Friday, 10 August 2018

Saying something is wrong ........ alternative histories .... part 1

Now I can remember the first demonstration I went on in the 1960s and then pretty much all of the others.

Liverpool, 1980
But those I supported during the 1980s have become a blur, and part of that was because there were so many of them which were provoked by a series of developments, none of which many of us thought were good.

There was steadily rising unemployment, a Government intent on curtailing the ability of the Trade Unions to do the business of protecting the work force while pursuing a policy of reducing expenditure for public services.

Along side these, there was the growing fear that a new generation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems coupled with the hard line leaders in both Washington and Moscow threatened world peace.

Liverpool, 1980
So, many of us marched, firmly believing that in doing so we could express our concern and send a message to those in power.

And from 1978 I documented all of the ones I attended, from Manchester to London and back via Liverpool and Birmingham.

I will leave others to write the history of that decade and to make judgements on the effectiveness of the demonstrations and instead will set about posting some of the pictures.

These have sat in the cellar for nearly four decades, left in a corner because they belonged to old photography, which relied on a dark room, smelly chemicals and an enlarger to bring them to life.

But as many know my Christmas present was one of those whizz scanners which can take a negative and make it into an electronic image.

Birmingham, 1983
I don’t pretend the quality is always the best, but they are a record of how many of us went about expressing our concerns and fears along with working within political parties and the trade union movement to bring about a change.

Liverpool, 1980 was the first national demonstration organised by the Labour Party just a year after the Conservative Government had been elected.

Birmingham was three years later.

Location; Liverpool and Birmingham

Pictures; Liverpool 1980,and Birmingham 1983, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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