The Northern Weekly Salvo
Incorporating Slaithwaite Review of Books, Weekly Notices, Sectional Appendices, Tunnel Gazers’ Gazette and Northern Umbrella. Descendant of Teddy Ashton’s Northern Weekly and Th’Bowtun Loominary.
Published from 109 Harpers Lane Bolton BL1 6HU email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No. 272 December 12th 2019 Election pre-Christmas Special
Salveson’s half-nakedly political digest of railwayness, tripe and secessionist nonsense from Up North. Sometimes weekly, usually 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, non-aligned social democrats, 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
Technical problems with my website continue, so this issue is a return to the old days of emailing an attachment. Not everyone’s preferred method I know, but one or two did say it suited them. So let me know what you think. For this one, I’ll stick to a very basic page layout, which does at least have the merit of being readable. I won’t include many photos as they take up too much space.
Obviously, the election is a key issue but so too is the question of “what happens after?”, particularly for the ‘left behind’ North. This issue raises a few possibilities. What I’ve enjoyed about writing the Salvo over several years is the mix of politics, culture (?) and railways. Not forgetting chip shops, interesting cafes, cakes and the like. So this melange will continue. I hope non-Bolton folk don’t get too bored with references to Trottertown, my idea of a complementary ‘Bowtun Loominary’ hasn’t gone away.
One question for readers. I always used to like wearing a beret. A proper one, ideally French or Basque. Funnily enough, it was my dad’s preferred headwear in the limeyard at Walkers’ Tannery. But I lost mine ages ago. Where can I obtain one? Without having to go to Bilbao or somewhere. I would like to try it on before purchase, so the internet doesn’t help.
I may do a short Salvo before Christmas, when the results of the election are in and digested. But if I don’t (it could be that bad I need to lie in a darkened platelayer’s hut), have an enjoyable Christmas, whatever the outcome.
That election continued
We’re in the final throes and many people (myself included) will have voted by post. I cast my cross for Julie Hilling, the Labour candidate. Apart from being a railway person (TSSA sponsored) and a good sort generally, she is best placed to defeat in the Tory incumbent (who despite his strong pro-Brexit stance isn’t that bad a chap in terms of constituency issues). If we had a fairer voting system (not on Labour’s agenda at all, which is disappointing) I’d probably vote Green. So maybe that’s why it isn’t on Labour’s agenda. But it should be. The days of two-party politics in the UK are gone and we’ve got a huge democratic deficit whereby people like me (and we are many, not a few) feel increasingly disenfranchised. In Bolton West, both the Greens and Liberal Democrats are standing, with good policies. But the sad truth is, that the more the Greens and Lib Dems eat into the progressive vote (here in Bowtun West), the more likely a Tory victory is.
I can’t say that I find the Labour Manifesto particularly inspiring. It’s classic old-style ‘transactional’ politics, to use Jon Cruddas’ telling phrase. In other words, give us your vote and we’ll give you lots of goodies. It’s paternalistic and centralist, with an undue emphasis on state control. Yes, we need to have more state involvement but use that to facilitate grass-roots initiatives. So for rail, why not follow the Co-operative Party’s suggestion and develop a rail network that is run as a co-operative (or, preferably, several regional co-operatives) involving users and workers? The Rail Reform Group has come up with some deliverable ideas on this, on which Labour has shown zero interest. But for all that, a Labour government would be better than a Johnson regime, ideally one that is supported by other progressive parties which will force PR onto the agenda. So, my advice, which I know you’re not asking for, is to vote tactically for the progressive candidate best placed to defeat the Tory. And that means different things in different parts of the UK, obviously. Having listened to most of the debates, I have to say that the star of the show has been Nicola Sturgeon, closely followed by Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price. England doesn’t, at the moment, have much to offer in terms of political talent. Caroline Lucas comes nearest.
In the 2017 general election The Salvo went against conventional media opinion by forecasting a narrow win for the Tories, possibly without an overall majority. This time it’s much more difficult to call, but I’m less optimistic. It will be an interesting night, for sure, and I’ve got a couple of bottles of Shiraz in stock to see us through. A lot of seats will change hands but maybe the result will not be, overall, that much different. It’s ironic, and really quite shameful, that the North seems to have warmed to the phoney prat Johnson. Is it just about Brexit? Or is it more deep-rooted, with an historic shift away from Labour and class-based politics? In the South, Labour may well pull off some surprises. If Milani can defeat Johnson in his near-marginal Uxbridge seat, I’ll down one of those bottles of Shiraz in one gulp. All will depend on tactical voting, though the Liberal Democrats have run a lacklustre campaign dragged down by their daft idea to revoke Article 50 in the rather unlikely event of them forming a government. That will haunt them in these last few days, despite the generally sound stuff they say in their manifesto. So they’ll do less well than they might have done. So, maybe a narrow win for Johnson, perhaps without an overall majority – and it’s unlikely to imagine the DUP rushing in to prop him up. I can’t see the Brexit Party gaining any seats, their historic role has been to push the Tories to the right and help Johnson win. Watch them fade away, no loss to anyone. But what of Labour? Yes, an interesting night ahead.
