Many thanks to all of you who supported our centenary, and a warm welcome to the many new members who have joined. Our month-long festival was more successful than we’d dared hope. All the events were full-house and each had a unique flavour of its own. The warmth of the atmosphere and the supportive nature of everyone who took part gives us both hope and inspiration.
In these days when politics are shaped more by business consultants and media gurus than by any sense of human idealism, we need more than ever a place where the red flag still flies and the dream of socialism lives on. It was tremendously heartening to find out that the rich legacy left to us by those early socialists and feminists is valued so highly and by so many.
A huge thank-you to everyone.
Topics this year have included ‘The Limits of Ethical Trading’, ‘Working with Refugees in Bolton’, ‘Education Education Education’, ‘The Politics of Food’, ‘The Darjeeling Railway in India’ and ‘The 60th Anniversary of Hiroshima’.
We don’t have a Red Friday in December.
Twice a month The Play Group meets to read plays out loud, discuss their content and generally enjoy ourselves. Plays over the last twelve months have included ’The Grapes of Wrath’, ’Hiawatha’, ’Vote’, ’A Taste of Honey’, ’Once a Catholic’, ’A Hundred Years in Worktown’, and ’A Christmas Carol’.
Over the next two meetings we will be reading ’The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller and everyone is welcome. Further information from Eileen Murphy (01204 409729)
Friday 11 November and Friday 25 November, both at 8pm.
The club now has a website: you are on it!
It’s been suggested that the club puts on monthly screenings of alternative films. We’re looking into it—so keep watching.
Committee meetings are open to all members and are held on the third Monday of every month.
Saturday 17 December Starts 8pm CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY
Open to all members and their guests
In October of this year the Socialist Club will have been in 16 Wood Street for 100 years. To celebrate the centenary we will be holding a month-long festival of events, including music, poetry, discussions, talks and of course a big party. Details out very soon.
Commemorative mugs, postcards, and a history of the club booklet are already on sale in the bar.
Membership subs for the current year are now due and can be renewed via the secretary or in
the club itself (£5 waged, £1.50 unwaged).
As always the club needs funds to survive. If you feel you can afford a regular donation via
standing order it will be enormously helpful. Please talk to Alison (652052).
featured on Granada Reports and in the local press. It was attended by over fifty people.
The group is open to anyone and meets on Friday evenings (8pm—10pm). We read plays, discuss their
content, and sometimes act them out. Great fun and a good way to exchange ideas.
Coming meetings nights are: 8 April, 22 April, 13 May, 20 May, 10 June, 24 June - All at 8pm
The Fair Trade campaign has been a huge success and ethical trading is now firmly established in the public
consciousness. But how far can it go and what happens when trans-national corporations start attempting to
jump on the band-wagon? LINDA SHAW has many years of direct experience in this field and explores some
of the difficulties and contradictions currently being encountered.
Next Ramble 10 April Please contact Brian on 653390 or the Club secretary, Paul Maurins, for details
Meet 10.30am at the Club
Led by Stuart. Everyone welcome.
Meet at the club 11am for a leisurely ride to Rivington in the company of socialists.
Bring food. Any bike. Any clothing.
Contact Denis/Wendy Pye 842869
contact Brian on 653390
Learn about the link between Bolton and America’s great poet.
Drink wine from the loving cup and listen to radical poems read in the open air.
ASK IN THE CLUB FOR DETAILS OF STARTING TIME AND PLACE
Education affects us all….parents, children, teachers…. and the issues are almost endless, from privatisation
to what our children learn and how they learn it. CHRIS CHILTON is a teacher at Harper Green and experiences
education at the sharp end.
A happy new year to all our members and supporters. Let us hope it sees the beginning of peace and justice in a world sorely in need of both.
The club itself has had another good year with further improvements to the building, including disabled access and toilet facilities. Many thanks to everyone for your support which enables this unique and invaluable building to continue as a resource centre for radical groups and campaigns of all kinds.
Membership subs are now due and can be renewed via the secretary or in the club itself.
