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: email@example.com
No. 271 November 23rd 2019
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
Sorry for the gap. This has mainly been caused by operational difficulties. Not leaves on the line but a nasty case of hacking.
Thanks to help from my technical advisor (Simon) everything is back in good order, with the exception of the ‘comments’ section of the website. If you want to make any comments on this issue, please send them by email under subject heading ‘Salvo 271’ but give the comments section a try just in case…
This issue covers a varied range of stuff. Did someone say something about a General Election? Can’t really avoid it, but there’s also some snippets about Lancashire authors, my forthcoming novel, Settle-Carlisle book and lots more. There should be another issue before Christmas so I’ll refrain from premature greetings.
We needed to have a General Election. The Parliamentary stasis couldn’t continue and the only way to break the Brexit logjam is to get a new government. Yet the prospect of a Johnson-led government fills me with dread, I have to say. Assiduous readers of the Salvo will remember the relatively optimistic forecast of Labour’s prospects in 2017. I find it hard to be as positive now, with the ‘remain’ vote fragmented and the Tories having marginalised the Brexit Party (or should I say, have become ‘The Brexit Party’). I’ve never been an admirer of Corbyn (still less the people he surrounds himself with) but the reality is, here in England, in most places Labour offers the best chance to defeat Johnson’s lot. Take my own constituency, Bolton West. It’s a Tory marginal. In 2017, the TSSA-sponsored Labour candidate, Julie Hilling, came close – but not close enough – to winning. The Liberal Democrats came a poor third. There’s a risk that some disillusioned Labour voters will switch to Lib Dem, or Green – and I understand their feelings. Sadly – and I hate to say it – the bigger the Lib Dem and Green vote in many places, the more chance there will be of letting the Tories back in.
I could, I suppose, stand on my principles and censure Labour for not bringing in PR when they had the opportunity, under Blair, and say they are the architects of their own misfortune. But we are where we are and it makes political sense to vote for the candidate best placed to defeat the Conservatives. So well done Plaid, Greens and Lib Dems for coming to an agreement for a ‘progressive alliance.’ But in most places up North, a vote for Labour, with all the misgivings about their useless performance on Brexit, is the best option. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but let’s look at their manifesto in the next issue. Compass (www.compassonline.org.uk) offers good advice on campaigning for a progressive alliance. Meanwhile, a quick note on ‘The Leaders” question time. All four performed reasonably well but the person who really shone, in my view, was Nicola Sturgeon.
Autumn at Barrow Bridge
It was wonderful to get away from Brexit, Trump and the election by a morning stroll up to Barrow Bridge (or ‘Barrowbridge’), on a fine cold Autumn morning. The route was ‘down the cobbles’ from the house, over Moss Bank Way and then up the woodland path off Temple Road to Smithills Hall. Then by Smithills Deane, in the footsteps of the Winter Hill rights of way campaigners of 1896, to Sheep House Farm, with commanding views across Bolton to Manchester and the Derbyshire Hills. Crystal clear apart from the low-lying city smog. One or two mill chimneys left – at nearby Barrow Bridge, Falcon Mill and not much else.
The fine Bee Hive Mills were destroyed a couple of weeks ago. A century ago Allen Clarke, writing in Moorlands and Memories, wrote of ‘the grand view’ from up here, despite the hundreds of mill chimneys which then covered the urban landscape below. I think he was more interested in the views looking up, to Winter Hill and Rivington. He also wrote of ‘the model village’ Barrow Bridge. It’s still a very pretty place and the mill cottages have been brought back to use after falling derelict when the mills closed in the 1860s (yes, that’s not a typo!). Walking down by the Deane Brook is a delight at any time of year, but particularly in Autumn, on a day like this. I took the ‘semi-official’ route back, by the side of Victoria Lake which brings you out in the woods near Smithills Croft. Another wooded path takes you up to Forest Road and across Moss Bank Way. There’s a further path through the woods and above the old quarry back to Harpers Lane. Lucky to live close to such a delightful walk.
Summat good fro’ Yorkshire
Over the last few months I’ve been working with Barnsley, Wakefield, Doncaster and the combined authorities for South and West Yorkshire on ideas for a new community rail partnership. The area roughly covers the former coalfield area and it made sense to call it ‘The Yorkshire Coalfields Community Rail Partnership’.
