Friday, 16 August 2013

Writing - From where you're at - local history

NB After yesterday's performance in trying to create an app for Android I managed today! The link is below so you never need be without me!!!! blogging

I took the photo below while out driving yesterday.  The village of Birstall are obviously proud of their heritage and rightly so. The bottom line is a little blurred and actually says 'Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites'.

The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. The stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms introduced during the Industrial Revolution threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work.
Although the origin of the name Luddite is uncertain, a popular theory is that the movement was named after Ned Ludd, a youth who allegedly smashed two stocking frames in 1779, and whose name had become emblematic of machine destroyers.
Joseph Priestley

Birstall are justifiably proud of their world famous scientist. However he does share his surname with a fellow Yorkshireman, born in Bradford who is famous for a different reason. 
J B Priestley
John Priestly was born March 13, 1733 in Birstall Fieldhead, England. He was an English clergyman, political theorist, and physical scientist whose work contributed to advances in liberal political and religious thought and in experimental chemistry. He is best remembered for his contribution to the chemistry of gases.
John Boynton PriestleyOM (13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984), known as J. B. Priestley, was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. He published 26 novels, notably The Good Companions (1929), as well as numerous dramas such as An Inspector Calls (1946). His output included literary and social criticism.
'The Good Companions' was written in Deal in Kent in 1929 and explored the trials and tribulations of an amateur concert party operating between the two world wars. This has twice been made into a film but was also adapted into a stage musical in 1974 and I actually performed in this show about twenty years ago. I remember we struggled to obtain the above costumes so white suits with pompoms pinned on was the solution.
The atmosphere of the time was re-created by Priestley and came through in the dialogue and songs. It left the audience and performers with a warm fuzzy feeling underpinned by some disturbing social commentary.
God Bless