointed Professor Paul Salveson to the board, a co-founder with myself of the Community Railways concept many years ago, which is now the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP). Our finance officer will be Jim Kirkman, our registrar Peter ‘Fuzz” Jordan and our assistant secretary Mary McCullough.

We have already established our team for Vintage Trains Limited. This will be led by Cath Bellamy, Managing Director, working with Ben Mason, Commercial Director and Ian Lake, Operations & Safety Director, all under the guidance of its Chairman, Adrian Shooter. The great thing about this is that most of the team has already worked together to deliver outstanding customer service and safe operation at Chiltern Railways. Team building, a core requirement of success, is already done.

We will also be progressing with our Community Plan based initially at our Tyseley depot which, this year, celebrates 110 years of continuous service as a steam locomotive depot. We intend to further develop Tyseley Locomotive Works, inaugurate Metropolitan Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. Ltd and develop community space for various functions, training and other activities.

Lastly, we would be very grateful if you can help us with our further fundraising for our carriages and so we can run more trains, perhaps by introducing a friend or colleague to the share offer. Full details are on our website www.VintageTrains.co.uk or telephone 0121 708 4960.

Our exciting journey has begun! Michael Whitehouse,Chairman, Vintage Trains CBS

Salvo’s Travelling Post Office: Trees, and the Middle East Question

Comment by Alan Brooke Walter seems to have a vast knowledge of Palestinian railways. At least he, unlike many Zionists, does not deny that the term ‘Palestine’ ever existed. Can he go one step further and consider who the Palestinian PEOPLE are and why they have been displaced or continue to suffer repression in their own homeland ?

Comment by Walter Rothschild : I am sure few of your readers want a lengthy backwards and forwards on Middle East issues (except insofar as they affect railways – see http://www.harakevet.com and somewhere is a link to my PhD thesis on Palestine Railways!) It is good of Alan Brooke to admit that a sovereign state established by a UN agreement may have a right to exist – as I write this on 14.May there are (alas) further major riots on the border of the Gaza Strip because after 70 years a major country has at last accepted that Israel is entitled to decide for itself which city is its capital. The riots are possible only because Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip – should it have remained there? Until 1967 the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt which even issued a postage stamp showing the railway linking the towns there – but they didn’t want it back afterwards. Enough for now, let us be grateful the rest of the region is so peaceful…….

Comment by Richard Lysons: Hi Paul; totally agree with you about line side trees blocking marvellous views on our rural lines. At STORM a couple of Christmases ago we had a film show and the lines around Rochdale were completely free of trees in the days of steam.
I mounted a (fairly) successful campaign about the Miall Street “Forest” at Rochdale Station – hundreds of self-seeded trees ( mainly silver birches) growing taller and taller year after year. They gave visitors a neglected impression of the station. Mills Hill – between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale – is my latest target. Again, dozens of tall, straight, mainly branchless silver birches reaching 30 feet high or more. These are all less than 33 years old as RSG tells me that there were no trees there when GMPTE funded an “experimental” (sic) station there. He has photographic evidence to prove this!

Comment by Stuart Warr I agree entirely with your comments regarding tree felling and the loss of view for fare paying passengers, from a personal point of view, as a photographer, trees have decimated our view in many locations, making photography almost impossible too often. Best wishes on the house move.
Comment by Robert Paul White:Hello Paul, Looked on Saturday at the conversion of Catesby Tunnel into a wind tunnel – like Woodhead it would be far better as a rail tunnel, and in my view a revived GC London Extension (with considerable modification) would from a capacity and conservation point of view be a much better bet than the ludicrous HS2. Similarly, the proliferation of railway cutting trees is due to the inaction of Network Rail in cutting them back. Yes, they cause adhesion problems, but they also can weaken embankment sides leading to earthslips. Please keep me on your mailing list!

Comment by the immoderate Paul Routledge : please keep sending The Salvo. You might consider being less snotty about your old party (one of them, at any rate). And…Er, what’s moderation? Who exercises it? In half of a century of politics and the unions “moderate” was the badge of the boss’s nark. (ed. Oh alright then but try to get the irony a bit more…)

Mike Wilmot writes: Hello Paul, You will have seen the press reports such as https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/02/small-firms-face-extermination-due-to-network-rail-asset-sale .  I find this upsetting.  I was aware of NR’s Property Strategic Plan “to optimise the contribution from property assets towards funding the railway whilst enhancing the experience of our customers, neighbours and rail users and protecting the integrity of the operational railway.“  But in this action, as reported in the press, NR seems ruthless when it has a chance of supporting small businesses and community ventures whilst  remaining content to support community rail partnership principles when NR itself it is the beneficiary.

Of course NR has to do what it can to boost its commercial income, but is it sound corporate social responsibility to threaten small traders with such inflated rent demands when many have improved their premises and staved off dereliction and antisocial behaviour in gloomy out of the way spots when space in urban centres was not at such a premium as it is now?

I am reminded of a paragraph in your introduction to “Community Stations  Innovative community uses for railway stations and land”:  Bringing unused railway buildings back to life offers many advantages to the rail industry, not least making stations more welcoming and hospitable, and delivers a wealth of economic, social, health and wellbeing benefits to local people. At the same time, once-derelict buildings are restored to their former glory and beyond with funding from both railway and non-railway sources.  The benefits to communities are immediately apparent. . .    

Substitute ‘less glamorous railway arches’ for stations and, in the action now reported in the press, we seem to have some inconsistency in NR’s approach.  Also if there is an asset sale of railway arches today, why not stations tomorrow? Hence my question: Should community rail have anything to say about small firms facing extermination due to Network Rail’s asset sale?  I would value your comment.  Perhaps a topic for airing in The Salvo? Mike

Special Traffic Notices

Tuesday June 26th; Huddersfield: 25  years of Community Rail – Where Next? University of Huddersfield – organised with Penistone Line Partnership and supported by CrossCountry.

Friday June 29th: Noel Coates on ‘Bolton in its Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway heyday’ From 18.30 Brooklyn Hotel, Green lane, Bolton. Refreshments provided.

Saturday June 30th: Bolton Station Community Gala 10.30 – 4.00

Saturday July 1st: Heart of Wales 150 gala at LLandovery station

Tuesday July 3rd: Cross Country Stakeholder Event: Community Safety on the Railways – event in York.

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, number-plates 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, unsuccessful 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 pioneer 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 literary 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 payable 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/