The CRP was formally established at a meeting in Barnsley last week. The key elements of the Action Plan comprise four main areas of work, based on implementing appropriate parts of the DfT Community Rail Development Strategy. The following are cross-cutting themes which relate to each of the four pillars:
- Promoting Access to Employment, Training and Education
- Making stations part of the communities they serve
- Promoting the town and city centres served by the local rail network
- Making ‘The Yorkshire Coalfields’ a unique and attractive visitor destination
- Promoting use of a customer-focused transport network, making best use of rail and bus
In addition, it is intended to go forward with some quick wins, including a leaflet promoting the network and the communities it serves. The routes which the CRP will cover, initially, are:
- (Leeds) – Castleford – Wakefield Kirkgate – Barnsley – Chapeltown – Sheffield
- (Leeds) – Wakefield Westgate – Moorthorpe – Sheffield
- (Leeds) Wakefield Kirkgate – Knottingley/Doncaster (via Askern)
- (Sheffield) – Moorthorpe – Sherburn-in-Elmet – (York)
- (Sheffield) – Rotherham – Swinton – Doncaster
Until funding is sourced to employ a development worker, the CRP will be resourced by Alan Hart of Barnsley Council, supported by his colleagues at Wakefield and Doncaster councils. It will work closely with the Penistone Line Partnership, which covers the section of route between Barnsley and Sheffield.
South Pennines Community Transport – breaking boundaries to connect communities
And while I’m in that part of the universe, it was good to pop in to the reception organised by South Pennines Community Transport, in Honley.
Not just in Honley, but in a brewery in Honley. I seem to be spending quite a bit of time in breweries recently, on both sides ‘o’thPennines. But anyroad. South Pennines CT is developing a number of new projects assisted by Hackney Community Transport. Yes, Hackney, down south. Actually HCT has grown to take in a remarkable range of services up and down the UK and even in the Channel Islands. South Pennines CT is operating a number of scheduled services, using its fleet of nine vehicles. Hopefully, SPCT will play an active role in the new Yorkshire Coalfield CRP; it isn’t just about trains. Nor for that matter buses – it’s all about people and communities.
More brewery references
The other brewery I’m developing a fond-ness for is nearer home, close to Blackrod station. It’s The Wayoh Brewery and is run by old school pal Steve Hyland.
The brewery is located on an industrial estate just beneath the M61 and next to the former Blackrod-Horwich branch line. Steve is trying to develop a ‘Horwich Loco Works’ theme and is currently displaying some of my Loco Works photos from the early 1980s. Next Wednesday, November 27th, he will be hosting a Lancashire Night, celebrating Lancashire Day, on th’basis that one follows t’other. Sid Calderbank, Mark Dowding, Jennifer Reid and Phonenix Nights choir will be entertaining and prato’ pie will be available. It’s on Lodge Bank Estate, and is about 6 minutes’ walk from Blackrod station. Starts at 7.00pm
Will The North Rise Again? (from current issue of ‘Chartist’ magazine)
It’s about Brexit but it’s more. What’s going to become of the North of England in the next ten years? Assuming that Brexit goes through in some shape or form, the economy of the North will take a big hit, and it’s unlikely to be short term. Some major companies have already said they’d up sticks and leave. Replacing those, and the jobs that will be lost, with thousands of new, dynamic SMEs seems a bit unlikely. A recent Guardian article by Aditya Chakrabortty (‘Salvaging the union will need imagination – and we’ve lost it’ October 17th) speculated on the destructive impact of Brexit on the integrity of the UK, particularly through Scottish independence. Other commentators have suggested that a united Ireland will become virtually inevitable, and Wales may well follow Scotland’s lead. The assumption that ‘England’ will soldier on, embattled, alone, increasingly right-wing and isolationist, hostile to its neighbours, is widely shared.
In much of the debate on Brexit and ‘the break-up of Britain’, it’s assumed automatically that ‘England’ will continue as a single entity, with perhaps a bit more devolution here and there to ‘city regions’. Real devolution, as shown by the response of the Tory Government to proposals for a ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution settlement, is not on the Tories’ agenda.
The North of England will be the biggest losers from Brexit, despite having largely voted ‘leave’ in 2016. The reasons for that leave vote were many and complex, not least a deep-rooted sense of abandonment by an ill-defined elite. The decline of the great traditional industries of the North, roughly coinciding with joining the EU, created a potent but often unconscious sense of grievance which lacked a clear focus. ‘Europe’ provided it, encouraged by the rhetoric and bigotry of the ‘leave’ campaign.
