If you’ve been before you’ll know it’s a reet good do. If you’ve not, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.
This year’s Diggers’ Festival was undoubtedly our biggest and best yet, if the feedback from the organisers, and those who attended is anything to go by. While it is difficult to estimate the exact numbers who came along during the course of the day, the crowd was at least 50% larger than last year’s, and surely in the region of 3,000 or more. Some even suggest a much higher figure.
Whatever the figure, the main thing was, a great time was had by all, and our aim of raising greater public awareness of Gerrard Winstanley and his ideas, and those of his Digger followers, by means of an annual celebration in his hometown, was once again successfully fulfilled.
Here are some fantastic photos by Al Balmer which capture some the day’s activities. Well done to everyone involved. Onwards to 2015.
Come join us at the Dog & Partridge in Bolton on Saturday 29th June for a FREE all day fun packed music and poetry event to promote the forthcoming (3rd) Diggers’ Festival on 7th September 2013 in Wigan town centre.
The Wigan Festival, which attracted a crowd of around 2,000 last year, celebrates the radical 17th Century “Diggers” movement, whose inspirational spokesperson and theorist Gerrard Winstanley was born and bred in the town, and whose vision of the Earth as “a common treasury for all”, organisers say: “…is still very much relevant to this day.”
The event will feature an array of North West poetic and musical talent including:
PAPER TOWN – HAPPY YAKS – MERCHANDISE
LAURA TAYLOR – BOB KETTLE – CLASS ACTIONS
JEFFARAMA! – DAVE ROWLEY – PETROVA
BOLTON CLARION CHOIR – NAT CLARE & STEVEN DURRANT
The event starts at around 2.00pm and will be finish at around 10.00pm.
Facebook Event Page @ https://www.facebook.com/events/536562943046383/
Following our second Festival, the Wigan Diggers’ Festival Committee agreed to establish our own version of the Oscars and the Grammies, in the shape of an annual award bearing the name of Gerrard Winstanley.
We agreed to present it, ideally at our festival each year, to an individual or a group, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the cause of making the Earth a common treasury for all, in the spirit of the Great Wiganer.
After discussing a number of possibilities including a ‘Star of Winstanley’ medal, we finally agreed on the obvious, and something wholly in keeping with Gerrard Winstanley’s digging activities in Surrey and elsewhere, in the shape of small brass spade, mounted along with an engraved plaque in a framed display case (see above left).
Tony Benn awarded first Ged Winstanley Spade
It didn’t take us long to make that decision. We unanimously agreed to present the award to veteran left-winger and former Labour MP Tony Benn, someone who has himself described the 17th Century Diggers as the first ‘true Socialists’ – a view we ourselves concur with.
We have written to him already to inform him of the news and look forward to presenting it to him in person at our forthcoming festival on the 7th September.
Failing that, we look forward to presenting it to him at a time and place convenient him. Watch this space for details.
Feature article from Monday 27th May’s Wigan Evening Post
Drawings of Gerrard Winstanley by Clifford Harper. Clifford also claims credit for the portrait of the great Wiganer we used on the original Wigan Diggers’ T-Shirt design.
Thanks Clifford for letting us use them!