Dave's blog. Updates from Dave Carter, Head of MDDA.

Peterloo anniversary this Sunday – August 16th

This Sunday marks the 190th anniversary of Peterloo, an event that played a pivotal role in not only Manchester’s history but also the history of the struggle for human rights generally. For years many of us have campaigned for there to be a proper commemoration of the events that took place around (what is now) St. Peter’s Square on August 16th 1819 and finally it seems that there is a big groundswell of interest and activity. A number of websites have included the following information, but please note that the Trades Council says that they are not involved in organising the 11am event and it is unlikely to take place. If you want to do a tour then there are a couple over the weekend, see the excellent Jonathan Schofield’s piece on Manchester Confidential:

Guided walk by Jonathan Schofield and Sibby
Saturday 15 August, 3pm, Sunday 16 August, 3pm
Walk in the footsteps of the protesters on the blackest day in Manchester’s history. Meet at Manchester Visitor Information Centre in St Peter’s Square. The tours last 1.5-2 hours and cost £6 per person. To book for Saturday 15 August, call Jonathan Schofield on 07876235638 or click here to email. To book for Sunday 16, contact Sibby at info@newmanchesterwalks.com. For more information visit newmanchesterwalks.


Otherwise this is what is generally ‘out there’ on the web (but please take the ‘health warning’ about the 11am event listed). Otherwise hope to see some of you there at 1pm.

11am Peterloo historical guided walk by Paul Mason (BBC Newsnight correspondent, acting in a personal capacity. Paul has a long standing interest in the massacre.) Organized by Manchester Trade Council. The walk will finish at the site of the massacre in time for the main commemoration…

1pm main commemoration- Manchester campaigners will be met on the steps of G Mex by delegates marching in from Oldham and Middleton. (Following the original marching routes from 1819) Replica Peterloo banners kindly lent to the campaign by PROCESSION artist Jeremy Deller (one carried in from Oldham), will then be raised, along with 20 replica ‘liberty caps’ on poles. The red and gold liberty cap is an ancient symbol of political freedom dating back to ancient Greece, and has been used as an icon of freedom by many movements, including the French and American revolutions.

Liberty caps raised on wooden poles were a crucial icon during the 1819 protest, and were ruthlessly targeted with sabres by the yeomanry, resulting in many of the injuries.


An extract from Shelley’s 1819 ‘Peterloo’ poem, ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ will be read, along with the names of those who died.

Guests will include Tony Lloyd MP, and Manchester City Councilors.

3pm to 5pm ‘REUNION’ at Cornerhouse art gallery, Oxford Rd. As part of the ‘PROCESSION’ exhibition, Cornerhouse are inviting all those with “a connection to any of these events” to “join us at this special informal event to meet others and share your stories.” See-


7pm Music Event- ‘Hear and Now’. Singer songwriter Claire Mooney and guests perform at Briton’s Protection Pub to commemorate Peterloo and contemporary political struggles, organized by Manchester Trades Union Council. £3 / £1

8pm Music and poetry event‘ PETERLOO – SOLDIERS ON THE RAMPAGE’ will be presented for the first time on Sunday 16th August at The Angel Pub, Angel Street, Manchester. Tickets £5. Details- Martin Gittins 07760 430 577 email- http://uk.mc273.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=mgittins@ntlworld.com.

UNTIL 26th SEPT 2009 A month long exhibition commemorating Peterloo at the Central Library in Manchester- first floor. Includes period and modern items, including the mugs and liberty caps created by the campaign. Curated by Terry Wyke and Stephen Yates, opening hours Monday – Thursday 9am – 8pm and Friday and Saturday 9 – 5pm.

Posted on: August 13, 2009.