Across the North of England there is a tangible sense of ‘victimhood’. Whether it is lack of investment in transport, poor health care or the decline of once-great towns, it’s there. The perpetrators of this are sat somewhere ‘down south’, perhaps in the corridors of Whitehall and Westminster. ‘They’ don’t care about ‘us’.
Why doesn’t this find political expression, in the way that Scottish and Welsh grievances have coalesced into support for progressive nationalist parties? The Scottish historian (and passionate European) Chris Harvie once described English regionalism as “the dog that never barked”. Of course, ‘The North of England’ isn’t a nation, you could even argue whether it’s a ‘region’ or an amalgam of three separate regions (Yorkshire, The North-east and the North-West). Yorkshire, with perhaps the strongest identity of the three regions, has a young but growing ‘Yorkshire Party’ and has a handful of local councillors. In local elections it typically gets about a third of the vote, which isn’t bad. There is an equivalent in the North-East but nothing that aims to represent Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria. Perhaps there was a time that the Labour Party could claim to be ‘the voice of the North’ but that is becoming less and less the case.
The different parts of ‘The North’ have much in common with each other, notwithstanding the myth of Lancashire v Yorkshire antagonism.
And it is a myth, played out in country cricket and good-humoured banter, but not much else. At the time of the Scottish independence referendum, there was much traffic on social media about ‘the North’ joining with an independent Scotland. It got hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’, though it misses the point. ‘The North’ has much in common with the Scots, but joining an independent Scotland probably isn’t a sensible approach, even as a debating room topic. For one thing, it’s three times as big as Scotland, in population terms. But – for the long-term – the idea of a quasi-independent ‘North of England’ may not be quite as fanciful as it seems. Put aside the jokes (and the potential is massive) e.g. of cloth-capped soldiers on border patrols – there could be something in it.
In his Guardian piece, Chakrabortty quoted the work of Benedict Anderson who wrote in Imagined Communities that the nation “is an imagined community”. In other words, it is created, no ‘nation’ has always been there and many across Europe are quite new. Many have disappeared or become parts of different nations, willingly or unwillingly (often the latter).
Whilst nations often begin as works of imagination, taking decades and sometimes centuries to emerge as real, existing nations with a state apparatus, sometimes the process can be accelerated by external events, typically wars and revolutions but also major shifts within existing states. I would argue that the United Kingdom is going through just such a change, albeit a largely non-violent one (putting aside the legacy of the Troubles in Ireland).
A distinctly ‘Northern’ consciousness is taking shape which in years to come may find political expression in a party which could have similarities with civic nationalist parties within and beyond the UK. As the prospect of a Tory England which enshrines free market economics with a myopic, isolationist approach to the outside world becomes ever more possible, the alternative of a progressive and outward-looking federal Britain with the North of England working with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other English regions may become increasingly more attractive.
Bolton community rail moves forward.
The new Bolton and South Lancs Community Rail Partnership is now a full member of ACoRP and has won funding from Northern and Bolton at Home. It covers a network of routes
- Bolton to: Preston
- Bolton to Wigan
- Bolton to Bromley Cross (linking with Community Rail Lancashire, to Blackburn and Clitheroe)
- Bolton to Manchester (Victoria/Piccadilly)
The CRP is also a member of Bolton CVS and works closely with Community Rail Lancashire. The CRP has its public launch on Wednesday November 27th , which happens to be Lancashire Day. We will be joined by The Mayors of both Bolton and Horwich, who will unveil four panels of poetry relevant to Bolton and railways. Invited guests will enjoy a train ride from Manchester to Preston, with poetry and song along the way.
Meanwhile, the Platform Gallery at Bolton station is preparing for a new exhibition by Westhoughton artist Andy Smith. We hope to open most afternoons but please check opening times with gallery co-ordinator Julie on 07789 725753. We’re on the lookout for volunteers to assist; contact Julie if you’re interested. We have been helped enormously by financial support from TransPennine Express. Their generous grant will enable us to get some proper heating installed and create an even more welcoming environment!
The CRP has made some very positive new contacts recently including bus company Rotala and Bolton Wanderers FC Community Trust.
