Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Archive for April, 2012

Kinder Trespass 80th celebration

Posted by wcmlibrary on April 27, 2012

  1. Share
    We’re reliving the Kinder Trespass via tweets. Respond with yr thoughts using #kinder80 and we’ll bring everything together on Storify
  2. We started to tweet about the mass trespass on 17 April, as on that day 80 years ago the organisers started to spread the word about the planned trespass the following Sunday…
  3. Share
    80yrs ago the British Workers’ Sports Federation call for a mass trespass of Kinder Scout and begin to plan #kinder80
  4. Share
    Today in 1832, members of the British Workers Sports Federation distribute leaflets encouraging trespass on following Sunday #kinder80
  5. … @northernvoices pointed out we’d got the date wrong by 100 years, prompting a quick check through all the scheduled tweets on tweetdeck!
  6. Share
    The BWSF decided to plan a mass trespass when gamekeepers stopped them & visitors from London rambling on Bleaklow at Easter #kinder80
  7. Share
    Benny Rothman was interviewed about the planned Trespass by Manchester Evening Chronicle who called it ‘Mob Law on the Moors’ #kinder80
  8. This prompted some reminiscences about the late, great Benny Rothman, one of the main organisers…
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    @wcmlibrary @SHOWNONAME I met the great Benny Rothman a few times. Working class hero
  10. Share
    @MancinSofia @wcmlibrary He was , we are indebted to him and his generation
  11. Share
    @SHOWNONAME @wcmlibrary good story about him when he worked at Ingersoll Rand in Wythenshawe, at a big meeting he got everyone singing…
  12. We wonder if he got everyone singing Ewan MacColl’s song ‘The Manchester Rambler’? The following lines perfectly sum up the feeling of working class ramblers at the time…
  13. Share
    ‘I may be a wage slave on Monday/ But I am a free man on Sunday’ ‘The Manchester Rambler’ by Ewan MacColl #kinder80
  14. Share
    MT @wcmlibrary ‘I may be a wage slave on Monday/ But I am a free man on Sunday’ #kinder80 > aw, my Grandma used to sing this to me!
  15. Share
    @kate_is_busy @wcmlibrary Oh yes, the late, great Ewan MacColl recorded a rousing version of #ManchesterRambler
  16. The main day arrived! We tweeted the following details about the day’s events approximately when they happened. We had some exact times from Benny’s own book The 1932 Kinder Trespass: A Personal View of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. Pop in and see our copy if you fancy reading it.
  17. Share
    Benny Rothman and Woolfie Winnick arrive in Hayfield to discuss mass trespass and possible routes to Kinder Scout #kinder80
  18. Share
    Today in 1932 the crowds are gathering in Hayfield preparing for mass trespass of Kinder Scout, so are Derbyshire police… #kinder80
  19. Share
    Today in 1932, mass trespassers assemble at Bowden Bridge quarry & are addressed by Benny Rothman #kinder80
  20. Share
    Trespass route: White Brow, then Nab Brow and William Clough footpath followed by a slow scramble up to top of Kinder Scout… #kinder80
  21. Share
    Gamekeepers try to stop ramblers, who push through their lines disregarding heavy sticks & disarming keepers #kinder80
  22. Share
    80 years ago today – Manchester trespassers stop for a tea break and are met by Sheffield contingent and Mancunian latecomers #kinder80
  23. Share
    Kinder Trespass a success, as the ramblers reach Ashop Head! #kinder80
  24. Share
  25. Share
    24 April 1932 Kinder Scout trespassers return to Hayfield in triumph but are met on Kinder Rd by police, who arrest 5 people #kinder80
  26. We tweeted about the aftermath on the following day, though these events occurred over the months after the trespass.
  27. Share
    On this day in 1932 Benny Rothman and 5 others charged with unlawful assembly, breach of peace, and GBH. On bail till 11 May #kinder80
  28. Share
    Benny Rothman defends himself at his trial on basis of right to roam, for 75 mins. We have the transcript in our archive! #kinder80
  29. Share
    Kinder Trespass jury on 21-22 June 1932 stuffed with landowners, 5 out of 6 defendants found guilty & sentenced to up to 6 months #kinder80
  30. Share
    Protests and trespasses continued during the Kinder Trespass trial & afterwards to keep up momentum of the movement #kinder80
  31. Share
    Kinder Trespass of 1932 resulted in widened access to countryside & eventually the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 #kinder80
  32. People on twitter recognised the significance of the event, and it clearly meant a lot to them personally.
  33. Share
    80 yrs today since the Kinder Trespass. Thanks to that act you can walk the #NidderdaleWay, and many others like it! #PateleyTIC #Kinder80
  34. Share
    @wcmlibrary i proposed to @pollymce on Kinder – YAY for mass trespass! #kinder80
  35. Share
    Wow- 80 years since the Kinder Scout trespass. We must never forget what we owe them #kinder80 #nationalparks #righttoroam
  36. Share
    #Kinder80 memories: “I used my first wage packet from the steelworks when I was 14 to buy a bike to get out here…”
  37. Share
    #Kinder80 memories: “The aristocracy wanted to keep us out, but they were only using the land for murdering animals.”
  38. Share
    RT @RamblersCymru: without #kinder80 we wouldn’t be celebrating the Big Welsh Coastal Walk
  39. Share
    Today is the 80th anniversary of the Kinder mass trespass. We owe those brave people a drink for what they gave us #kinder80
  40. Share
    Great to see some old friends at #Kinder80. The story of 1932 still seems relevant. But how to engage the next generation?
  41. As Ed Douglas noted, the story of ’32 was relevant, and there were signs that it still inspired people today…
  42. Share
    RT @FionaODonnellMP: Emotional gathering of MPs & Ramblers on College Green to remember #Kinder80. English coastal path is our Kinder. Let’s join up UK coastline
  43. Share
    In the spirit of #Kinder80 we’re currently writing and researching a blog post about walking on Ministry of Defence land.
  44. Share
    Is it just me that thinks that 80th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass is way more important than the queen’s jubilee? #kinder80
  45. Share
    67 MPs have signed the #Kinder80 parliamentary motion – has yours?
  46. Share
    The #kinder80 coverage for the #Ramblers was just awesome. Well done everyone for supporting this landmark event and tweeting about it
  47. Share
    @wcmlibrary really enjoyed the #kinder80 tweets from 1932
  48. Thank you @RamblersGB! And to everyone else who participated in our recreation of the mass trespass on Twitter.

