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Northern Weekly Salvo 274

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:

No. 274 January 15th 2020 dawn of a new decade 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, weirdos, misfits, 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

General gossips

Where it did it go, eh? Y’know, Christmas and New Year. Very much back to business as usual now, but the editorial team hope you had an enjoyable and restful Christmas and New Year. Maybe it’s just my age and my social circle, but whenever I ask people if they had a good Christmas, they always, without exception, say “Oh yes, very nice. Quiet.”

City of Sanctuary walk sets off from Entwistle on December 28th

No wild parties, orgies, bank robberies or street riots then. But there are things ahead to excite interest, not least what’s happening in the Labour Party, the railway industry, and on a personal level my new publishing venture, Lancashire Loominary. I just wish it would get a bit colder and dryer. A bit of snow wouldn’t go amiss. Open to invitations for wild parties, etc. if it isn’t too noisy, somewhere comfy to sit and finishes by 10.30.

Politics, debate, controversy. Remember Abe Lincoln’s words

We enter the new decade with the Labour Party in the throes of a leadership battle. Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jess Phillips, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry have made it to the shortlist. Five women and one man. So Keir gets the job then? Perhaps that’s being cynical. I can understand the attraction of Starmer, but it is a very conservative sort of attraction. Speaks well, dresses impeccably, an articulate speaker. Not right wing but not too left either. And he doesn’t fail to remind us of his working class roots. You’d even think mum and dad called him ‘Keir’ (after Keir Hardie) with a view to him standing for the Labour leadership when he grew up. So, speaking as a former party member (several times) I have to say I’ve nothing against Starmer at all. He’s the safe option and may help Labour to regain lost ground. Emphasis on ‘maybe’.

He is a classic social democrat of the late 20th century mould. Much to be said for that. But remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. The guardians of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy future.” Powerful words, and Starmer comes over too much as a guardian of the quiet past.

Who could rise to the occasion? Rebecca Long-Bailey comes over as weak and rudderless other than being the ‘continuity Corbynite’ candidate. Her pitch for ‘progressive patriotism’ sounds like something one of her advisors has come up with. As Oscar Wilde said, it’s the last resort of scoundrels, progressive or otherwise. Jess Phillips? She has never said much so far, other than telling us what a wonderful person she is. Wednesday’s article in The Guardian suggests she is starting to think out of the box a bit. Emily Thornberry, another upper middle class Londoner fond of stressing her poverty-stricken roots, is unconvincing. Actually, I really liked what Clive Lewis was saying (extending democracy, inclusivity, fresh thinking) but he’s out of the race. Pity.

That leaves Lisa Nandy. She shares many of Clive Lewis’s ideas on democracy and even though she can’t claim to have been born in a hole in the ground, she has a common touch. She should have, representing Wigan. Back in 2016 she co-edited a very interesting collection of essays called The Alternative: towards a new progressive politics, with Caroline Lucas and Chris Bowers of the Lib Dems. There’s lots of really good stuff in the book(published by Biteback Publishing, £12.99) and unless he’s changed her mind a lot, what she and her fellow writers say, gives me a lot of confidence, even enthusiasm. Nandy is an ‘ideas’ person and has shown she can put what she says about reviving ‘left behind towns’ into practice. Her ‘Centre for Towns’ initiative – a think-tank for the sort of communities she represents – is all about practical solutions. There are some worries. She seems lukewarm on voting reform. She should capitalise on the groundswell within Labour for a package of ‘democratic’ measures which would transform the UK. PR is at the heart of it, but so too is democratic devolution in England, federalism, and reducing the voting age to 16. For all that, if I had a vote, I’d support Lisa without any shadow of a doubt. Should I rejoin?