8pm Monday 21 February - Clubs AGM
Paid up members only will be admitted. Membership can be renewed on the night between 7.30 and 8.00. The Financial Report will be displayed on the Club notice board between 7 Feb and 2.30pm 19 Feb. Between those same times a form will be displayed on the notice board for nominations for officers and committee members. Nominees must have been members for at least a year and have current membership. Proposers and seconders must also be up to date members.
Any resolutions must be handed to the secretary, Paul Maurins, by 2.30pm on the 19 Feb.
The Play Group was one of the major successes of last year. It is open to anyone and meets fortnightly on Friday evenings. We read plays, discuss their content, and sometimes even act them out!
Great fun and a great way to exchange ideas.
After a Christmas break it resumes again in the new year. Next five meetings nights are:
Fri 14 Jan, Fri 28 Jan, Fri 11 Feb, Fri 25 Feb Fri 11 Mar. All at 8pm
8pm Friday 21st Jan ‘A LIFE IN THE TRADE UNIONS’
BRIAN NORTHEY devoted virtually his entire working life to trade unionism - initially as
a shop steward and then for many years as a local official. Unlike many others he never
abandoned his roots, never ‘sold out’. Recently retired, he remains a fighter on the side of
the under-dog. In this talk he looks back over his years as an activist and the many campaigns
he has been involved in.
8 pm Friday 18th Feb ‘WORKING WITH REFUGEES IN BOLTON’
JOHN LORD is employed by Bolton Council to work with refugees from many parts of the
world who arrive in Bolton seeking a safe haven. He talks about his first-hand experience,
the problems that arise, and some of the stories of the people themselves.
8pm Friday 18th March ‘THE POLITICS OF FOOD’
ALAN BROWN has extensive experience of all aspects of food production - from the personal
to the global. There can be no more fundamental issue - one that affects us all on
many levels. A discussion not to be missed.
Please contact Brian Lever on 653390 or the Club secretary for details of rambles
We’re still here!
Thanks to a magnificent effort by all our members we’ve completed all the improvements to the building and on 1st Nov the magistrates renewed our licence for the next five years. We now have upgraded electrics, a fire alarm system, emergency lighting, fire doors fitted throughout the building, and a whole number of other improvements to bring us in line with modern health and safety requirements. All this amounted to around £10,000.
Back in May that seemed a massive amount of money for us to raise, but thanks to the generosity of members and supporters throughout the country we’ve managed to raise over 80% of it and finish the work within the timescale set us by the court.
Not there yet
To pay off debts and put us back on a stable footing we still need to raise around £1500, so fund raising will continue and we’ll still have to keep pestering you for donations for a little while longer. Donations have come in from organisations and individuals from places as far apart as Scotland and Southampton and have ranged from £1 to over £1000.
It’s tremendously heartening to know that the club is valued so highly and by so many people – many of whom have never even set foot in the building – and we would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has helped or donated in any way up to now. But more than anything the last few months have been a huge tribute to all our members who have worked unstintingly and in a whole variety of ways to pull the club through what has been a major crisis for us.
It’s thanks to your continuing commitment and solidarity that the oldest and one of the last remaining Socialist Clubs in the country is still here.
Club Ramblers: Sunday 24th November (details from Paul)
Book sale – political books of all kinds – Saturday 7th December - all proceeds to the refurbishment fund
Club Xmas Party: Saturday 21st December
Tony Coleman has died of cancer. He was a Club Committee member, a life-long socialist, and a supporter of the Club for many years. His warmth, his generosity, and gentle humour made him many friends and he will be sorely missed by all of us. We send our deepest sympathy to his family.
8pm Friday 26th April ‘TRADE UNIONS - THE INTERNATIONAL LINKS’
STERLING SMITH has worked for trade unions and workers organisations in many parts of the world, and his experience of their conditions and struggles is immense. A chance to hear about the day-to-day work in countries like India and the former Soviet Union.
8 pm Friday 17th May ‘BOLTON - A FAIRTRADE TOWN?’
With the campaign to establish Bolton as a Fairtrade Town well under way, STEVE HARROLD outlines what this involves and why it is an important issue for socialists to support.
8pm Friday 19th April VIDEO NIGHT
See yourself on TV - Videos of the Club’s last two fundraising evenings will be shown
2pm Saturday 1st June - Annual Walt Whitman Walk!
