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Thursday, July 18, 2013

.Margaret Downes

No "big sticks" but I did find this  photo of a bar (Gateshead,19th Century)

It's been warm here in Blighty.Hot nights:vivid dreams.
Have you ever dreamed people? People who,in the dream,you think know intimately .You seem to comprehend their back-story & they  yours.
Not just one person ,maybe dozens, a searing mass of characters before your eyes .You are best buddies with  them all!
And have you ever woken & realized this knowing was an illusion.Rather sad when a friend becomes a stranger in an instant.When a meeting becomes only a theatricality.........
I was always surprised I had sufficient imagination to create a whole cast of characters out of thin air......Then recently on the radio I heard another explanation .It was suggested we never forget a face.
The person I dreamed last night might be somebody i saw on a London street in 1979.Maybe we smiled at each other for a few seconds as we brushed past one another on The Romford Road.The moment was quickly forgotten.But maybe that memory;that image remained....and I used as my template for last night night dream?
It doesn't really matter in itself.But the mind as camera is a nice concept. A belief that nothing is ever lost or deleted..........Nature Wastes Nothing!............ As I say, it's warm:I ramble............

And So (the gentle author wipes sweat off his brow and sips his beer). Sepia Saturday's prompt is "You can choose; or go with armour, helmets, shields, fancy dress, pantomime, theatricals, warlike women or big sticks". .....ok (another sip)
But Sepians,I have a problem here.I need to talk about Margaret Downes .But nobody today knows her.There are no photos or paintings of her (sepia or otherwise).We know nothing about her life.I know more about the Blonde Chick in last night's erotic dream!
All I know about Margaret is that she lived in Manchester until 1819,she died on August 16th that year.She was murdered with a sabre by a (possibly) drunken British soldier.
She was one of 15 murdered that day.(between 400-700 others were injured)
Which doesn't help me find out about Margaret's Life.
She died in what was to become known as "The Peterloo Massacre".60000 working people held a rally in Manchester that day.They wanted to complain about their lives (Poverty:no Vote:etc)This was the biggest even crowd seen in Britain at the time.To placate the authorities ,the organizers asked the crowd beforehand to be peaceful and "Wear Your Sunday Best".
 As the speakers on the stage began the speeches..the crowd applauded them and shouted agreement.The soldiers on duty around the crowd (many drunk) mistook the noise for hostility and charged them. Then Margaret died.You can read the detail here
I must take some photos of the St Peter's area (if you know Manchester,it's near the Midland Hotel) The Irony is that many of those killed & injured were themselves  former troops who had fought in The Battle Of Waterloo.War Vets..they had been demobbed:were out of work;in poverty......Hence it became know as "Peterloo".
Shelley wrote the famous Poem The Masque of Anarchy about Peterloo.It contains the words "Ye are many — they are few" which was used by the Recent Occupy Movement.
Which still doesn't get us any closer to Margaret does it........

SATURDAY UPDATE: Today I went to Rawtenstall for a cheeky little Sarspararilla atMr Fitzpatrick's Temperance Bar.It's Britain's last such pub/bar.
I remember, as a kid, they had a Temperance Pub up Haley Hill in Halifax.
Temperance Bars were particularly common in 19th century Northern England.
I must say the brew were very tasty on a warm Lancashire afternoon.I raised a glass to John Wesley .
Sunderland Madge  (Phil the X-Fireman's Mum )who i mentioned last week ,is out of Intensive Care and in an Ordinary Ward.I visit her tomorrow. 'Got her a bottle of 'Mr Fitzpatrick Blood Tonic Cordial'.Lord knows what she will make of that............ wikipedia:history of Temperance Bars

19 comments:

Brian Miller said...

enjoyed the vid man...the verse at the beginning i know the feeling of foreboding in those places...or even that it is hallowed ground...from walking gettysburg here...

Brett Payne said...

Your rambling thoughts are very vivid to me, although I don't recall dreaming up large crowds of familiar strangers. I certainly do often dream of people who I don't recognise, although I feel I know them well - the explanation you heard on the radio sounds quite plausible to me too.

Ann ODyne said...

200 years after, and plod still 'mistaking noise for hostility' too often. big jessies.
My direct ancestors married in Manchester 1850 and left right after for Australia.

Dreams? as in "why am I wearing pyjamas at work?"
Do you get nanoseconds of dream flashbacks in the day after? I am sure these are related to the post-LSD flashbacks we got in 1969.
Wishing you a cool day.

TICKLEBEAR said...

No pictures required!!
You've depicted it quite well.
Now go wipe that brow off.
It looks shiny from here...
"a blonde chick", eh?!?
;)~
HUGZ

TICKLEBEAR said...

Looks like my comment disappeared...
Pity...
3rd tie doing the WV...........

Boobook said...

What a story. Poor Margaret.

The Silver Fox said...

I've had dreams like the ones you mention. Imaginary characters whom I seem to know!

Little Nell said...

Well that explains a lot! Now I feel quite nervous about laying my head on the pillow tonight; who will appear in my dreams?

Kristin said...

I often have dreams full of people I don't know. Last night they were more hostile than friendly. No idea why. And I have recently had waking memories of people I had seen often but didn't know. It's all a mystery. Terrible about Margaret. So many Margarets through the years and we often don't even have their names, much less their stories.

Hazel Ceej said...

No large crowds in my dreams either. I got helicopters, weird cacti and one kangaroo vampire. Your post got me googling MD :0

Hazel

Alex Daw said...

I like your rambling Tony...you always bring me something to new think about and the music is great. Have to say Bingo sure has changed from when I last looked in on it!

Bob Scotney said...

You have left me wanting more, Tony.

Karen S. said...

Yes Tony I do know those dreams, and I just love them, sometimes they seem much more exciting than my awake moments! Seriously! It's been really hot here as well, and I've been consuming Root Beer (A & W) style for a refreshing change between water and more water! Ha! Ha!

whowerethey said...

I'm reminded of the challenge of tracing my husband's ancestry back through England. Many wives were noted only by their first name. Shame that their lives were little more than vessels to bear children. We can only hope their faces appeared in many wonderful dreams!

Alan Burnett said...

It's good to remember Peterloo Tony - an event too often forgotten. There used to be four Temperance Bars in Brighouse, but I am glad to say they were long gone before my time. I remember my father once booked us into a temperance Hotel in Dublin, right opposite the Guinness Brewery it was! Sacrilege.

Mike Brubaker said...

I had read of the Peterloo massacre a while back and the description could work for similar tragic events of the modern era. The difference of course is that there were no cameras to record the demonstration. In the US we remember (mostly) the Kent State massacre because of an iconic photo. Lately I have been shocked by the photos coming from Syria and Egypt. Will some cellphone in the Middle East record the Margaret Downes of our time?

Akelamalu said...

I wonder if the Stobbarts who owned the Temperance Bar are any relation to Eddie Stobbarts?

barbara and nancy said...

Oh please spare me from the big bingo hall. I can't think of anything more depressing. But the lady knitting while she played - at least she's multi-tasking.
Nancy

Christie said...

This is gorgeous!