Wet Sunday afternoon in Warrington

What do you do on a cold Sunday afternoon when it’s pissing it down? Go to Warrington, obviously! Inspired by a fascinating piece in Big Issue North about the paintings of Eric Tucker, we boldly set forth down St Helens Road to find Warrington Art Gallery and Museum. We bravely fought our way through queues of Sunday afternoon shoppers getting into soul-less retail parks, close to where Warrington Dallam loco shed (8B) once stood. We found the art gallery and were not disappointed. Eric Tucker has been lazily described as ‘the unknown Lowry’. Personally, I’d say he was better. He was botn in Warrington in 1932 and died in 2018. His paintings depict the life of working class people in his home town. It’s easy to say ‘ordinary working class people’, possibly the most annoying phrase used by lefty politicians. These people are not ‘ordinary’. They are special, and Tucker’s work really brings that out. And he was no ordinary bloke, either. He hung around Manchester’s illicit drinking dens and was a regular at the bookies. He was better known as a boxer in his youth, but did all sorts of jobs as a labourer and lorry driver’s mate. After he died, his family discovered over 400 paintings and thousands of drawings. A good selection are on display at the exhibition ‘Eric Tucker: The Unseen Artist’. Go and see it, you won’t be disappointed. It runs until February 23rd.

The immortal Tom Burke

In the same neck of the words, another great, extra-ordinary working class figure who had a chequered life, was Tom Burke – ‘The Lancashire Caruso’. Coming back through leigh we passed ‘The Thomas Burke’ Wetherspoon’s. We should have called in, ‘Spoons often do a good job in celebrating local talent; I also like their steak pudding, chips and mushy peas. So a trip is in the offing. What reminded me of Tom Burke was the very sad death of Guy Harkin, former Bolton councillor, Thornleigh boy  a couple of years before me) and of impeccable Lancashire Irish working class background. Like Tom. For many years Guy was vice-chair of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, supporting Joe Clarke as chair. Joe was of the same ilk, from an earlier generation. Like Tom Burke he’d worked as a miner in the pits around Atherton. I have fond memories of getting drunk in the Catholic Club on Derby Street, with Joe and Guy, waiting for the arrival of ‘Mr X’. Now ‘the famous Mr X’ was Joseph Locke, the great Irish tenor, who did a runner after the tax people realised he owed them rather a lot of money. He never showed up, neither to the tax men nor the throng in the Catholic Club. By 3 a.m. who cared. We made our own entertainment with a fine selection of Irish ballads. There’s a great film about him called ‘Hear My Song’. Joseph Locke had a very similar repertoire to Tom Burke. Whether they ever met, I don’t know. But for a while Tom was one of the most celebrated tenors in the world. He performed alongside Nellie Melba, with whom he had a fraught relationship. The great Enrico Caruso admired his singing and told him “One day you shall wear my mantle.”

He was a passionate Lancastrian and developed ambitious plans for a Lancashire opera company. It wasn’t to be.  His fall from fame was as rapid as his ascendance and he ended up singing around pubs in Leigh and Atherton for a few bob. There is a CD of him singing some of his most moving songs – Tom Burke: Centennial Edition (Pavilion Records ). My favourites are the Irish ballads, Killarney, Kathleen Mavourneen and The Minstrel Boy. But his songs from Rigoletto, Tosca and Turandot are beautiful too. I will report back on my visit to ‘The Thomas Burke’ in the next issue. If you want to know more of his life, I can recommend John Vose’s biography  The Lancashire Caruso – the Life of Tom Burke(1982).

Hannah Mitchell Foundation: the old band re-forms

Say what you like about the Hannah Mitchell Foundation, we always meet in good pubs. The HMF is the North’s very own think-tank dedicated to promoting elected regional government, named after socialist and suffragist, Hannah Mitchell. After last gathering in the Sowerby Bridge Station Refreshment Rooms, this time it was the turn of The Grove, in Leeds.  It was the first steering group meeting we’ve had for a while, but was well attended with a lively discussion. The main point of agreement was that not only should we continue in existence, but up our game a lot. We’re holding a conference (and AGM) on Saturday March 28th in Huddersfield (Brian Jackson Centre, handy for the station) and looking to revive the website. We discussed a possible name change, which will be debated at the AGM. More details soon.

Last days of The Erecting Shop

About 200 people gathered in the former Works’ Offices for a final farewell to what remains of Horwich Loco Works. Donning hard hats and hi-vis vests we were shown round the former Erecting Shop, which is due for demolition over the next few weeks. A ‘heritage core’ of the Works will remain.

Last days of the Erecting Shop before demolition starts

We didn’t get as far as the old Spring Smithy, the scene of my first job. Just as well, the thought of it still brings me out in a cold sweat. But some great people worked there and it was all part of my railway apprenticeship (which continues). I’ve a feature appearing in Steam World soon about my time at Horwich, with background on the history of the Works. It also features in my forthcoming novel The Works (see below).

