Rights, Riots and Routes

The tension between the industrialisation of cotton manufacturing and traditional cottage industry is the starting point for James Fox’s new work that explores the history of protest and punishment via the Lancashire loombreaker riots of 1826. The installation at Helmshore Mill includes James’ trademark hard-hitting embroideries and prints plus a new film collaboration with Maxine Peake presenting the tragic continuum of women’s experience of the criminal justice system over two centuries.

Rights, Riots And Routes is a co-commission with the British Textile Biennial 2021. It runs from 1-31 October 2021 – full details HERE.

Songs of Praise

We were delighted that the BBC’s Songs of Praise team got in touch about featuring some of our Pendle Radicals on one of their programmes. Presenter Sean Fletcher headed to the top of Pendle Hill, on a beautiful summer’s day, with our Project Manager Shonagh Ingram, to discover the story of George Fox, who began the Quaker movement. George Fox is one of our Radicals, and his story is part of the Radicals Trail, which encourages people to find a series of plaques dedicated to free thinkers and non-conformists. The trail also took Sean to the only remaining Inghamite church, established by another of our Radicals, Benjamin Ingham in 1750.

The programme aired on Sunday 12 September 2021 and is available on iPlayer until 10 October 2021.

Walking with Radicals – Clarion Calling

Sunday 29 August 2021

10:00 am to 2:30 pm (approx.)

Meet 10:00 am at Pendle Heritage Centre pay and display car park.

Bring a packed lunch

Pendle Radicals invites you to join us for a premiere guided version of our first themed walk. Clarion Calling is Number One in Walking with Radicals, a series designed to enable you to explore parts of the Radicals Trail around the Pendle Hill area.

The last Clarion House is an extraordinary place of unique historic importance in the story of progressive politics in the UK. Join us on Bank Holiday weekend for this 7 ½ miles circular walk, at a moderate pace, from Barrowford, and we will guide you to your mug of Clarion House tea via two other historic locations that feature in the Clarion story.

To find out more and to book for this FREE event please visit Eventbrite. Don’t delay we have limited spaces and booking is essential.


Sunday 19 September

Clarion Sunday 2021

An artist’s project to celebrate this unique and historic event

Clarion Sunday is the annual pilgrimage to the last Clarion House by Clarion Cycling Clubs across the north of England.  It is always a special occasion.  This year, after repeat postponements, it really means a lot.  So we have commissioned Alan Ward for an artist project to make the experience of taking part just a bit more special.  If you are a club member, an individual cyclist, or just a Clarion enthusiast, Alan wants to hear from you.

You can read more about the event and how to get involved on the Rebel Pen blog.

In the Footsteps of Extraordinary People

March 2021… The pandemic still ruling our lives, and stopping us getting together with the Radicals’ team. Except on Zoom! During March we presented two packed events for the Pendle Hill online programme. And it was lovely to see so many Radicals’ contributors.

The first, on International Women’s Day, celebrated the magnificent Ethel Carnie Holdsworth with an in-conversation event focused on the making of our podcast which is about her and her novel, This Slavery, a radical feminist and socialist tale of love, loss, poverty and politics.

Later in the month we had a full house for an event to Meet the Radicals… On this evening we introduced some of the nonconformists, reformers and change makers researched by the volunteers of the Pendle Radicals project, and introduced The Radicals Trail, a new way of exploring our rural communities around Pendle Hill.

Head over to the Pendle Radicals blog – Rebel Pen Club – to read more about what we shared and to listen to recordings of the events.

This Slavery Podcast

We’re delighted to introduce our first Pendle Radicals podcast, created in partnership with Lancashire Libraries and Libraries Connected.  Put together by three of our Radicals contributors, the 3-part series is entitled This Slavery.  The first episode was released on 10 February 2021, and is called Pies, Chips & Politics.

Working class writer Ethel Carnie Holdsworth has been a favourite of the Radicals research group right from the start of the project. Her story is fascinating and multi-layered and our latest creative adventure is a podcast by broadcaster Elizabeth Robertson (aka Liz Catlow), writer/director Jules Gibb and sound engineer Scott Robertson.

The series looks at the novel This Slavery, published in 1925, a radical feminist and socialist tale of love, loss, poverty and politics.  The story concerns two sisters, mill-girls, whose lives are thrown into turmoil when a fire at the mill leaves them unemployed.

Through their story, ECH shows the reader the effects of poverty and unemployment, and suggests why there was a vibrant labour movement during this period.  It is a story of real  people, women and men, who took militant action against the factory system.

Find out more about this fascinating writer and her work by listening to episode one. This LINK will take you to it on Spotify, but you can find all the links to other platforms on the Mid Pennine Arts website HERE

A Podcast and a PhD

It is two years now since our Pendle Radicals team embarked on an enquiry into the singular life and work of the extraordinary Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.  Now we can tell you about two exciting developments in swift succession, which give a wonderful new impetus to our ongoing research into Ethel.

Read about the fully funded collaborative doctorate entitled ‘Songs of a Factory Girl: Ethel Carnie Holdsworth and radical working-class women’s writing’.  

Also find out about our partnership with the BBC Novels project, Lancashire Library Service and Libraries Connected (a national body that aims to maximise the offer from libraries), on creating a podcast about Ethel.

You can read all the details in our blog here.

The Wonder Women Walk

Contributors to Pendle Radicals are developing a series of themed Radicals walks.  After the Two Toms, celebrating two pioneers of the countryside movement, comes this homage to two inspirational campaigning women.  Bob Sproule gives a preview of this urban/rural trek linking historic locations in Nelson and Earby.

To read more about this walk, that takes in locations connected to Selina Cooper and Katharine Bruce Glasier, read Bob’s full blog here.

Still Sick of Being Normal

Sick of Being Normal

is a song by Notsensibles.

I wrote it.

It’s just a nondescript one chord teenage angstism.

40 years later, and catalysed by Mid Pennine Arts (no hyphen), who were there right at the start,  the idea of a celebration of the local punk scene is born. It slots neatly into Mid Pennine’s Pendle Radicals project. We’re close to Pendle (I have a splendid view from the ranch) and by jove we’re radical.

Click here for the full blog blog by Stephen John ‘Sage’ Hartley.

We’re Going To Need A Bigger Songbook

Fresh air and green space are precious commodities at present. Our Radicals researchers want to honour the pioneers who gave working class people a chance of sharing those bounties. Walking guide author and Pendle Radicals volunteer Nick Burton writes about T A Leonard and the collective joys of rambling and singing.

Click here for the full blog