PAINTINGS & ENGRAVINGS
THE ORIGINAL CHADDERTON BANNER 1819
ORIGINAL MIDDLETON BANNER
The Middleton banner carried by Sam Bamford and his followers is the oldest political banner in the world.
It is about 40" square and made of silk (possibly even silk woven by Sam Bamford himslef?) It is double -sided with the inscriptions 'Liberty and Fraternity' on one side and 'Unity and Strength' on the other.
It was one of two banners taken to Manchester from Middleton on the day. In the melee it was torn down from the hustings and hidden and then smuggled back to Middleton despite the best efforts of the Yeomanry Cavalry to capture it. On arrival it was flown proudly from the window of the Suffield Arms Public House on Long Street.
In later years it was displayed in Middleton Library until it began to deteriorate and was taken for restoration and conservation. It is now held in the collection of Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale (normally in a secure, climate and light controlled environment) For the summer of 2019 it was displayed at Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale.
Two members of The Free Radical, Bob Ashworth and Martin Gittins were able to get up close to the banner when they visited the Touchstones storage facility in 2016. with members of Cheetham and Crumpsall heritage Society.
REPLICA MIDDLETON BANNER
Sometime after the original banner was removed from Middleton Library it was replaced with a replica which hangs there now. It is a faithful recreation of the green and gold banner which was so loved by the Irish of Newtown as the Middleton contingent passed by.
In 2009 when the first commemorative march from Middleton took place we were fortunate to be able to borrow the banner for the day. The photograph below shows Martin Gittins and Bob Ashworth arriving from Middleton and holding the banner by the red plaque on the free Trade Hall. Another photo, taken at the same time image even made its way onto the back cover of the book 'Return To Peterloo'.
ORIGINAL CHADDERTON BANNER
The location of the Chadderton Banner is unknown. It was made of green and white silk and was last known to be at the school in Healds Green in the 1920s.
It's about 3.5m long by 2.5m wide and it bore the words "Chadderton Political Union, United we stand, Divided we fall, No Corn Laws, Universal Suffrage, Vote by Ballot and Labour the Source of wealth".
On the reverse side was a pair of clasped hands.
A detailed article about the search for the banner appeared in the local press in August 2019
The Peterloo Tapestry was the creation of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group as their project to mark the anniversary of the massacre in 2016.
The idea was to bring together artifacts and objects from all around the Northwest and beyond to record what Peterloo means to people now and how it has been and should be remembered.
Although not strictly a tapestry at all, the name stuck. Since it was created - in a single day - it has had a few more items added to it and some of the original contributions have been made more secure to protect them.
In 2019 it had its first long term exhibition at Manchester Cathedral for several weeks in July. It is hoped that a permanent home can be found for the tapestry at some future date.
In 2018 members of a camera club were able to photograph the tapestry in sections and then difgitally stich the individual images together to create the Hi-resolution image below.
The cloth on which the tapestry was created was woven for the Campaign Group
at Styal Mill in Cheshire on a machine which was in use at the time of Peterloo.
The Tapestry was created on the floor of the main hall of the Friends'Meeting House on Mount Street. When it was complete it was carried in procession to Albert Square and displayed for the first time in front of the Town Hall
Transport House stands on the corner of Oldfield Road and Chapel Street in Salford. The regional headquarters of the TGWU stood here previously. In the windows of the ground floor can be found a series of images depicting scenes of struggle from recent history.
The images have been cut out in the shape of block capital letters forming the famous lines from Masque Of Anarchy 'Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you'
This tribute to the memory of Peterloo is easy to miss and very understated, but no less powerful for that.
This article appeared in the Manchester Evening news in January 2013
IMAGES of industrial strife and lines from a poem inspired by the Peterloo Massacre make a "public art statement" to a block of new apartments in Salford.
Local artist Liam Curtin was commissioned to carry out the work after local planners insisted on commemorating the building's trade union past when it was sold for residential development.
The building is No1 The Crescent, built on the site of the landmark Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) offices.
The distinctive curved building was sold off last year for residential development, but such was the local fury and passion at its loss - it was reportedly actor Christopher Ecclestone's favourite building - Salford city council stipulated it must include a public art installation that reflected trade union activity.
So the site now boasts 31 apartments, designed by architects MBLC for Irwell Valley Housing Association and Lovells Construction, and a hard-to-miss work by Curtin which features millions of computer generated coloured LED lights.
At ground level, 40cm high letters are suspended in a series of red blue, and green lights which fade in and out, casting dramatic effects day and night.
Each letter is a photograph of historical and contemporary examples of demonstration and unrest. And as they wrap around the distinctive curved frontage, the letters spell out lines taken from Percy Shelley's The Mask of Anarchy - written in 1819 in response to the Peterloo Massacre and a call for people to stand together against oppression.
The overall effect is show-stopping. Irwell Valley's project manager Helen Rawson said: "We wanted to create a building that is a striking catalyst for regeneration and high quality development in the area. I think we have managed to integrate art and architecture on a scale not seen before in a residential development."
FREE TRADE HALL, PETER ST.MANCHESTER. (Now radisson Hotel) M2 5GP
Prior to 2018 this was the only large-scale depiction of The Peterloo Massacre. Produced in 1951, it held pride of place on the mezzanine floor.
Artists have had difficulty in representing and memorialising the Peterloo massacre.*
When theFree Trade Hall was rebuilt in the aftermath of the Blitz,
a Peterloo mural was commissioned by the City Council but the resulting work
by Sherwood Edwards somehow managed to gloss over the state violence seen in 1819
whilst simultaneously being something of an artistic failure.
'A 1951 mural in the former Free Trade Hall (sold to the Radisson Hotel chain,
who have converted the building into a luxury hotel) still exists in an upstairs corridor,
but is, sadly, an 'airbrushed' version of reality showing washed out, blank banners,
protesters apparently fighting amongst themselves, and the cavalry coming to the rescue'
Paul Fitzgerald, Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group
*When the great Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown was commissioned to produce several frescoes for the Manchester Town Hall he wanted one of them to feature the scene at Peterloo. However, Manchester’s local councillors deemed the topic too fractious and vetoed the idea.
SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE PUB, BOOTLE STREET, MANCHESTER. M2 5GU
Following the success of an ‘anti-development’ lobby in Manchester, The Sir Ralph Abercrombie pub, with Mike Christodoulou at the helm underwent a makeover which will establish its Peterloo Credentials for all to see.
The pub was re-designed and decorated and a brand new mural depicting The Peterloo Massacre was installed.
Paul Fitzgerald - Chair of The Peterloo Memorial Campaign Group, worked with the landlord to provide the image. It is taken from the centre spread of the forthcoming graphic novel, currently being written by Paul and renowned Peterloo expert Doctor Robert Poole.
Paul said 'We hope this will be recognised as the first realistic and honest mural of the1819 massacre that's ever been seen'.
VICTORY OF PETERLOO - George Cruikshank. London 1821
Illustration in the newspaper 'A slap at slop', second edition. A monument in a black border inscribed Manchester August 16. 1819.
On a base bordered by skulls and flanked by shackles is an equestrian statue: one of the yeomanry slashes at prostrate figures, a woman and infant being conspicuous.
The base is decorated with a crown irradiated by daggers and bayonets. 2 August 1821.
One of the most recognisable and striking images produced in the immediate aftermath of
The Peterloo Massacre, this 'Cruikshank' engraving has since been used in many ways,
notably as the main feature of the Peterloo Tee-Shirt.
MASSACRE AT ST.PETER'S or BRITONS STRIKE HOME - George Cruikshank - London 1819
Mounted men, all fat, wearing yeomanry uniform, with the over-sleeves and steels of butchers, ride savagely over men, women, and children, slashing at them with blood-stained axes. Smoke, as from a battle, and bayoneted muskets, form a background, with houses in whose windows spectators are indicated. They have a Union flag with 'G R' and crown, and a fringed banner inscribed 'Loyal Manchester Yeomanry—"Be Bloody, bold & Resolute" "Spur your proud Horses & Ride hard in blood" .' On the saddle-cloths are the letters 'L M Y' above a skull and cross-bones surmounted by a crown. One man kicks a young woman who kneels beseechingly, clasping an infant, raising his axe to smite. The man behind him, his arm extended, shouts: "Down with 'em! Chop em down! my brave boys! give them no quarter, they wan't to take our Beef & Pudding from us!—& remember the more you Kill the less poor rates you'll have to pay so go it Lads show your Courage & your Loyalty!"
It took its inspiration from the popular song 'Britons, strike home’, a song which, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was acknowledged as a British national anthem on a par with‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘God save the queen.
Cruikshank did not hold strong political beliefs and was equally willing to produce anti-radical prints when asked.
For more information about George Cruikshank
Portrait of 'Orater' Henry Hunt, by the artist Tuke
In the week between the date originally scheduled for the meeting at Peter's Field, 9th Augsut, and the revised date of 16th August 1819 Henry Hunt - against his best wishes - resided at Smedley Cottage, the home of Joseph Johnson, who had invited him to Manchester to address the gathering.
In his book 'Passages in the Life of a Radical' Samuel Bamford gives this short account of a visit during that time.
Friday 13th August 1819 - 'In the afternoon I saw Mr Hunt, at the residence of Mr Johnson at Smedley. Tuke, the painter was amending Mr Hunt's portrait , which indeed it wanted'
This less than enthusiastic comment suggests that the portrait may not have been of great artistic merit and indeed that may be the reason it seems to have been lost without trace.
Despite extensive research, to date, no image of this portrait has been discovered. Indeed, the very artist, Tuke himself, has proved elusive and no biographical detail have been discovered.