Afoot across the Moorlands

January is a good time to get out onto th’moors. Shake away the cobwebs and all that. I’ve done three good walks since Christmas, mostly around Belmont and Holcombe. All were great, going well off the beaten track and discovering industrial remains and ruined farmhouses. The most interesting, and also the most challenging, was from Belmont via Lower Pasture Farm to Moorside and Owlshaw Clough. The OS map shows ‘track of former tramway’ which was bound to be a great attraction. The tramway went up to some mine workings which must have ceased operation well before the First World War.

Along Moorbottom Road

The shafts are clearly visible, and fenced off. This area is far removed from the neatly manicured areas around Rivington. It’s rough going, with some paths marked as public footpaths impossible to trace. Some parts of the route we took were completely water-logged and we had to turn back. But worth it all in the end. An easier route goes through Roddlesworth Woods past the remains of Hollinshead Hall, though it’s a nuisance having to do part of the walk along what is now quite a busy road. Another fine walk is from Holcome Village up Moorbottom Road, beneath Holcombe Hill. You can loop back through Reddisher Woods, which are lovely. From the old road you get fine views across South Lancashire, to Manchester, Rochdale and Oldham.

Cultural matters; curry

Lovely to see the Portico Library getting such prominent coverage in last week’s Observer. The work of several Northern writers were featured in the magazine – what they all had in common was being shortlisted for the Portico Prize (‘The North’s Booker’). Winners will announced at the awards evening in Manchester on January 23rd. Membership of the subscription library was one of my best investments of 2019. Must remember to pay up for 2020 when I’m in next week. Non-members are welcome and are able to take advantage of the lunches available from the kitchen. Entrance to the library is at the junction of Mosley Street and Charlotte Street.

We had a rare outing to Blackburn on Thursday to hear the BBC Philarmonic Orchestra perform a great programme of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Humperdinck. The King George’s Hall is a wonderful venue and was well filled. The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto was phenomenal, with some really impassioned playing by Aleksey Semenenko, conducted by Holly Mathieson. The Dvořak 8th Symphony was also well done though it’s not my top Dvořak favourite – I like his smaller pieces best. But I’m not complaining, honest. And he was of course an avoid steam enthusiast, a propos of nothing at all. Our next trip to Blackburn will be to see Aida on February 21st, one of my all-time Verdi favourites. It’s being performed by the Russian State Opera. Another bonus of going to Blackburn is the option of calling in at Anaz in Darwen on the way home. One of Lancashire’s best Indians I’d say with very friendly and welcoming staff.

Along The Cut to The Bank of England

Canal walks are easy and often full of interest. This one was no exception. We started from Droylsden, visiting the Fairfield Moravian Settlement, a fascinating place, very much unchanged for decades (which was the last time I visited). The Moravians also have a settlement in Pudsey but this seemed slightly larger. The Moravians sound a bit like the Quakers and Unitarians – not frightened of ‘business’ but having ethics and a sense of social responsibility. From there you can get on the Ashton Canal and head down into Manchester, via Clayton. It’s a classic post-industrial landscape, not without interest but hardly ‘pretty’. The Strawberry Duck pub looked worth a call but fading light prevented us on this occasion. As you get towards Ancoats you begin to see signs of regeneration – mills coming back to life as apartments and workspace. We came off close to the old ‘Bank of England’ pub, currently derelict and up for sale. It used to be a rough old boozer but you can imagine it rising from the ashes as an up-market hipster bar. And why not. From there we were able to hop on a tram and get back to Droylsden in comfort and speed.

Bolton nudges forward: we’re hiring

Phil has been busy panting the floor of the Platform Gallery in readiness for Spring exhibitions. Later in the year we’re hoping to repeat the popular ‘Railway Workers’ Art’ show. Our work with City of Sanctuary is moving forward after a very enjoyable walk round Entwistle Reservoir over the Christmas holidays, which attracted about 20 people including a couple of young Nigerian lads who’d never been on a train. We’re looking at ways of getting children involved, through a ‘Train Kids’ Club’, with appropriate supervision. Negotiations between the University of Bolton, Northern and Network Rail for a tripartite lease on the ‘community’ space seem to be moving ahead positively and work on the roof is steaming ahead. During May the Community Room will host some of the ‘Worktown 2020’, events organised by the University Arts Faculty.

