Thursday, 18 May 2017

Radical Salford ................. Eddie and Ruth Frow

Now I grew up being taught about Kings and Queens, a fair few generals and more than a few “great men.”

Not that there is anything wrong in that providing all those other people get a look in.

These include the nurses, soldiers, cooks, bottle washers up and itinerant ice cream sellers.

After all these are the people who ultimately grew and cooked the food, fought the battles and toiled in the  factories, mills and mines so that the great and good could do what they did.

All of which brings me back Radical Salford written by Eddy and Ruth Frow.*

Both were committed to telling the stories of ordinary people, elevating those stories to stand beside the accounts of Wellington, Nelson and Henry V.

They were member of the Communist Party and in their long life accumulated a vast library of books by and on the labour movement.

I knew Mrs Frow through the National Union of Teachers and I once had the priviledge of visting their home on Kings Road in Stretford.

It was an unremarkable looking semi and yet inside the house was stacked full of books, pamphlets, newspapers and much more.

I remember going there to research the Bradford and Beswick Co-op and on the day I was there I came across student from Madrid reading up on material produced by a trade union branch on the Spanish Civil War and another reading up on working class poets at the time of Peterloo.

At which point I could write go into great detail exploring their lives but that has already been done so I shall just suggest you follow the link.

Before they died they came to an arrangement with Salford City Council to deposit their collection in a special library which became the Working Class Movement Library.***

Instead I will recommend their book on Salford’s History.

*Radical Salford: Episodes in Labour History Edmund and Ruth Frow, 1984

**Our Founders - Ruth and Eddie Frow, http://www.wcml.org.uk/about-us/our-founders--ruth-and-eddie-frow/

***Working Class Movement Library, http://www.wcml.org.uk/ Crescent, Salford M5 4WX

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