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‘Spirit of 45’ – interview with Ken Loach after he films at the Working Class Movement Library

Posted by wcmlibrary on April 18, 2012

In the General Election campaign of 1945, Nye Bevan laid out his views on why the Labour Party (and by inference, the working classes) should win the election.  “We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, now we are the builders. We enter this campaign at this general election, not merely to get rid of the Tory majority. We want the complete political extinction of the Tory Party.”  The Labour Party won the election with a landslide,  and Bevan went on to create the National Health Service.

Ken Loach, filmmaker, is in the process of making a film about this era. “It’s about the spirit of 1945, the election and war victories, and what people thought they were building when they took over the public utilities, including the mines,railways and established the NHS.”  His film will not be just a soliloquy on the past, and how bad things are today. “It’s to celebrate the possibilities that people had in the 40s and to remember them.”

Ken Loach at WCML

Ken Loach at WCML

In the film he interviews two of the nurses who met Bevan when he inaugurated the NHS at Trafford General Hospital in the northwest on 5 July 1948.  Ironically this hospital has recently been taken over by another local trust, the Central Manchester Foundation Trust, but its Accident and Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit are now under threat. A campaign has been set up by local people to defend their local hospital services.

Campaign co-ordinator of Save Trafford General Jo Harding says: “We are concerned that local, thriving services such as our A&E and Intensive care units may be downgraded. Local people are telling the Trust that we want to keep our A&E services and we want reassurances that they will stay as local services.”

Ken Loach feels that the key principles of 1945 have been betrayed by successive politicians. “It began in the late 70s with Thatcher at the forefront of attacks on nationalised industries but carried on under New Labour. It is not politically correct to remember the times when we owned things collectively. Now people are taught to be competitive and not to work together as a team.”

He sees the election of George Galloway from the Respect Party last week  as an indicator of the public mood. “It shows the massive disrespect there is for the main political parties. The NHS did not happen without a party to promote it.”  He feels that if we are to reclaim the NHS, and other forms of common ownership, a new mass movement is needed. “We need people to come together, to stop the sectarian splits, stop the charismatic leaders and get together in a mass, democratic organisation.”

The remit of his 90 minute feature documentary is wide-ranging and he chose to do his research, and some of his filming, at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. The WCML was started by two Communists, Ruth and Eddie Frow, in the 1950s, when they joined together their love of each other and their book collection.

Over the years the Library has grown into a massive collection. The WCML Web site says “The Working Class Movement Library records over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. Our collection provides a rich insight into working people’s daily lives as well as their thoughts, hopes, fears and the roles they played in the significant events of their time.”

In 1987 it moved to Salford  and has been funded by Salford City Council, as well as individual friends, trade unions and groups in the labour movement.  It is run by Trustees, who employ 3 members of staff, and there are also many volunteers who provide an essential service in maintaining the collection and organising activities ranging from talks to theatre performances and exhibitions.

Michael Herbert, Trustee, says “The Working Class Movement Library  embodies the spirit of 1945. We are about common ownership, collectivity and people working together to keep the Library as a free and accessible resource for all people.”

At the moment they are also under threat as their funding from Salford Council is cut. “We are asking people to join us as friends, to get their trade union or community group to donate to the library so that we can continue to maintain a resource for our community to learn about our history and to encourage them to continue that history.”  Ken Loach agrees: “Our history is very important. It’s where our strength comes from and is not reflected in the mass media.  This  library  is a very important institution.”

Spirit of 45 is co-financed by the BFI Film Fund with Film4 and Channel 4; the film will be a collaboration between Fly Film Company and Sixteen Films, It will have a cinema release at the end of the year and will then be shown on Channel 4.

Working Class Movement Library – see

Save Trafford General  – see


Bernadette Hyland, Library volunteer

This is a longer version of a post originally on Bernadette’s Lipstick Socialist blog,

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