Tuesday, 10 October 2017




BITTERSWEET BREXIT: the future of food, farming, land and labour 
by Charlie Clutterbuck 

Monday 16 October at 2.00pm prompt 

Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD 

Unite Education and Pluto Press have combined to publish BITTERSWEET BREXIT: the future of food, farming, land and labour. Unite member Charlie Clutterbuck has written the book, which, with every part of the food chain set to be affected by the UK’s decision to exit the EU, seeks converts for a radical new vision for food and farming.

“Currently £3 billion in EU subsidies is gobbled up by the UK large landowners. They receive £100 for each acre they own even if they leave it unused. 

“This money needs switching to labour. Farmers, in combination with training agencies and agricultural workers, can then run highly skilled apprenticeship programmes in order to make farming and agriculture attractive to young people.

“We have an ageing farming workforce. Unless young people replace them then we face problems over food security as we import nearly half of our food. 

“The government has put forward a woefully misguided Post Brexit agricultural export drive plan. We should transform farming by concentrating on producing more food at home. Upping yields and product ranges will reduce the current $33 billion gap between exports and imports,” states Charlie, a soil scientist who has spent his whole working life in food and farming and who is an active member of Unite the union.  

Charlie will be joined at the book launch by Pam Warhurst, Co-Founder of the Incredible Network and Franny Joyce, Unite regional officer for food and farming in the NW. 

Refreshments available 

Free copies of BITTERSWEET BREXIT will be available for members of the press at the launch. If you’d appreciate an advance copy please get in touch. Chapter 1 can be downloaded at https://issuu.com/plutopress/docs/clutterbuck_issuu
Website to support book and which will be updated regularly from 16 October onwards. www.bittersweetbrexit.co.uk

For more details contact Mark Metcalf.  07392 852561 mcmetcalf@icloud.com @markmetcalf07 @clutterbuckcha1

Friday, 1 September 2017

Joseph Rayner Stephens plaque and memorial, Stalybridge

Taken from the Unite Rebel Road project at:- http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/education/rebelroad/

Joseph Rayner Stephens plaque and memorial, Stalybridge 

The Tameside Metropolitan Borough plaque to Stephens is sited on Stalybridge Town Hall frontage, Waterloo Road, Stalybridge.

Stephens was a radical reformer who lived between 1805 and 1879 and was involved in the Chartist movement and campaigned against the Poor Law and for factory reform. 

For more information go to:- 

Download for free: Life of Joseph Rayner Stephens, preacher and political orator, which was written by George Jacob Holyoake.  https://archive.org/details/lifeofjosephrayn00holyrich

The memorial to Stephens is located in Stamford Park, Stalybridge. 

It was unveiled in 1888 and was commissioned by local factory workers to commemorate the work Stephens had done in promoting fair wages and better working conditions.

More details at:- http://www.pmsa.org.uk/pmsa-database/4480/

Many thanks to Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd, for the photos that appear on this page 

The latest Fred Spiksley leaflet shows how good the book is rated

The plaque commemorating the Battle of Bexley Square, Salford in October 1931

Taken from the Unite Rebel Road project.


The Battle of Bexley Square, Salford in October 1931

This plaque is on a wall in Bexley Square in front of old Salford Town Hall. 

The 1920s and 30s was an era of mass unemployment. On 1 October 1931, 10,000 unemployed men and women marched to Salford Town Hall at Bexley Square. As campaigners tried to hand in a petition protesting against means-tested benefits and unemployment they were met with awful violence from the very men charged with protecting their liberty.


Take a look at the cinematic coverage at:-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA2ITFJsbfI 

One of those arrested on the day was Eddie Frow, who later established with his wife Ruth, the Working Class Movement Library http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/education/rebelroad/museums/#Working%20Class%20Movement%20Library

Please credit this photograph to Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd. 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Plaque commemorates first TUC held in June 1868

There is a plaque on the outside of the Mechanics' Institute, Princess Street, Manchester where the first Trade Union Congress was held from 2-6 June, 1868. Built in 1854 as a centre for working class, adult education it offered a wide range of evening classes in English grammar, writing, reading, music, arithmetic, Latin and other languages. It was also the birthplace of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and the Cooperative Insurance Society. The building, which is Grade II listed now houses the Mechanics Institute Trust and is part of the Peoples History Museum.

Photo taken by Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd.

Owls tamed 'team of all the talents' and went on to win cup