OK, so what of Labour?
Yes, I’ve asked the question but I don’t know how to answer it. The Labour Party should appeal to the likes of me, but doesn’t. Having served time in it, I’ve been put off by its tribalism, fondness for centralist and statist solutions which might have made some sense in the 1940s, but don’t any more. It’s failure to embrace voting reform, or democratic devolution, puts it on the side of reaction, whatever promises it makes in other areas. If Labour does very badly on Thursday, there will be talk of a split. I can’t really see it. Corbyn should stand down if he’d any sense. Perhaps there will be some fresh thinking but I have my doubts. What we could see is a gradual withering away – the slow death of Labour Britain. There have already been attempts at progressive re-alignment at a national (primarily English) level, with Change UK. That’s been a flop, with most of the changers defecting to the Lib Dems when it became clear it was going nowhere. In Scotland, progressive realignment has already happened, with the SNP sweeping the board and marginalising Labour, which seems unable to come up with a credible socialist alternative. The Scottish Socialist Party if it nudged more towards a centre-left stance, could take their place. But of course Scotland and Wales have PR in their own elections, which allows smaller parties like the Greens to flourish. My own view is that any re-alignment within England should – and it will take time – happen at a regional level. I hope the Yorkshire and North-east Parties do well on Thursday but for now they will most likely be squeezed by the bigger parties. But they need to keep at it, and develop a ‘liberal social-democratic’ position that can appeal to a wide cross-section, including some disenchanted Tories. There must be quite a few.
On the subject of which, a Yorkshire (and Lancashire) call to arms
The Yorkshire Party’s manifesto is well-considered document. It’s available here https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/general-election-2019-manifesto/ . I have reservations about some aspects of its approach, not least on Brexit. But I can understand their position. I played around with the document and produced a spoof ‘Lancashire Party’ manifesto. As my website isn’t functioning, I can’t offer a link but if anyone wants to see it, please email me and I’ll send it to you. Here is the first bit:
LANCASHIRE DESERVES BETTER: OUR VISION FOR A LANCASHIRE OF FAIRNESS AND OPPORTUNITY
The Lancashire Party is founded on the social and democratic principles of subsidiarity, dignity, community and cooperation. We believe that by moving powers as close to people as possible, we can empower communities to be ambitious and allow individuals freedom for creativity and enterprise. We believe service to humanity should be the foundation of government and that as members of society we share a responsibility to participate in building a region of fairness, equality and opportunity.
Westminster isn’t working. Across Lancashire – including Greater Manchester and Merseyside – we see the same failures – in housing, health, transport, education, the decline of our towns and a threatened environment. These are failures caused by a system where every major political decision is made in Westminster. Lancashire itself has been butchered by local government ‘reform’, with the historic county split into Greater Manchester, Merseyside and parts of Cumbria, leaving a small rump of what was once a great and powerful unit that made economic as well as cultural sense. Yet many Lancastrians, young and old, from a huge range of backgrounds and ethnicities, persist in identifying as ‘Lancastrian’. They’re right – and there is nothing at all backward looking about it. A re-united Lancashire would be a powerful region, working with its sisters in the North – Yorkshire, the North-east and Cumbria – enjoying friendly relations with Wales, Scotland, the North and South of Ireland and all the other English regions. And, crucially, having positive and economically beneficial relations with Europe and the rest of the world. (and so it goes on….)
Meanwhile, the Campaign for a Yorkshire Parliament is pushing their ideas for ‘One Yorkshire’. They launched a new paper in York recently: http://www.yorkshireparliament.org.uk/ It’s very good. Here’s a flavour:
“Empowering Yorkshire requires a rebalance of power between the ordinary citizen, politicians and the government – a new way of making decisions. This includes replacing the current, old fashioned adversarial way of doing things, with one of co-operation and shared sense of direction, one where ideas emerge from discussions within local neighbourhoods and communities on what’s best for their area and the county as a whole. This parliament would have three key objectives written into its constitution: An inclusive Yorkshire, where every citizen would be given the opportunity to fulfill their maximum potential whatever their background or part of the county in which they live. This will require a prosperous Yorkshire capable of competing with the rest of the world to provide the jobs and income required to provide the necessary opportunities and thirdly an ecologically sustainable Yorkshire, fit to pass on to our children, grandchildren and future generations of Yorkshire boys and girls.
