Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Guest Post: Wellingborough Diggers support Wigan Diggers

Saturday 8th September 2012 was the date set for the second Wigan Diggers’ Festival – and what a great event it was too.  Five of us from the Independent Socialists in Wellingborough attended the occasion for some moral support and to continue our fruitful partnership which was jelled in March when Wigan Diggers came to our Diggers Festival.

It wasn’t quite like the old school exchange trip, more like how many ISW’s can you fit in a Peugeot 207?  Due to Jacqui and Gudge having a tradition of eating a full English breakfast before any festival – we missed the opening parade and the minute silence for Gerrard Winstanley who passed away 10th September 1676  – but none-the-less we arrived in time for the beginning of the live music and more importantly whilst the kegs were still full of Gerrard Winstanley ale (re-named specifically for the festival by local Brewers, Allgates).   

The festival site was in The Wiend area, close to a couple of pubs and in front of the Wigan Life Centre North, which housed the local library and supported the festival by the inclusion of an exhibition and was also the venue for the Winstanley film showing.   Jacqui and Gudge were shown the location of the premises of Gerrard Winstanley house, but although it previously housed organisations such as the Citizen Advice Bureau and Victim Support, it was a sign of the times that the great building itself was boarded up.

Live music was diverse from local bands such as ‘John the Baptist and the 2nd Coming’ described as “Prog Krautrock”, but Gudge and Richard L suggested more Hawkwind without the light show, through to Brighton’s punk poet and singer songwriter Attila the Stockbroker.  Poet Michael Buchanan featured on both stage 1 and 2, who was previously a hit with the Wigan Diggers’ at our March event!  Jacqui and Paul were invited to present a speech which appeared to go down well with the cheers and laughs heard at the right times!  The key theme of the speech was about the Wellingborough Diggers’ but it was also necessary to identify where we were from as most people in attendance did not know of Wellingborough – is this a job for Wellingborough Council to start promoting the good of our town?  To conclude and to quote Tony Banks “I thoroughly enjoyed the day and was impressed by the quality of live music on offer.” 

We would like to thank Stephen, Clare, Damian and all on the Wigan Diggers’ organising committee for a great day and we look forward to welcoming you all again ‘down south’ in March 2013 for our third Wellingborough Diggers Festival on Saturday March 9th.

Jacqui Norton

For more information about the Diggers and Gerrard Winstanley see:


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