The SHEARS INN
Inn at centre of the Luddite story marked by new plaque
On Saturday 11 April, 203 years on to the day from the attack on Rawfolds Mill at Liversedge, Spen Valley Civic Society unveiled a plaque at the Shears Inn marking the pubs role in the planning of the Luddite risings as described in the account by 19th C local journalist Frank Peel, who claimed to be drawing on authentic oral tradition.
Max Rathmell from the SVCS made the inauguration speech and the unveiling was carried out by pub landlord Paul Black. As Paul pointed out, the toilet block on which the plaque is placed was not in fact there in 1812. However, it is by the entrance where patrons of the pub and passers by can see it.
A bit of colour, not to mention eccentricity, was added to the proceedings by the Huddersfield Radical Re-enacmenters of the Fraid Not/Frayed Knot Society. Bro Alan Brooke struggled to lift the ceremonial ‘Enoch’, made to mark the 2012 Luddite Bicentenary, while Bro Ian Brooke had more the air of Captain Jack Sparrow than General Ned Ludd.
‘Collective Bargaining by Riot’ (trailer) THE FULL FILM IS SHOWING AT HOLMFIRTH FILM FESTIVAL on 18 May 2015.
‘Fraid Not (Frayed Knot)’ Re-living the Luddites
An account of the York event can be found on the York Alternative History website and at :
Luddite Martyrs Day, 12 April 2014
For a discussion of the politics of living history see: https://libcom.org/history/luddite-martyrs-day-anarchism-politics-re-enactment
Re-enactment of Huddersfield Anti-Poor Law Protests, Market Place, 6 April 2013
ROBIN AND ALAN O’t DALE
FIGHT THE TAX GATHERERS AND MONEY LENDERS
For a debate on the relevance of Luddism for today see this video of from the 2012 Luddite Bicentenary event in Huddersfield Town Hall, featuring Dave Douglass, former NUM, Theo Simon, anti-Nuclear activist and Paul Holmes of Kirklees UNISON.
And for a Luddite prank at the People’s History Museum in Manchester: