This page will contain information about The Peterloo Memorial Campaign. The Peterloo Marches, 'Peterloo - Soldiers On The Rampage' and any other information relevant to the forthcoming bicentenary of The Peterloo Massacre in MANCHESTER 16.08.2019
A selection of short videos relating to the day of Peterloo and how it is commemorated
The Irish and Peterloo
In this Peterloo bicentenary year I am please to announce an event to be held at The Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester.
This free event will highlight the involvement of Manchester's Irish population with The Peterloo Massacre and also identify routes to discovering modern day descendants of those who were there.
There will be 2 speakers and a number of short video presentations.
Further details and booking information can be found here:
Please share across your networks and media contacts.
MEMORIAL DESIGN REVEALED
Turner Prize Winning artist Jeremy Deller has revealed his proposed design for a Peterloo Monument.
Jeremy has been liaising with The City Council and the Memorial Campaign Group for many months and all three parties have signed up to the R.I.P document as a basis for the design.
To read the R.I.P.document and Jeremy's statement and to see more images of the design click here.
The Memorial Campaign and Manchester City Council are both gathering reactions via questionnaires. Please go to both sites and complete both surveys. The Campaign Group's results will be made public after November 10th.
PETERLOO - A Film By Mike Leigh
The long-awaited World |Premiere of the newe film took place at Home on Wednesday October 17th, attended by a host of notable figures and a large contingent of members of The Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group.
Following the film we were invited to a Q&A session with Mike Leigh and Maxine Peake (a long time supporter of The Campaign)
The film went on general release on Friday 2nd November. Please make the effort to go and see it.
2018 Memorial Events
The Annual Peterloo Marches will be taking place this year on Sunday 19th August. Each march has a carefully planned route and is timed to cater for all levels of fitness.
These marches are self-stewarding and anyone taking part is asked to take great care when walking along busy roads, and particularly at junctions. CLICK ON THE LINK TO SEE THE ROUTES ALREADY PLANNED.
If there is no route already planned for a starting point you wish to use, please get in touch and discuss the options (which may include creating a new route, if time allows before the event.
N.B. There is no pressure to complete a full walk! There are regular pick-up and meeting points along all the routes to make it easy to select a stretch that you can manage.
Finally, if you aren't the walking type, or you are unable, due to health reasons, do not feel left out, simply get to Manchester by whatever means you can - skateboard, mobility scooter, bike, canal boat, whatever - just get there for the commemoration which takes place from 1pm on the forecourt of Manchester Central (formerly GMex - formerly Central Station)
Spanking new poster for the Trades Council main rally on Sunday 19th August, gather at Manchester Central, Windmill St for 1pm.
Visit their Event Page here
The PMC will be organizing the reading of the names at the start of the rally, and we're hoping to have an extra campaigning art 'treat' for y'all on site that day, PLUS-
We'll be holding our own smaller commemoration at one of the usual significant city centre sites at 1pm on Thurs 16th Aug.
STILL trying to nail down what we'll have happening at that 16th event, hoping for some very cool things, but 'negotiations' taking ages, so bear with us while we work it all out, and keep the date free!
The Peterloo Tapestry
The Peterloo Tapestry was created by members of the public. It began as our Commemoration Event in August 2016 and continued at a series of workshop events in the months that followed.
The cloth was specially woven for us by the museum at Styal Mill, on machines which were in use at the time of Peterloo.
People were invited to bring to the canvas anything which they felt was appropriate in relation to Peterloo. Whether it be images, words or artifacts,the team of helpers made sure everything was included in the final work.
Some contributions share emotions, in simple one-word statements; others are a reflection of the feelings of people towards Democracy and where we stand in the world nearly 200 years on from Peterloo
Now, thanks to the hard work of photographer, Wendy Turner, and her two, equally determined assistants we have a hi-resolution image of the entire banner. This will shortly be made available to view, complete with scroll and zoom facilities. It will also be printed at FULL SIZE onto durable, vinyl banners which we hope to make available for institutions and events so that people can get up close without risking damage to the actual tapestry.
Next year, the Tapestry will be going 'on tour' to a number of locations and events in the lead up to the 200th Anniversary. Full details as they emerge.
