Thursday, 20 August 2015

Poets for Corbyn

Poets for Corbyn

Poems by Erin Belieu, Ian Birchall, Becky Cherriman, Natalie Chin, Josephine Corcoran, Alec Finlay, Iain Galbraith, Helen Ivory, Andy Jackson, Erik Kennedy, Marion McCready, Nicholas Murray, Pascale Petit, Tom Pickard, Ian Pindar, Michael Rosen, Michael Schmidt, Ernest Schonfield, Nick Telfer and Rory Waterman.

Version 1.0 published August 2015. Ebook, 39 pages ISBN: 978-0-9928034-5-2 FREE to download from here -

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists / United We Stand double bill

Townsend Productions are doing a six week residency at The Bussey Building, Peckham in London from the 5th October to the 13th November 2015. The double bill will comprise two of our most popular productions, the classic "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" and the recent "United We Stand" - the story of Des Warren, Ricky Tomlinson and the Shrewsbury Pickets. Using these plays we aim to raise themes of social injustice, the effects of austerity, working patterns and conditions, and tackle issues and raise awareness of specific subjects such as those highlighted by The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign and Blacklist Support Group. We have lots of post show discussion with talks from Christine Blower, Matt Wrack, Megan Dobney, Tom Watson & Dave smith (Black Listing Campaign).

Townsend Productions Present a Striking Double Bill at The Bussey Building, Peckham: 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' & 'United We Stand' - The story of Des Warren, Ricky Tomlinson & The Shrewsbury Pickets
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
A new two handed version adapted by Neil Gore from the Stephen Lowe play based on Robert Tressell’s classic book.
Townsend Productions present this classic story of a group of painter-decorators who are joined by artist Owen, whose spirited attacks on the dishonesty of Capitalism, along with his Socialist vision, highlight exploitation in the workplace and inequality in society. Relevant still, this tale is told with vigour and passion.
This hugely successful production is a gem of Edwardian humorous theatre with songs and music of the time directed by folk legend John Kirkpatrick
“A strong and robust show that brings the characters, humour and inspirational ideas of this great book to life. It is needed now more than ever.You’ll leave the theatre and join the struggle!” Ken Loach, Film Director.
**** ‘Tremendous’ TheTimes.
10/10‘Sensational’  Liverpool Echo.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists 5-31 October 7:30 £12 (£10) Mondays – all tickets £5
Online tickets: Information:T. 020 7732 5275 E: The CLF Art Cafe, Block A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST.

'United We Stand' - The story of Des Warren & Ricky Tomlinson & The Shrewsbury Pickets
By Neil Gore.The Story of Des Warren, Ricky Tomlinson and the Shrewsbury 24.
In 1972 tens of thousands of building workers won the first
national strike in the industry to end cash “lump” wages
and seek better pay and conditions.The tactic of using
‘flying pickets’ left the contractors reeling.The enraged
construction industry and Tory government sought revenge,
and this culminated in the arrest of 24 builders in North
Wales charged with offences that included conspiracy to intimidate and affray – the ‘Shrewsbury 24’ were put on trial the following year.
UNITED WE STAND focuses on the true and still very current events that led to the imprisonment of building workers Des Warren and Eric Tomlinson (Ricky Tomlinson of ‘The Royle Family’). It reflects the great tide of anger which rocked the very foundations of the established political elite; examines the extraordinary political will of all the participants; and shares the anguish of falling prey to a flagrant miscarriage of justice.

It combines Townsend Productions’ trademark small-cast, grand theatrical wit with popular and political songs of the early seventies directed by celebrated folk-singer John Kirkpatrick.
“William Fox as Des was outstanding and Neil Gore made a fantastic job playing ‘young’ Ricky” –RickyTomlinson
‘A striking piece of work’ The Observer
★★★★★ ‘Exellent' The Morning Star
★★★★ ' Passionatele delivered' The Liverpool Echo
United We Stand 2-14 November 7:30 £12 (£10) Mondays – all tickets £5
Online tickets: Information:T. 020 7732 5275 E: The CLF Art Cafe, Block A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Commemorating Alfred Linnell - Saturday 5 September