Members of the Yorkshire Parliament would be elected on their ability to deliver on these three key objectives on behalf of the people of the county, not for their party political dogma and prejudices on behalf a particular sect or interest group. Ideas for government would emerge from our new approach to empowering the people of Yorkshire. We firmly believe that the public is highly capable of both grasping the issues and of bringing much-needed knowledge, experience and expertise to the table of government themselves.
Members of the Yorkshire Parliament would be elected under a fair voting system or proportional representation in place of our current first-past-the-post system. This way, every citizen would be fairly represented; every person’s vote would count. Such a parliament of course, cannot achieve its objectives in isolation. New partnerships would need to be formed with central government, the local government, other devolved authorities, large and small employers, our universities and colleges, trade unionists, faith groups and other interest group.”
Clearly, their efforts complement those of the Yorkshire Party, while being non-party political. In the case of Lancashire, perhaps that model, for now, could be the right approach as long as it doesn’t duplicate the efforts of ‘Friends of Real Lancashire’.
Enough of all that, it’s Christmas and it’s steam on the main line. Tales of then and now.
The world beyond politics goes on. Yesterday (Saturday) was taken up by indulging in an ancient Salveson pre-Christmas tradition: chasing steam specials. This is a profoundly un-sustainable activity but it’s great fun. Our aim was to see as much as we could of the ‘Pennine Moors Seasonal Special’ which which we were informed could be hauled by one of 70000 ‘Britannia’, 34046 ‘Braunton’ or 46100 ‘Royal Scot’. Part of the fun is not being sure what would be on it. So we got to Winwick Junction, where the West Coast Main Line splits away from the ‘old route’ up to Earlestown. This was an old haunt from steam days and I’ve a nice shot at this location of 70045 ‘Lord Rowallan’ on a northbound freight. You get a good side-on view. The former Vulcan Foundry was close by, most of the houses built to create a genuine industrial community, remain.
The train was showing pretty much on time and we waved to a northbound Virgin ‘Pendolino’, heading for Glasgow on the last day of Virgin operations. A few minutes later we saw a whisp of steam and hard a recognisable three-cylinder roar. It was ‘the Scot’, without question. It came thundering past us in fine style. The question was, could we make it to the next possible spot, on Hoghton Bank. With some smart work by Driver Rosthorn of Upper Darwen shed, we got to within a mile or so of Hoghton and decided that our chances of catching ‘the Scot’ would be better if we headed for Pleasington. Sure enough there was a handful of folk on the platform and overbridge waiting. This was another favourite place in the 60s. My first visit (cycling over Belmont from Bolton) was August Bank Holiday Monday 1966. The station was still staffed, with a fine stone-built booking office and waiting room, and an eccentric ‘station master’. Several Farnley Junction (Leeds) Jubilees came storming through on Blackpool extras. ‘Bihar and Orissa’ and ‘Sturdee’ being two.
Low Moor’s 45565 ‘Victoria’ worked a Bradford – Blackpool special. A Lostock Hall Black 5 (see below) worked an eastbound special. So happy days and nice to be there, over a half a century on (and none the wiser) waiting for steam. Back then, it would have been exceptional to have seen a ‘Scot’ – there was less than a handful left. So – ‘who’d ha thowt it? – waiting for a Scot in 2019 seemed pretty amazing. And it was worth the wait. In a couple of minutes after our arrival we heard that three-cylinder roar again. The Winwick episode was clearly not a one-off, the engine was being worked consistently hard. It had a full train plus dragging a class 47 diesel for heating purposes, so it had a substantial load, probably equal to 13 coaches. It flew through Pleasington to a small crowd of very happy children and adults.
Our final spot was on the climb from Burnley up to Copy Pit, that wild and quite remote borderland between Lancashire and Yorkshire. It’s a very tough climb for steam in both directions, averaging 1 in 65 from Gannow Junction (Rose Grove) to the summit, and much the same coming up from Stansfield Hall (Todmorden). For whatever reason, most steam I’ve seen in recent years comes up from Tod direction so it made an interesting change watching the ‘Scot’ head south. We turned up in a field overlooking the line at Walk Mill, where a small gathering of photographers and children were waiting. It’s a good spot, looking down to the line and Burnley beyond.