The CRP is already looking at a number of practical initiatives including a summer Sunday bus link to local attractions, and a series of four self-guided walks – ‘The Clock Tower Trails’, all starting from Bolton station and shadowing our four routes to Manchester, Preston, Wigan and Blackburn. Now our monthly ‘sanctuary’ walks have ended for winter, we’ve time to plan the detailed routes. Volunteer planners welcome! However, we will be doing a Christmas Walk on Saturday December 28th around Entwistle, with a Christmas meal included at The Strawbury Duck. Look out for further details.
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 Authors Gather over Prato’ Pie
The Lancashire Authors’ Association was formed in Rochdale in 1909. It was one of Allen Clarke’s ideas, to bring together Lancashire writers, many of whom wrote for his publications such as Northern Weekly and Teddy Ashton’s Christmas Annual. He was the first chairman, and made a bit of a hash of it. It was subsequently rescued by more organised members and developed as a network ‘for writers and lovers of Lancashire literature’. The association recently gathered in Rochdale once again, for an afternoon of music, poetry and history. The main presentation was one the remarkable life of Oldham suffragette, Annie Kenney, by Carol Talbot. Carol has just published an excellent biography of Annie, which was timed to coincide with the unveiling of a statue of Annie in Oldham town centre. Carol’s book is reviewed below. There was also some splendid readings by Sally and Ron Williams and singing by Alyson Brailsford and Sid Calderbank, whow as called on to improvise at the last minute, owing to the prato’ pie being delayed (driver shortage?).
The Lancashire Authors Association possesses a valuable library which has developed over the decades. Its future is currently subject to discussions with the University of Bolton who may be able to offer a more accessible home for it, if the membership agrees.
Red Rose flies in Bar’lick
A risky venture, flying the flag of Lancashire in the White Rose county! But in a display of Northern solidarity, the good people of Barnoldswick seemed relaxed about the red rose flying, just for one day, mind, outside the Bancroft Mill Engine House.
It was a gathering of Lancashire Society folk organised by that insatiable dialectician Sid Calderbank. The backdrop was the last working of the year by the remarkable steam-powered mill engine. He even persuaded Salvo to do a couple of renditions, unaccustomed though he is/was/might be.
Trams have featured quite a lot this Autumn. We had a very pleasant trip to Blackpool in October to ride on Bolton Corporation tram no. 66, followed by a visit to Heaton Park to enjoy a sunny Autumn day riding tye trams. It was the first day of operating after the disgusting vandal attack earlier in the year. Thanks to support from Metrolink and other companies the stolen wiring was replaced and trams were able to run, to the delight of young and old.
I went along to the launch of Tony Young’s book on Bolton trams, at Bolton Library. Making Metrolink ‘happen’ owes much to the work of Tony Young when he was at Greater Manchester PTE. It’s very fitting that Tony has written this excellent book (see ‘reviews’) and I look forward to his plans for extending Metrolink to Bolton (dream on – ed). Well OK, but I am the editor…Further trammery took place earlier this month with a talk by David Lloyd and Derek Shepherd at Bolton station’s community room. The absolutely fascinating talk covered the history of Bolton’s trams and the restoration of tram no. 66. The story would make a great film!
Settle-Carlisle book published
My new book on the Settle-Carlisle line has just been published (see below in ‘Salvo Publications List’). Seems to be going OK so far and next Friday I’m up in Garsdale for a book-signing at The Moorcock Inn. All Salvo readers very welcome, from about 12.45 until 15.00. The book is published by Wiltshire-based Crowood and is now available, price £24. Colin Speakman has enthused over the book but modesty precludes me from quoting him. Then again, Colin is the world’s most enthusiastic person.
Station Buffet Updates – Shedcode Snacks
Good to hear that Hellifield station buffet has reopened as ’24H’. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays and does a range of hot and cold food. The Salvo looks forward to more shed-coded buffets appearing soon.
A long-standing favourite is 56A (Wakefield Kirlgate, Taste Buds) which was visited recently. I opted for the Croque Monsieur instead of the more usual meat pie and peas, and was not disappointed. The coffee is also of a very high quality.
The despicable hacking of my website means that I have had no comments from readers, at least none that I can retrieve. Merdre! Apologies for those who suggested non-phonetic railway names (you can always email them!). As things stand, I currently can’t use the comments bit of the website but feel free to email suggestions for this Crank Quiz, viz., which tramways were owned by railway companies? Feel free to wax lyrical about their activities and ultimate demise.