Peterloo Graphic Novel
A dramatic new Graphic Novel by Polyp, Poole and Schlunke will be published next year in time for the 200th anniversary of The Peterloo Massacre.
The novel will be unique in the way it is written, because every word will come from testimonies, witness statements, contemporary newspaper articles and even the reports sent to London by Government Spies !
Coupled with the most accurate depiction of the events ever produced this novel will set a new bench mark for students of the atrocities inflicted on unarmed citizens in Manchester on August 16th 1819.
YOU CAN HELP to make this a reality by subscribing to the Kickstarter fund here;
You will also find a short animated film about the ideas behind the novel and the people involved. By subscribing to the production of this book you will be following in the footsteps of earlier generations whose generous donations made possible the publishing of books which otherwise may never have seen the light of day
This Year's Commemoration
The Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group are always trying different ways to engage the people of Manchester and beyond with the annual commemoration of Peterloo.
There has been a mock-up of the proposed memorial designed by Cruikshank (see image above); The Peterloo Picnic; The Peterloo Tapestry and, last year, The Peterloo Names event.
In 2018 the event will be - in the words of Chairman Paul Fitzgerald ' a cracking, cheeky, region-wide, mass participation art event'
It will build on an idea which first emerged at last year's commemoration in St Peter's Square and will enable anybody - no matter where they may be - to become involved in a very real way.
Further details will be announced very soon on the Peterloo Memorial Campaign Facebook page.
It will come as no surprise that in the coming 18 months or so, there will be a large number of events, exhibitions, documentaries, films, music and books produced as we approach the bicentenary of Peterloo.
My own contribution to this canon of work will be a self-published volume entitled 'BEYOND PETERLOO'
It will take the form of a guide to the memorials, records and living tributes to those who died, including;
- sites of graves and monuments.
- permanent exhibitions.
- locations associated with the main characters involved in the events.
- links to further reading opportunities.
- where to find merchandise and memorabilia.
- information regarding events.
- links to websites.
The final scope of the book has still to be finalised, but it will be a substantial and, I hope, comprehensive gazeteer-cum-encyclopedia of all things related to Peterloo.
I intend to fund the production of the book using the traditional method of Patronage and I will shortly be publishing details on this website, of how prospective patrons can become involved.
Initially, however, if you wish to register your interest IN PRINCIPLE at this stage simply go to the comments section of the website and send me a message.
More details to follow - Martin Gittins.
The Peterloo Mural
The Sir Ralph Abercromby
When the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub was saved from demolition The landlord, Mike Christodoulou, was keen to create something special as part of the redecoration of the premises and to cement its links with The Peterloo Massacre.
He approached Paul Fitzgerald (Founder and Chair of the Memorial Campaign Group) who is also a graphic artist.
Paul is currently in the middle of creating a new graphic novel about Peterloo and he immediately offered to provided an 8' x 4' version of the centrespread to grace the walls of the Abercromby bar.
For the last few months Manchester residents have been fighting a rearguard action against plans for a new development in the area around the Sir Ralph Abercromby Pub in Manchester.
The Peterloo Marches 2017
Last year we achieved the best coverage
so far of towns on the ‘Spider Web' map
showing where groups of people
came from on August 16th 1819.
After last year’s events, we discussed at some length what the implications would be of even a twofold increase in the numbers taking part.
It soon became clear that there would be organisational problems in keeping larger numbers of people together as cohesive groups, whilst maintaining a steady pace along the designated routes.
Below is a small image of the new map we have produced. It shows , in a modern style, the places which appear on the 19080's 'Spider Web' map, opposite.
We have used the names of all those who died and some of the injured, as close as possible to where they came from.
To view a larger version, click on the image.
Despite the locality, in the Victorian heart of the city, initial planning permission was given for not one but two, enormous, glass towers which would have overshadowed the iconic Albert Square and the buildings nearby.
The pub itself would have been bulldozed out of existence.
Now this is a pub with historic connections to The Peterloo Massacre. Some apocryphal stories say that victims were treated there, with the bar serving as a makeshift operating table. Whether these stories are true or not, the fact remains that the pub itself was in existence on this site at the time of Peterloo.