From Manchester to Tolpuddle the martyrs of our movement have been humble people. They neither sought the limelight nor found it. They were unknown except to a close circle of friends and family. They became famous not because of their ambitions nor their vanity, but because of their deaths.
Such was a man called Alfred Linnell. No one knows very much about him. He earned a pittance by copying out legal documents. On 21 November 1887 he went down to Trafalgar Square to join the fighters for free speech in the week after Bloody Sunday, when a great demonstration had been broken up by police truncheons.
While he was standing, unarmed, and unsuspecting, by the side of the crowd, a posse of police, who had orders to keep Trafalgar Square free of demonstrators “by whatever force was necessary”, charged straight into him, breaking his neck with the horses’ hooves.
The police openly despised the people they were charging. They saw them, as the Times leader put it on the day after Bloody Sunday, as “all that is weakest, most worthless and most vicious in the slums of a great city”. These were the “sweepings”, which deserved only to be swept.
But the poor of London flocked to commemorate Alfred Linnell. Tens of thousands of socialists, Irish republicans, radicals, feminists and working people of no party and no persuasion joined in what Edward Thompson described as “the greatest united demonstration which London had seen”. The streets were lined all the way to Bow cemetery with crowds of sympathetic onlookers. The few rather shamefaced policeman who dared to appear were greeted with cries of: “That’s your work”. Very, very few of that crowd knew Alfred Linnell. Yet they hailed him, in the words of William Morris at Linnell’s funeral, as “our brother and our friend”.
He was a representative of the tens of thousands who had nothing, and when they took to the streets to demand something were ridden down and battered by the forces of law and order.
Paul Foot, 1979

Labour Heritage & Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park invite you to:

A Commemoration of Alfred Linnell 1846-1887 

On:  Saturday 5 September 2015, 3pm – 5pm
 Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, London E3 4PX
(nearest Underground: Mile End / Bow Road)

Labour Heritage commissioned a slate in honour of Alfred Linnell for the centenary at the TUC of Bloody Sunday in November 1987. Working jointly with FoTHCP we have now erected a stone near the site of Linnell’s grave embedded with the slate and an inscription:

On Sunday 13 November 1887, ten thousand people
marched peacefully towards Trafalgar Square,
protesting against repression in Ireland and unemployment.
Police and troops beat them with truncheons. A week after
‘Bloody Sunday’ Alfred Linnell joined the gathering in
Trafalgar Square to protest against the authorities’ violence.
He was knocked down by a police horse and died on 2nd December.
 Not one, nor thousands must they slay
But one and all if they would dusk the day.
William Morris

Meet  at the Soanes Centre, on the right as you enter via the main gates in Southern Grove, E3, in order to walk to the Memorial Stone.
Stan Newens & John Grigg, who have researched Linnell’s life, will give short talks.
Tea and refreshments will be provided by FoTHCP, followed by a tour of this historic Victorian Cemetery set in beautiful woodland, a site of nature conservation     
   Contact Linda for further details on:
shampan@btinternet or 0208 932 0165

Thursday, 25 June 2015

SHS meeting - Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men

Socialist History Society Public Meeting
Date: Saturday 18th July 2.00pm
Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men: An Overview of the Revolutionary and Radical Sects in the 1640-60 Era
Speaker: Professor Bernard Capp, University of Warwick
The speaker is author of numerous works on 17th century social, political and cultural history including The Fifth Monarchy Men (1972); Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs 1500-1800 (1979), Cromwell's Navy: The Fleet and the English Revolution (1989) and When Gossips Meet: Women, the Family and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England (2003 )
Professor Capp is a fellow of the British Academy.
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green
Attendance is free of charge.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

John Lilburne and the Struggle for Democracy

John Lilburne and the Struggle for Democracy

Wednesday 24 June. 7pm

Talk by John Rees (Levellers Association) on the development of ideas for democracy to commemorate the 400th anniversary of ‘Free borne’ John Lilburne, a leader of the Levellers in the English Civil War and Revolution.

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, Croydon, CR0 1BD, not far from Fairfield Halls.

This talk is free but £2 donation requested towards costs.