Last time I stood in that field was late July 1968, photographing now-preserved Stanier 8F 48773 on a rake of coal empties bound for Healey Mills. Once again, the ‘Scot’ was pretty much on time and working hard – but not excessively. To the fireman’s credit, a whisp of steam from the safety valves and no sign of black smoke. And shifting, considering the load behind the tender. Whoever the crew were, they were masters of their craft. We could still her ‘Royal Scot’ blasting up to Copy Pit summit, then silence. The small crowd dispersed, to their humble cottages and plates of tripe and onions, or perhaps to their handlooms to finish off the day’s work.
OK, stop it. We headed back to the car and stopped off for a pint at Rawtensatll station, with the added bonus of seeing 34092 ‘City of Wells’ on a Santa Special. “Whod’ a thowt, in 2019, we’d be seeing a Bulleid Pacific in Rawtenstall…” yes, OK, enough’s enough. Time for my pills.
Bolton Station Christmas Market: Saturday December 14th
Following the success of the ‘Food and Drink Fringe’ in August, Bolton Station Partnership is planning a Christmas Market at the station on Saturday December 14th, assisted by Northern and Transport for Greater Manchester. The format will be much the same, but we can’t honestly promise the weather will be as good! (But it’s all under cover). So far we’ve a dozen stalls booked and room for a few more. It will run from 10.30 to 4.00 but stallholders are asked to be there earlier to set up. The event helps to promote the town’s ever-popular Christmas Market; we want people to travel to Bolton by train, and they will be met by our own ‘mini’ Christmas market on Platform 4.
Lancashire Day Celebrated in style!
Probably the most unusual celebration of Lancashire Day (November 27th) took place on the 11.05 train from Manchester to Preston. Eighty guests of the newly-formed Bolton and South Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (BSL CRP) were entertained with music, song and dialect poetry. Guests, including the Mayors of Bolton, Horwich and Adlington, joined the train between Manchester and Preston before returning to Bolton fir further celebrations.
At Bolton station, four poems were unveiled on the large bridge supports on Platforms 3 and 4. Two were quintessentially Lancashire – ‘A Lift On The Way’ by Edwin Waugh (1817-1890), and ‘A Gradely Prayer’ by Bolton author and mill worker Allen Clarke (1863-1935). Two other poems unveiled were by the great American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) who had close links to Bolton. ‘A Passage to India’ features railroading across continents while ‘To a Locomotive in Winter’ is a celebration of steam locomotion. The ‘poetry pillars’ is an initiative of Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, which is a core member of the CRP.
The day was the official launch of the new community rail partnership for Bolton and South Lancashire. It covers routes from Bolton to Manchester, Wigan, Preston and Blackburn (as far as Bromley Cross). The partnership will be looking at innovative and creative ways of bringing communities closer to their railway network, and today’s event was an example of what can be done.
After the unveilings, guests enjoyed a hotpot lunch provided by The Kitchen, a local social enterprise, in the Community Room on Platform 5. Further entertainment was provided in the adjoining Platform 5 Gallery by Sid Calderbank, Alyson Brailsford, Mark Dowding and Julie Proctor. The event was supported by Northern, Network Rail, Bolton at Home and TransPennine Express.
“The series of events were an amazing celebration of Lancashire culture and history,” said Partnership chair Paul Salveson. “The four poems are now displayed on the station platforms for everyone to enjoy. I’m particularly pleased that the work of Allen Clarke, one of the North’s most neglected writers, is celebrated in his home town, at the station where he often departed on his travels across Lancashire.”
It is hoped that more poems, including contemporary work by local writers, will be displayed at the station over the coming months. “The poetry complements the paintings and photographs we are showcasing in the Platform 5 Gallery,” said Julie Levy, gallery co-ordinator. “Our next exhibition will feature the work of Westhoughton artist Andy Smith, starting Tuesday December 11th.”
More festivities took place that evening at The Wayoh Brewery, Horwich, with the indefatigable Sid, Jennifer Reid, Phoenix Knights choir and other a range of other performers adding to the fun.
Settle-Carlisle book published (reminder)
My new book on the Settle-Carlisle line has just been published (see below in ‘Salvo Publications List’). The book-signing at the Moorcock Inn, Garsdale, went very well indeed. Highlight of the afternoon was meeting Sylvia Caygill, whose family stretched back to the building of the line. Her grandfather was on duty at the time of the Hawes Junction crash, on Christmas Eve 1910. He was the railwayman to whom a dying passenger uttered the immortal words, “tell my mother, she comes from Ayr.” These lines were put into poetic form by Colin Speakman, who read the piece at the Moorcock event. History was made! Thanks to the friendly staff at the Moorcock for hosting the event and for a lovely lunch.
