It was a lovely weekend last weekend and we decided to go to the Tolpuddle Festival. (Sunday 16 July). Brilliant weather, masses of people, great bands good food (the Village Hall committee did a fantastic job – cakes, sandwiches, quiches, flans, salads (fund raising for the village hall) – and of course there were excellent food stalls in the fields themselves.
Perhaps you don’t know the story of Tolpuddle so I am quoting here “
Loveless and five fellow workers – his brother James, James Hammett, James Brine, Thomas Standfield and Thomas’s son John – were charged with having taken an illegal oath. But their real crime in the eyes of the establishment was to have formed a trade union to protest about their meagre pay of six shillings a week – the equivalent of 30p in today’s money and the third wage cut in as many years.
With the bloody French Revolution and the wrecking of the Swing Rebellion fresh in the minds of the British establishment, landowners were determined to stamp out any form of organised protests. So when the local squire and landowner, James Frampton, caught wind of a group of his workers forming a union, he sought to stamp it out.
Workers met either under the sycamore tree in the village or in the upper room of Thomas Standfield’s cottage. Members swore of an oath of secrecy – and it was this act that led to the men’s arrest and subsequent sentence of seven years’ transportation.
In prison, George Loveless scribbled some words: “We raise the watchword, liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!” This rallying call underlined the Martyrs’ determination and has since served to inspire generations of people to fight against injustice and oppression.
Transportation to Australia was brutal. Few ever returned from such a sentence as the harsh voyage and rigours of slavery took their toll.
After the sentence was pronounced, the working class rose up in support of the Martyrs. A massive demonstration marched through London and an 800,000-strong petition was delivered to Parliament protesting about their sentence.
After three years, during which the trade union movement sustained the Martyrs’ families by collecting voluntary donations, the government relented and the men returned home with free pardons and as heroes.
We spent about four hours wandering around the fields of people. So many Union Stands. singing, and then a long procession. And we met Jeremy Corbyn as he arrived . Nice low profile man. But made a brilliant speech at the end of the procession.
I think there is a lot that is relevant in the Tolpuddle rebellion. In those days an 800,000 petition was amazing. Perhaps there is a message somewhere in all this for us.
Gerry is over at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme running a stall (tools) which he does about once a month. The Boat Building Academy is a great place if you are serious about boat building but it also runs short courses – basic woodworking skills. If you are interested then the best thing is to look at their website which is very informative. Or at their blog. Lovely day for Gerry to be at the Cobb at Lyme – but I guess he won’t see a lot of it. Then later afternoon he is taking our granddaughter and friend to The Wetlands at Seaton- all to do with bats! If you haven’t been to The Wetlands at Seaton you are missing something in your life! So worth a visit. So nteresting but so peaceful.
Thursday 13 May 2017
Its Wednesday and I have a lot to do today. Some of it totally and utterly for myself – pedicure etc. Also a visit to the recycling centre (I am a total dejunker so three items to go) plus a visit to Lidls. But the pedicure, etc., was the most important as far as I am concerned.
Get everything together, allow myself lots of time, get in the car, turn the key – nothing. Battery, etc., fine. So leave the vehicle for 10 minutes and then turn key again – and again nothing. Gerry of course is not here – out buying tools.
Pulled myself together, and rescheduled. Cancelled pedicure but recycling, Lidls this afternoon when the other car is back. And long chat with garage as to whether the vehicle (we call the Fiat vehicle – it is a mobility vehicle) is economical to keep on the road.
But I feel sad about the lack of pedicure!
Antique Plumbers Tools
Just into stock: 13 Antique Plumbers Tools including Pipe Staving, Pipe Yarning Tools (Hollow, Side Cranked & solid Chisels) 6″ to 9″ long.
More for the collector – not sure if anyone would use them but if they want to the tools are in good condition. Emal us or fill in the form!
secondhandtools now has quite a quantity of spanners in their area at The Vintage Shed, Colyton. A.F., Metric and Whitworths. So if you have been looking for a particular spanner now is the time to check out what we have – and all reasonably priced. Don’t forget – very handy, free parking.
Gerry & I had a day off today (well it is Sunday and sunny) and we went to an Open Day at Gatcombe Farm just over a mile away. It was fantastic. Lovely sheltered farm. The state of the art machinery amazing. Huge tractors, milking machines (no humans involved), (the farm supplied milk for Davidstow Cheese and butter. etc., etc. Different feeds according to the cows needs – protein, energy giving. All the cows and calves had their own spacious ‘rooms’. A vet was there to tells us about the cows anatomy (I had no idea that cow had 4 stomachs). The farm was large, efficient, but very pleasant.
It sounds very mechanical but the cows, calves, ewes seemed very happy. (We also watched fleece cutting, hoof trimming).
The day was in aid of the Devon Free Wheelers are a team of 37 volunteer Emergency Vehicle drivers who are dedicated to providing a weekday out of hours service (17.00 – 06.00) and 24/7 weekend service supporting the NHS in delivering essential Blood, Samples, Medication and Donor Breast Milk to hospitals throughout Devon. To raise money and their profile. It was an Open Day, we didn’t have to spend a penny (we did make a donation to the Free Wheelers – one day we may be grateful for their help).
Yes a great day. Thank you to Gatcombe Farm and the Devon Freewheelers.