"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Friday, 19 October 2012

By the Grave of Robert Tressell I Knelt Down


Another in the loose series of Travels with Other Half*

The last week of our travels around Britain saw us visiting a few iconic Socialist sites plus a some other more random choices, perhaps.

It has been remarked that Other Half and I 'do weird things'. I don't really understand this [why change the habits of a life time] but leave others to judge. As I have said before, our places to visit have been idiosyncratic but I have discovered that saying in reply to the question 'what made you visit this place' when paying one's entrance fee 'I have wanted to come here since I was 14' makes one look like an awful geek to the rest of those waiting to pay. Plus there was not a button to push on the till for this answer and I had to choose something else.....

So, a few of the places we visited - in no particular order as they say!:

The place where I looked an awful geek was New Lanark, the mill village built in the 1790s by David Dale who eventually took into partnership Robert Owen, one of my socialist heroes. As Wikipedia puts it, New Lanark 'New Lanark became a successful business and an epitome of utopian socialism'. Quotes from Owen are placed all around the New Lanark 'site', one such placement is shown above.

I also became badly over excited at visiting Coalbrookedale and Ironbridge and getting steeped in the area that is often credited as the birth place of the Industrial Revolution. Spending a couple of days there meant that we really 'absorbed the atmosphere' although when I asked Other Half if he could hear the clogs clattering along the cobbled streets the look he gave me was quite enough......

If you remember that I taught Popular Culture as well as History and English, it will not be a surprise that we had a lovely afternoon indulging in a cream tea in the refreshment room [shown below] of Carnford Station in Lancashire, where the film 'Brief Encounter' was shot. I pretended I was Celia Johnson although Other Half refused to imitate Trevor Howard. I had my photograph taken under the clock and walked up and down the slopes that CJ and TH had run up and down so madly. Oh the excitement!

And of course on visiting Morecambe we took photos of the statue of the sadly missed Eric Morecambe one of which is shown below.

In the Lake District we visited two of the houses where Wordsworth has lived and we strolled along Hadrian's Wall in Cumbria. We visited the Lowry exhibition in Salford - brilliant- and the Tate in Liverpool. We said 'we are names and not numbers' in Portmeirion. Marvelled in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool and paid homage at Wigan Pier. We had a brilliant time and I have lots more to tell you all [I can see you all yawning and I forgive you]

But the most moving place and time, truly, was finding the grave of Robert Tressell, the author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists in the disused Walton Cemetery in Liverpool. Now a City Farm , I searched for the grave in the pouring rain, avoiding the cowpats and sheep doodoos! You can find the story of the grave here and if you think I look rather manic in the photo below please remember the pouring rain and the huge raincoat I am wearing! And yes I knelt down, once to clear the rain from the words to take a picture and once when I fell over in a cow pat!

1 comment:

  1. I have yet to read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist! Anyway, I almost feel inspired to knock a list of politically inspired places to visit.

    I did once visit Highgate Cemetary and saw Karl Marx's grave there, which is changed from when my father was pictured by it in the 1930s. I have to confess that my visit to Highgate was to see great uncle's, Spenser St.John, grave.