It’s now becoming an internationally famous event, graced by American professors. If you haven’t been on it before you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Come along and learn about the connection between Bolton and America’s great poet. Drink wine from the loving cup and listen to radical poems read in the open air.
ASK IN THE CLUB FOR DETAILS OF STARTING TIME AND PLACE
8pm Friday 21st June ‘BOUGHT AND SOLD’
NEIL DUFFIELD talks about the background to his play for the Octagon Youth Theatre about the effect of world trade rules and international debt on the world’s poor.
From the Treasurer
Our weekly commitment for electric, gas, water, ground rent, insurance, servicing of equipment, telephone and tv licence comes to over £80 a week.
If you would like to make a regular donation to help our finances it would be much appreciated. Contact the club's treasurer to make a donation.
Friday 15th Feb ‘LEVER PARK’
Lever Park has been a place of beauty and recreation for the people of Bolton for many decades.
In the year of its centenary JACKIE DAGNALL talks of the importance of keeping it open and defending it against unsuitable development. 8pm prompt
Monday 18th February - Club AGM
Currently paid up members only will be admitted - no renewals on the night. The club is open for
membership renewal on Friday nights and Saturday dinner times and on Mon 11th Feb (7-9pm).
Deadline for acceptance of resolutions and nominations for Officers and Committee is 2pm
Saturday 16th Feb. Nominations open on Monday 4th Feb.
Sunday 3rd March - Club Walk - meet at the club at 10.30am (postponed from last year)
‘In the footsteps of Luddites’ In April 1812 a crowd of impoverished Boltonians marched from Atherton to Westhoughton and burned down Westhoughton Mill, the symbol of their oppression.
In the aftermath, four people were hanged. Stuart Murray plans to celebrate the event by organising a walk which will follow in the footsteps of the demonstrators on that fateful day.
CONTACT STUART MURRAY ON 01204 417268
Saturday 9th March - Grand 40s Night - To raise funds for the Club refurbishment
GAMES - QUIZ - MUSIC - FOOD - RAFFLE - PRIZE FOR BEST 1940’S COSTUME !
Tickets £2 minimum - from Alison
Friday 15th March ‘HANNAH MITCHELL’
EILEEN MURPHY talks about Hannah Mitchell, a suffragette who once lived in Bolton.
She later became an anti-war activist and a Manchester City councillor. Her autobiography ‘The Hard Way Up’ is a classic. 8pm prompt
Friday 19 October ‘VICTIMS OF CRIME’
Many of us have been victims of crime of one sort or another. How do we respond to it?
How do we avoid the excesses of the tabloids? And how do we set about creating a justicesystem which reduces crime rather than increasing it? A speaker from VICTIMSUPPORT opens the discussion. 8pm prompt
Friday 2 November ‘WAR AND PEACE’
At the time of writing, bombs are falling on Afghanistan. What can we do to prevent the politics of militarism plunging the world into an escalating nightmare of racism and war? 8pm prompt
Friday 16 November SPEAKER AND SUBJECT TO BE ARRANGED
Due to ill health, Margaret Koppens has had to postpone her planned talk. We wish her well and a speedy recovery. Details of the evening to be posted in the club. 8pm prompt
Sunday 18th November - ‘In the footsteps of Luddites’ - Club walk
In April 1812 a crowd of desperate and impoverished Boltonians marched from Chowbent (Atherton) to Westhoughton and burned down Westhoughton Mill, the symbol of their oppression.
In the aftermath, four people were hanged - including a boy of twelve.
Last year Neil Duffield’s play, BOLTON RISING, commemorating the courage of those involved, was performed by the Octagon Youth Theatre.
Stuart Murray plans to celebrate the event further by organising a walk which will follow in the footsteps of the demonstrators on that fateful day.
DETAILS FROM THE CLUB, OR CONTACT STUART MURRAY ON 01204 417268
Saturday 1st December - POTATOE PIE SUPPER
To raise funds for the Club refurbishment - GAMES - QUIZ - FOOD - Admission £2 minimum donation
Friday 21st December - CHRISTMAS PARTY!
