Sunday, April 29, 2007

Derby Silk Workers Procession

This Saturday I had a grand day out in Derby. I went to the Silk Mill Procession which is
a trade union commemoration of the struggle of the Derby Silk Mill workers of 1834.
At 10.30am in Derby’s Market Place, join the traditional silver band led procession with your banners, or with your family and friends, in recognition of the long
and radical history of Derby workers. At the end of the procession at the Silk Mill
gates rally, a chaplet will be laid at the plaque commemorating the 1834 struggle, and there will be trade union and labour movement speakers and lusty renditions of 'The Red Flag' and 'The Internationale'.
Here's the start of the march.

Start of Derby Silk Workers Procession 28 April 2007
The sun shone as we marched to the Silk Museum.

Speeches at Derby Silk Workers Procession 28 April 2007
We passed various traction and steam engines. We listened to a cracking speech from the local PCS rep arguing for the retention of tax offices, and tax jobs, in Derby and against the proposed move to Nottingham (sorry but I couldn't find a link). We listened to Margaret Beckett, and a heckler. We heard a passionate speech from Graham Stevenson arguing that "if socialism is not the answer then there is no answer" to the world's problems. Indeed.

We then had a brass band play the Red Flag, then the Internationale. Then a steam organ started up playing Rule Britannia. Was this deliberate? Who knows?

And so to the Silk Mill pub for a talk by Graham Stevenson on Derby working class history.

Mural on wall of Silk Mill pub Derby Silk Workers Procession 28 April 2007
A bit of history over a pint of real ale. What more could you want?

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