Historian invites public to join him taking radical steps
Tuesday 22nd August 2017 11:09 Ashton Community Tameside Posted by Nigel P.

All quiet now, except perhaps for the sound of work being carried out completing the new Counil Offices. A hundred and fifty years ago though, it was a very different story as the Tamesiders rioted for bread and work.

Historian Michael Herbert will be telling the story of a number of episodes from Ashton-under-Lyne’s radical past in a history walk on Sunday 27th August.

The walk begins at 11.30am from the steps of the Ashton Town Hall on Market Square and will cost £8.

The walk and accompanying narrative provided by Michael will take in major radical episodes in the area’s history. Amongst the seminal events explored will be, The Lancashire cotton strike of August 1842 when Ashton millworkers marched into Manchester and The Chartist uprising of August 1848 in support of wider democracy and parliamentary reform.

The Bread Riot of March 1863 when mill workers, thrown out of work by the cotton blockade during the American Civil war, rioted.

The anti-Irish riot of May 1868 when the Irish quarter and St Anne’s church came under attack.

The life and times of Hannah Mitchell, suffragette and socialist, whose life story was recounted in her autobiography ‘The Hard Way Up’.

Michael said, “ Ashton was one of the wellsprings of the Industrial Revolution and had a radical working class movement in the C19th. In this walk I will be introducing people to a number of important episodes in that history. Many of those issues – precarious work, poverty and a great gap between rich and poor – are still with us today which is why Iam happy to support the Poor Side of Life with this walk”

Michael has been researching and writing about the radical history of Greater Manchester for many years. His latest book is Up Then Brave Women: Manchester’s Radical Women 1819-1918, was published 2012. He leads history walks on a wide variety of subjects under the title “Red Flag Walks” and also teaches history classes on Radical Women at the Working Class Movement Library, where he is a Trustee.

This will be a fundraising walk for The Poor Side of Life blog, written by Charlotte Hughes, which records the events at the weekly protest outside Ashton’s job centre at which support, advice and solidarity is offered to claimants.