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
Having decided on what the award would look like and given it a name, our next task was to decide on who we might present our first one to.
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