Along with the boundary wall of the Friends' Meeting House on Mount Street they are the only two 'witnesses' to the massacre still in existence today.
The pressure of public opinion was, in this case successful and the design was altered, allowing the pub to remain and with the development significantly changed.
Now The Sir Ralph Abercromby, with Mike Christodoulou at the helm is undergoing a makeover which will establish its Peterloo Credentials for all to see.
The pub is being re-designed and decorated and a brand new mural depicting The Peterloo Massacre is to be installed.
Paul Fitzgerald - Chair of The Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group, has been working with the landlord to provide the image. It is taken from the centre spread of the forthcoming graphic novel, currently being written by Paul and renowned Peterloo expert Doctor Robert Poole. Paul said 'We hope this will be seen as the first realistic and honest mural of the1819 massacre that's ever been seen'.
We also hope that a space can be found for the new Peterloo Massacre Map to be featured, elsewhere in the pub.
To launch the new-look pub Mike will be throwing a party - with a buffet and a Prosecco toast - on the afternoon of Friday 17th November. There will be speeches and the unveiling of the mural, followed by a few songs from the Free Radicals - taken from their touring production 'Soldiers On the Rampage'
Copies of the Peterloo Map poster will be on sale, along with Peterloo Tee-shirts, Liberty Caps and other related items.
We also felt that, should the numbers increase significantly it would not be long (probably this year) before the police took an interest and perhaps insisted on official stewarding, health and safety measures, risk assessments etc.
Finally we came to the realisation that, although the populous of Greater Manchester in 1819 had little option but to walk to ‘town’ we had no such restriction.
Consequently, this year we will focus much more on the gathering in Manchester and we urge people to get there by whatever means they choose. You may wish to take this as an unofficial challenge to be original and inventive – however, there will be no prizes awarded!
In looking at early maps, including parish maps from around 1815 it is clear that many of the main roads we now take so much for granted as direct routes between locations did not exist 200 years ago. Maybe you would like to consider taking to the canal towpaths, or other, suitable less-trodden routes. Of course, if you want to keep to the routes provided in the past that is fine, but I will not be trying to co-ordinate groups as closely as in previous years. I am happy to receive calls from the volunteer group leaders, and will try to help anyone who wants to meet up to do so on time, but there will be a good deal less rigour to the proceedings this time round.
If people who took the helm last year would like to tell me their plans in the light of what is written here I am happy to act as a clearing house for information.
For full details of all the routes, timings etc. please visit the newly set-up Peterloo Marches 2017 EVENT page on Facebook.
The other major feature of this year’s commemoration is celebrating the names of those who were at Peterloo please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/501460163518990/ for full details.
The Stockport Windmill Project
We are excited to announce that The Free Radicals (Geoff, Bob and Martin) will be involved in a new project in Stockport, beginning this summer.
In the foyer of a new building on Edward Street, next to Stockport Town Hall, there is to be a Community Cafe, a sister establishment to the Start Right Cafe at Woodley Precinct. As well as refreshment for the body the cafe will be providing food for the soul in the form of community activities, wifi access, and a place to meet and exchange experience and expertise.
There will be a permanent, interactive display telling the story of The Stockport Windmill, which stood on the site and which was a focal point of the Radical Movement in the years leading up to and immediately after The Peterloo Massacre.
As well as helping to create the display, The Free Radicals will be performing 'Soldiers On The Rampage' in the new venue (time and precise details to be finalised.)
It is hoped that in future, further performances will be staged and we will be exploring the possibilities of working with schools, community groups and other interested parties to further spread the knowledge of the events of 1819 to a wider audience.
Further information about the excavation and archaeological examination of the windmill site can be found here
Peterloo - Soldiers On The Rampage
The Free Radicals, Geoff Higginbottom, Bob Ashworth and Martin Gittins are available to perform their ‘Peterloo – Soldiers On The Rampage’ at suitable venues.
Anyone wishing to book the group please make contact via this website by emailing for full details of fees and availability.
To buy a copy of this map on a poster or a Tee-shirt click here