Full Council – July 2019

A special meeting celebrated the service and commitments of 9 retiring and retired Councillors by appointing them as Alderman and expecting them in turn to represent the city and city council at events – and more particularly do tours of The Council House.
The 9 have 199 years of service on the council between them.
I moved Glyn Jenkins, my fellow civic in 2017/18 (see comment below).

Fuller res photos are available.

A motion on LGBT rights and solidarity was agreed after amendment by Labour, who had consulted LGBT groups. The Clifton Independent leader declared he would oppose the amendment, but after a storming speech by new Councillor, Angharad Roberts, he backed down.

The first questions from the Clifton Independents saw confusion as –
– they tabled a question condemning special allowances for Councillors; in effect calling for them to receive the same allowance as the Leader and all Portfolio Holder and chairs of committees; (this differing from Ashfield Independents who have recently increased Special Responsibility Allowances);
– then they forgot to ask the question;
– when they did ask the question, they followed up by announcing they were giving their personal allowances away for local spending in Clifton East; different again from the question tabled; but omitted to ask a question, so the leader was not called to reply.
Beyond the confusion about the asking of the question, the proposal challenges one of the core values of any kind of a free society – that elected representatives are compensated for time and effort given, because it’s right and so that people of less then independent means can consider standing at all. Financial support for elected representatives was a principle first advocated by the Chartists around 200 years, and Nottingham was the only city to elect a Chartist MP.

Operatives’ Library No. 1

As the new hub of Nottingham College is being designed for the Narrowmarsh, I have claimed how this was a kind of “education coming home” as Sussex Street hosted the first Operatives’ Library in the city in the 19th Century in the Rancliffe Arms.
Screenshot (770) ab0537h Rancliffe Arms
It’s possible that my melodramatic claim for it being the first working class library in the world may not be sustainable.
Our Local Studies Library reports – “According to “The Operatives Libraries of Nottingham: A radical community’s own initiative” by Peter Hoare which has been my main source of information there were at least 12 operative libraries mainly based in public houses in working class areas. … Operative[s] libraries were formed partly to enable the working class to access books on political and religious matters that were not available through other types of libraries.
Please find attached a scan from Peter Hoare’s work. It would suggest that the first operative library was based in the Rancliffe Arms in Sussex Street and was founded in August 1835 by W. Brooksbank . The reference to John Blackner is interesting as we hold copies of his “History of Nottingham” from 1815 in the library.”

Note, planning permission has been granted for  a new highway linking Cliff Road and Canal Street at the site of Popham Court, Popham Street (16/00090/PFUL3).
The development will result in the construction of a new street that will need to be formally named by the Council. The road in question is unofficially referred to as ‘New Popham Street’ as it will be built to replace Popham Street ready for the development of the new college on the land that is currently being used as a temporary car park for the Broadmarsh. The construction of the new road is scheduled to be completed in April 2018.

The 175th anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills

August 1842 —
On The Thursday (18th), 2,000 resolved in the Market Square not to work until the terms of the Charter were met.
On The Tuesday (23rd), a rally of some 5,000 supporters met on Mapperley Hills Common (most probably the area just south of the GMB offices on Woodborough Road for a rally)..
At 3pm, as they ‘sat down for their dinner’, Dragoons brandishing swords (glittering in the bright sunshine) scattered the rally, arrested 400 and marched them into town. 50 were to end up being punished severely.
The actions of the authorities were mocked, a) by the mocking term of “Battle of Mapperley Hills” (cos the ‘battle was so one-sided – soldiers on horseback with weapons) and b) with a very long poem, published a month later.
(Photos of the poem are available – https://www.flickr.com/photos/154928849@N03/sets/72157687876247666)

I’ve made a 4 minute video (sorry, I didn’t appreciate until I got home how much I was grimacing cos I was concentrating on remembering what to say).

A previous video is a bit rough. With thanks to contributors to Wikipedia for the improved understanding and to the Local Studies Library on Angel Row.