Funding for the CRP’s paid officer is now all in place, with commitments from Northern, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast and Bolton at Home. We will be advertising the full-time job shortly using our new website The website will be up and running very soon but expressions of interest can be emailed to TransPennine Express has also been a very generous funder for the Gallery and Community Room.

All change for Northern? and insults fly over HS2

At the time of writing there’s much uncertainty about the future for Northern. The Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, has made announcements about announcements but it still isn’t clear what will happen. A difficult time for staff at all levels who’ve had to grapple with problems many of which were not of their making. Let’s see. What Northern needs is stability and long termism, which must involved continued investment – not least in infrastructure. The Deansgate Corridor is the key to sorting out reliability issues and there is no cheap solution. Ask any time-served rail professional and the answer is always the same: it has to be four-tracked from Deansgate to Piccadilly. We still don’t know what the Government has decided about HS2, which I regard as an un-needed vanity which will do the North few favours. Trans-Pennine electrification and gauge clearance, capacity improvements and more trains are what the North needs. That’s pretty much what Lord Tony Berkeley says in his ‘Dissenting Report’ on HS2. Good for him. Richard Leese’s snide comments about a ’peer who spends his time travelling from London to Cornwall’ are typical of the nastiness and ignorance of too many Labour politicians who claim to speak ‘for the North’. Richard, you were elected to represent your ward in Manchester, you don’t ‘represent’ anything more. And you don’t know much about railways (which Berkeley does).

New trains abound

It’s great fun travelling around the North-West at the moment, you can’t move for new trains. Northern’s diesel class 195s and electric 331s are common sights around the network and both are comfortable and speedy.

What we used to have..a Birmingham RC&W sets arrives in Bolton

I remain critical about the poor window visibility, something that train designers seem to care nothing about. Note: passengers do.  TransPennine’s various flashy new trains are even better and I particularly like the Hitachi 802s, which look stunning and are a very good ride. The push-me-pull-you Nova 3s with class 68 diesel traction are fun too. I have to reluctantly admit getting a real kick from hearing one of those on full power accelerating up Platting Bank out of Victoria.

What I’m reading

I’ve got several things on the go. John Nelson’s Losing Track (an insider’s story of Britain’s Railway Transformation from British Rail to the Present Day) makes for fascinating reading, both as autobiography and perhaps even more as a high-ranking insider’s story of the transition from state ownership to privatisation. It’s published by New Generation. Irish politics has a tendency to come back to haunt us. Although it’s very good news that the Stormont Parliament is coming back to life, the thorny question of ‘the Border’ won’t go away. Diarmaid Ferriter’s The Border is a very good history of how the Irish border came to be created – or imposed – and the different interests at work in either maintaining or removing it. Published by Profile Books. English regionalism is an issue on which few books have been written (a plug here for Socialism with a Northern Accent..) so Alex Niven’s New Model Island is a welcome addition. A very quirky book, and no harm in that. He argues for ‘egalitarian regionalism’ within England, in response to the near-certain breaking-away of Scotland and the creation of a united Ireland. Published by Repeater Books.Just through the letterbox this morning is Peter Macfadyen’s Flatpack Democracy 2.0 – power tools for reclaiming local politics. It goes very well with New Model Island and The Border, in an odd sort of way. It’s about looking for different solutions to politics in the UK. I’d advise all of the contenders for the Labour leadership to study it carefully,i s this is the way local politics is slowly, but inexorably. Moving – whether you’re in Farnworth, Horwich or Frome. It’s published by Eco-logic Books.

Publications here and in the offing: Back to ‘The Works’

I’ve alluded to my forthcoming novel in previous issues. The ‘squalid tale’ as one reader called it, is about life in Horwich Loco Works, the campaign to save it, and what might have happened if the workers had won. It was originally going to be called ‘The Works’ but I changed it to ‘Song for Horwich’. I’ve now changed it back to ‘The Works’. That’s the nice thing about publishing yourself, you can do what you want and don’t have to convince anyone else. The ‘Song for Horwich’ 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 £12.99 (Salvo readers will however get a discount). The new imprint will be called ‘Lancashire Loominary’, as previously warned and will have its own website ‘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.

My new book on the Settle-Carlisle line was published last Autumn (see below in ‘Salvo Publications List’).  It’s published by Wiltshire-based Crowood and is now available, price £24.