Literary ramblings and reflections
I’ve mentioned Carol Talbot’s biography of Annie Kenney elsewhere. But Carol’s book deserves further mention. Working-class suffragette: The Life of Annie Kenney is a fine book about an interesting character who has been neglected by both labour and feminist historians. Maybe she was neither sufficiently ‘socialist’ nor ‘feminist’ to gain approval? The book is available price £9 on Amazon and from local booksellers, if there are any left, in the Oldham area.
Another working-class biography, in fact a whole series, makes up David Bell’s book, Reds, Rebels and Radicals published by Five Leaves Publications price £7.99. There are some familiar figures in this ‘hall of the unfamous’ in the East Midlands including Hannah Mitchell, ‘Inergordon Mutineer’ Len Wincott and resident beastly Bolsoverite Dennis Skinner. Others were unknown to me, including Alice Hawkins, ‘Leicester Suffragette’. I think the idea of having a series of ‘regional’ profiles of working class activists has much to recommend it, perhaps something that Nottingham-based Five Leaves should consider.
Also mentioned elsewhere in this Salvo is Tony Young’s Tramways in Bolton, co-authored with Derek Shepherd (we share the same barber, Pete, on Halliwell Road – an old tram route).Whatever you could conceivably want to know about trams in Bolton is there, but it isn’t just a book for the tram-crank. It’s a fascinating contribution to Bolton’s social history and should be in every child’s Christmas stocking. Published by the LRTA.
Readers will be aware that I do my bit to promote Big Issue North, which always has something in it to interest me, including recipes. It has launched a daring new venture called The New Issue. It’s a very attractively-designed and illustrated magazine, and will appear quarterly. The launch issue has a fascinating piece on Kellingley Colliery and the aftermath of closure, by Roger Ratcliffe. The accompanying photos by Mark Pinder are amazing. It also has pieces on fracking, Bauhaus architecture, community allotments and more. Well done editor Kevin Gopal, let’s hope it takes off. A year’s subscription costs £40 and won’t be available ‘on the streets’. So go to https://www.bigissuenorth.com/the-new-issue/ and subscribe.
Also recommended is Bolton Asian Migration vol. 2, a superb photographic huistory of Bolton’s Asian communities since the 1960s. One or two Savo photos, taken around Daubhill in 1969, are featured. Well done Ibrahim Kala for getting this done (pictured left). To obtain a copy, email me and I’ll forward it to the group.
Films as well!
Go and see Official Secrets if you haven’t already done so. It’s one of the best political thrillers I’ve seen for quite a while. Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You is also good but maybe not on a par with I, Daniel Blake. But a good reminder of why we need to change how we do things.
Song for Horwich: next Salvo production and a request
I’ve alluded, obliquely, to my forthcoming novel in previous issues. Sometimes with my publishing projects they can be delayed, or even cancelled altogether. Sounds familiar, eh? But not this time. My novel about life in Horwich Loco Works, the campaign to save it – and what might have happened afterwards, is nearly ready. 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 £12.99 (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.
Sibelius in Bolton
I have to confess never having been to a concert of Bolton Symphony Orchestra before last Saturday. I’ve really been missing out. The ‘Autumn Prom’ was held in the magnificently-restored Victoria Hall, the ancestral home of Bolton Methodism (so sadly no bar, but The Light is just across the road). The conductor was Ben Crick and the leader of the orchestra was Anita Levy. It was a good programme of favourites: Mendelssohn’s ‘Hebrides Overture’, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 2 and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. And it was the Sibelius which really soared. The soloist, Helen Brackley Jones, (who is also involved in Stockport Community Chopir) was really outstanding. The Finnish composer is one of my all-time favourites (alongside Elgar, Bax and Shostakovitch), I don’t know of anything that he’s written that isn’t beautiful. But that performance of the Violin Concerto would have convinced any doubters that Sibelius was one of the greatest 20th century composers.
Special Traffic Notices
- November 23rd: Open Day at Poppleton Nursery
- November 27 Lancashire Day and Night festivities – 7.00 Wayoh Brewery, Blackrod: music, poetry, pies
- November 29th Salvo book signing at The Moorcock, Garsdale. From 13.00
- December 7th: Christmas lights and market at Glossop station
- December 14th: Bolton Station Christmas Marke
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/