Escape the annual consummerist scramble and celebrate goodwill to all men (and women) with people who mean it. Socialist song sheets will be distrubuted free
ALL MEMBERS WELCOME
Refurbishment of the back room is continuing and will hopefully be completed in the not-too distant
future. It promises to be a very pleasant space.
As well as an extra meeting room (non-smoking) we plan to use it for Saturday dinners and as a socialist and trade union resource room.
Since our last newsletter we’ve installed metal gates on both front and rear entrances to the yard.
We’ve also barred accessible windows. It’s a sad state of affairs but necessary because of constant break-ins. Touch wood it seems to be working well.
Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the improvements.
Annual General Meeting. Monday 19th February 8pm
All currently paid-up members welcome.
Nominations for Officers and Comittee open 5 Feb and close 3pm 17 Feb
Resolutions to the AGM have the same timescale.
Proposers of resolutions/nominations must have been paid-up members for at least 12 months. Seconders for 6 months.
Doors will open at 7pm on the night of the AGM and renewals of membership will be takenuntil 8pm.
After 8pm only paid-up members will be admitted.
Friday 2 Feb ‘THOMAS PAINE’ 8pm prompt
A 90 minute video about the life of the great revolutionary. Born in England, central to
both the American War of Independence and the French Revolution, his book The Rights
of Man influenced millions. A much underrated figure in the history of socialism.
Friday 23 Feb ‘CAN WE HAVE A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM? ’ 8pm prompt
Paul Salveson continues the highly successful series on transport issues. Paul is one of Britain’s leading experts in this field. Not to be missed.
Monday 26 February BREWERY TRIP - ALL WELCOME
Friday 23 March ‘LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING’ 8pm prompt
Noel Spencer is chair of the Housing Committee. He faces up to critics of PFI and leads a discussion about the future of housing in Bolton.
Friday 27 April ‘SARAH REDDISH’ 8pm prompt
Denis Pye outlines the life of the famous feminist, socialist and co-operator. She was also one of the founders of Bolton Socialist Hall Ltd. A great woman!
Refurbishment of the Club is continuing well. Work has now started on the back downstairs room which we are planning to make into a second club space for members which will be non-smoking at all times.
Unfortunately we had another break-in recently, and damage was done to work only recently completed. But people are determined to press on and continue the process of regenerating the building as an invaluable resource for socialists throughout the whole of the region.
Help on the day-to-day running of the club is always needed. If any member feels he or she would like to contribute in whatever way - cleaning, cooking, bar work, whatever - please have a word with one of the committee members.
Friday 22nd Sept ‘TRANSPORT 2’ 8pm prompt
Stuart Murray leads a second discussion on public transport. The first one kicked off such a good discussion that everyone wanted a continuation. Don’t miss it!
Friday 20th Oct ‘THE REBEL COUNTESS’ 8pm prompt
Noel Spencer gives a talk on Countess Markovitch, who fought in the 1916 Rising in Dublin and was the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament (along with other Sinn Fein MP’s she refused to take her seat). Riveting stuff.
Friday 17th Nov ‘VIDEO OF CLUB BARBECUE’
If you were there come along and have a laugh, if you weren’t, see what you missed!
Friday 15th Dec ‘SOAPBOX NIGHT’
Tell a story. Make a speech. Recite a poem. Sing a song. Whatever you like in 5 minutes!
TRIP TO LIVERPOOL DOCKS
ALL WELCOME Enquiries to Brian 3rd December
The club is open every Friday evening and every Saturday afternoon.
Our survival depends on your active involvement
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
A Happy New Year to all members, and many thanks for your continued support. At the start of the new century the club is probably in a better state than at any time since its re-launch in 1984, and the future is looking extremely positive.
THE UGLY DUCKLING - Trip to the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
A Christmas show for all the family. Written by Neil Duffield. Directed by Eileen Murphy
SOME TIME IN DECEMBER See Brian Lever for details or watch out for notices in the club.
BOLTON SOCIALIST CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY
FAMED FOR FESTIVE FOOD AND MERRIMENT!
Saturday 18 December 1999 7.30pm
CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEWS YEARS EVE
The Club will be open both nights. If you’d like to bring in the millenium in the
company of other socialists contact Paul Maurins for details.