My extended essay – with the rather cumbersome title of ‘Walt Whitman and the Religion of Socialism in the North of England, 1885-1914’ – is complete. It will be part of a collection of Walt Whitman-related essays being edited by Kim Edwards-Keates at the University of Bolton. Hopefully it will be out sometime in 2020, to be published by Manchester University Press.

Crank Quiz:

This time it’s a picture quiz, and very topical. Thanks to Paul Abell for suggesting it. What has this locomotive got to do with the history of the Labour Party?


Salvo 273: The Annual Christmas Shed Code Quiz: it’s BACK (and gone again)

Many, many years ago in a far-away land east of the Pennines, an obscure revolutionary sect called TR&IN was in the habit of organising a ‘Christmas Party’ which was attended by down and outs, weirdos and misfits. One of its more outrageous activities was ‘the shed code quiz’. Not by any popular demand, nor even unpopular demand, The Salvo brings you an up-dated, non-compliant (with anything) SHED CODE QUIZ 2019.

To qualify for entry, participants are forbidden from consulting Ian Allan ABCs, Locomotive Shed Directories, or ‘WikiShedCodia’. No cheating! Our spies are everywhere….Oh, go on then (1960/1 edition).  The Questions….and the Answers!

  1. Which shed or sheds was ‘Two Sheds Jackson’ shed foreman of? Retford GC and GN 36E
  2. Which shed had the largest number of sub-sheds? Stratford 30A
  3. Which sub-shed of which main depot was flat? Pelton Level 52H
  4. Which shed was good if you had a headache? Newport (Pill) 86B
  5. Which sub-shed of which depot was well-defended? Moat Lane Junction 89A
  6. Which shed was especially environment-friendly? Lancaster Green Ayre 24J
  7. Which sub-shed was the end of the line? Southampton Terminus 71A
  8. Which shed was a good place to pop into for a pint? Bricklayer’s Arms 73B
  9. Which shed was noted for its flora and fauna? Bath Green Park 82F
  10. Which shed was always at its peak? Middleton Top 17C
  11. Which sub-shed of which depot was popular with ornithologists? Leighton Buzzard 1E
  12. Which shed should be adopted by The Woodland Trust? Sutton Oak 8G
  13. Which sub-shed did railwaymen go to for their holidays? Cromer Beach 32A
  14. Which sub-shed was the setting for ‘While Shepherd’s Watched Their Flocks by Night’? Sheep Pasture 17C
  15. What sub-shed was above 24D? Upper Bank 87D
  16. Which sheds mainly celebrate the marriage of two Northern gardeners? Rose Grove 24B and Hull Botanic Gardens 50C
  17. Which shed was noted for its river? Heaton Mersey9F
  18. Which river separated two sheds and how were they connected? North and South Blyth (River Blyth) chain ferry 52F
  19. Which shed was a good place for a quick nap? Kipps 65E
  20. To which shed did you have to show exaggerated respect? Devon’s Road (Bow) 1D

Well done Geoff Kerr of Littleborough. There are possible variants, have to admit!

Special Traffic Notices

  • Until February 23rd ‘Edward Tucker – The Unseen Artist’  Warrington Art Gallery
  • January 28th: Cheshire Best-Kept Station Awards, Hartford
  • February 3rd Bolton Station Community Development partnership AGM. 18.00 Community Room Platform 5
  • February 6th: Meeting of Irish Railway Record Society in Manchester, with Dick Fearn
  • March 19th: ‘The Enterprising Railway’ – open meeting of Rail Reform Group, 18.00 The Waldorf, Manchester (to be confirmed)
  • Saturday March 28th: Will The North Rise Again? Hannah Mitchell Foundation AGM and Conference, Huddersfield


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:


10 replies on “Northern Weekly Salvo 274”

On the LP loco – no idea. 2 wild stabs; it was a Taff Vale loco (the company that went to law on workers organization) or was it a loco once driven or fired by the fellow from Donny who moved the pioneer NUR resolution committing to set up the LRC / LP ?

Hi Paul
I very much share your views on the Labour Party contenders and would encourage you to register or rejoin the party so you can vote.

Blinking good (even though cannot agree start of new decade as that is 2021 in my book of pedants). Must away to Warrington before end of February to that exhibition. Many many thanks.

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