The book is published by Wiltshire-based Crowood and is now available, price £24.
There was quite a good response to the quiz but I can’t access some of the entries owing to the aforementioned technical difficulties. The poser, which tramways were owned by railway companies? Martin Higginson cunningly avoided the website comments and emailed me with this very worthy entry:
“Railway owned tramways included Grimsby-Cleethorpes, which survived to receive the glorious BR bright green multiple unit livery, Wisbech & Upwell (a ready to run 00 gauge model of one of its trams has just been issued at £110 each), Cruden Bay Hote (GNSR), Burton & Ashby (MR) and Wolverton & Stoney Stratford (eventually LNWR). You could include Weymouth Quay, even though it was part of an international main line rather than an urban tramway: still I believe technically mothballed, rather than closed. Moving in the opposite direction, parts of the Manchester and Croydon tramways and most of Birmingham’s, are ex-railways.”
Paul Abell also managed to sneak this in: “I know more about tramways than politics, so I will confine myself to railway-owned tramways and mention the Cruden Bay Tramway, owned by the Great North of Scotland Railway then the LNER, and replaced in 1932 as far as passengers were concerned by an LNER Rolls-Royce car taking guests from Aberdeen station to the railway-owned Cruden Bay Hotel.”
So, clearly worth doing a pre-Christmas crank quiz. Readers are invited to suggest names of railway installations, locomotives etc. with a Christmas theme. And, assuming I do a Christmas Salvo, I will include a Christmas Crank Quiz covering a wide range of obscure political, railway and other topics. In a spirit of inclusion and diversity, readers can suggest a question (with the right answer!).
Literary ramblings and reflections
Not had much time for reading recently but I was very pleased to receive FOFNL 25 through the post the other day. What? You might ask. It refers to the 25th anniversary of Friends of the Far North Line. The group, covering the Inverness to Wick and Thurso route, well deserves this tribute and good to see a foreword by Bill Reeve, Director of Rail at Transport Scotland. I was reminded by the book’s editor, Ian Budd, that I spoke at the inaugural conference that launched the organisation, in Inverness in 1995. John Ellis, then director of ScotRail, was the main speaker. And it was the first time (I think) that I met Frank Roach, who has done so much for rail in the North of Scotland. The group has gone from strength to strength, promoting this remarkable railway. One of my earliest musical memories is an old 78 that my dad kept, called ‘The Railway Guard’ by (I think) Sandy Macpherson. It starts like this:
“I’m the gaird upon the train that goes from Inverness to Wick
…and comes back again from Wick to Inverness…” (etc.)
Perhaps wisely, the song does not feature in the book. Copies can be obtained price £5 – go to www.fofnl.org.uk
Song for Horwich: next Salvo production and a request
I’ve alluded to my forthcoming novel in previous issues. The ‘sqaulid tale’ as one readers called it, is about life in Horwich Loco Works, the campaign to save it – and what might have happened afterwards. It’s nearly ready, if that same reader can hurry up and get the proof reading done. It was originally going to be called ‘The Works’ but I’ve changed it to ‘Song for Horwich’. This was the title of a poem written (I think) by one of the works employees to support the campaign against closure. It’s show below. If anyone knows who wrote it, I’d love to hear from them. The book will be published in February price £13.99 (Salvo readers will however get a discount). The new imprint will be called ‘Lancashire Loominary’, as previously warned. ‘The Lankishire Loominary un’ Tum Fowt Telegraph’ was published by J T Staton in the 1850s and 60s and it seemed a good idea to resurrect the clever title, if not the eccentric spelling of Lancashire.
Special Traffic Notices
- December 7th: Christmas lights and market at Glossop station
- December 14th: Bolton Station Christmas Market
The Salvo Publications List
The Settle-Carlisle Railway (2019) published by Crowood and available in reputable, and possibly some disreputable, bookshops price £24. It’s a general history of the railway, bringing it up to date. It includes a chapter on the author’s time as a goods guard on the line, when he was based at Blackburn in the 1970s. The book includes a guide to the line, from Leeds to Carlisle. Some previously-unused sources helped to give the book a stronger ‘social’ dimension, including the columns of the LMS staff magazine in the 1920s. ISBN 978-1-78500-637-1
The following are all available from The Salvo Publishing HQ, here at 109 Harpers Lane, Bolton BL1 6HU. 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 £10.00 including post and packing. New bi-centennial edition published in May 2019. 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.
You can probably get a better idea from going to my website: http://www.paulsalveson.org.uk/little-northern-books-2/