Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Mayor knocked over by an accelerating cheese

Posted by wcmlibrary on February 8, 2012

You couldn’t make it up.  According to a pamphlet I have just catalogued the mayor of Nottingham was trying desperately to intervene in the Nottingham Great Cheese riot  of 1766 when he was knocked over by an accelerating cheese.  This makes sense when you realise that cheeses were round and during the riot were ‘liberated’ by the rioters and rolled away as quickly as possible.  As the author, the entertainingly named Valentine Yarnspinner, says the tale catches the attention because it conjures up lovely slapstick images of politicians being publicly humiliated by foodstuffs.

The pamphlet Damn his charity, we’ll have the cheese for nought! is published by Loaf on a Stick Press, which isn’t some random name as I at first thought, but is named after the practice of walking around with a loaf of bread on a stick to signal the start of a food riot.

I love this job … you learn something entertaing almost every day.


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