The 173rd anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills

xx18420823 Battle of Mapperley Hills arti plaque b0713h

Three years now since my nephew and I made a second-take single shot video on an iPad to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills. See http://youtu.be/bDT6DO_9JmM
We did our best with the camera and the history (the sound is not great and the facts might not be entirely accurate either), but we are grateful to the anonymous people who’ve written what appears to be a much more credible, and fuller history of the day’s events, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mapperley_Hills
And let us take moment today to reflect on what organised working people were trying to achieve, and how they struggled and suffered for it.
xx18420823 Battle of Mapperley Hills article a1024h
Interesting that one commentator advises that the term “Battle” was meant originally, in essence mocking the language of the judges and magistrates who escalated the protestors actually posed.

Nottingham North talks Labour history

Nottingham North Labour party met to discuss labour history from two different periods.

Roy Lakey, party agent, chatted about the people he knew and helped having worked for the party from the sixties.
Of Edith Summerskill covering at a 1,000 strong rally for the expected lateness of George Brown, and of George Brown holding that audience for an hour and a half using speech notes of just two words – “they know”. Of the community politics of Labour Councillors in the sixties and seventies.
Of how Militant Tendency in the eighties ran as a party within a party.
Chris talked about various campaigns in the 19th century.
Of how the Chartists cut their teeth opposing rates rises proposed by local vicars. And how one of them spied for the Home Secretary.
Of Fergus O’Connor, his weaknesses and strengths – including founding the national newspaper the Northern Star.

A reminder of the extent and significance of the rebels and rebellions of Nottingham, that is to be the theme of the revised bid to the Heritage National Lottery – see http://www.nottinghampost.com/Reality-creeping-bid-castle-funds-revised/story-19925191-detail/story.html

The 171st anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills


Last year my nephew and I made a second-take single shot to the iPad to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the Battle of Mapperley Hills. See http://youtu.be/bDT6DO_9JmM
We did our best with the camera and the history, but we are grateful to the anonymous people who’ve written what appears to be a much more credible history of the day’s events, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mapperley_Hills
And let us take moment today to reflect on what organised working people were trying to achieve, and how they struggled and suffered for it.

Further reading :
Speech on radical history : http://www.labourblogs.com/public-blog/michaeledwards/31065/
169th anniversary : http://www.labourblogs.com/public-blog/michaeledwards/30023/
A wider history of Mapperley : http://www.labourblogs.com/public-blog/michaeledwards/28932/

A Case of History Repeating

So “A History of Britain” is being re-run on BBC. And “World at War” on Yesterday, which is of course, a re-run channel.
And it is good to be reminded of how much Britain was in to being part of Europe, whoops, the Roman Empire, cos of the wealth generated through trade. The Romans were everywhere of course, but not particularly interested in what is now Nottingham city centre.
The series skimped the last century, which I guess was the spec anyway, but what a shame they gave that bit of our story to Andrew Marr (made worse by giving him all of mankind next).
The World at War is terrific too but probably suffers most from being made before the full extent of Britain’s ability to read Germany’s communications was fully understood. But told a lot – so much so that The Battle of Britain only got one-third of one of the 26 episodes.
Important though. And the N Post paid tribute to a local Polish Spitfire pilot who died this week.
The longest serving British PoW has also died and yesterday, the Mirror paid tribute to the last of the Jarrow marchers. Kevin Maguire wrote

The authentic history of Britain isn’t the reign of King This and Queen That.
It is the history of protest and struggle for the right to vote, a job, a decent income, home, to join a trade union, free speech and a fair trial.

20130106-124525 PM.jpgThe latest Robin Hood movie by Ridley Scott echoed some of this. Richard the Lionheart doesn’t get the write-up he gets elsewhere, although his actual death was much more futile than shown in the movie. The movie works in protests about rights and tries to tie in with the Magna Carta.
Actual Nottingham – aka Banner Town – has certainly seen a lot of that.
Hopefully it’s a story we can work up as part of the lottery bid of Robin Hood and the Rebels, Nottingham Castle and the Rebellions.
I hope they make a sequel to the latest Robin Hood movie.
But if they don’t, there’s scope I’m sure for a TV mini-series about the rebellions of Nottingham. Cheese riots, Luddite campaigns, abandoned revolutions, burning down the Duke of Newcastle’s palace, chartist strikes, a Chartist MP et al.