Monday, 11 August 2014

Wigan Diggers' Festival 2014

Wigan Diggers' Festival
Celebrating the life and ideas of Wigan born and bred Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676)
Inspirational theorist and spokesperson of the World's first true Socialists known as 'The Diggers'


To all Socialist, Trades Union, Labour,
Co-operative & Other Supportive Organisations

Dear Brothers & Sisters

I am writing to you on behalf of the Wigan Diggers' Festival Committee to appeal for the financial support of your organisation in the staging of this year’s Festival. The FREE open air event, which last year again, attracted over 2,000 people, will take place in the Wiend area of Wigan town centre on Saturday 13th September 2014 between 11.00am and 9.30pm..

This year’s festival will be officially opened by Labour MP John McDonnell who will also talk about the lasting influence of Gerrard Winstanley and The Diggers on today’s working class movement.

The festival will consist of a wide range of activities including live music, poetry and comedy performances, audio visual presentations, an exhibition, town centre procession, beer tent, food, book and other stalls. There will also be a symbolic digging re-enactment in which actor John Graham Davies will play the role of the Diggers’ spokesperson. In addition to that, there will be performances by BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners ‘The Lucy Ward Band’, Merry Hell, Shamus Oblivion & The Megadeath Morris Men, the Liverpool Socialist Singers & Bolton Clarion choir and more than 20 other live acts, plus educational talks by TV documentary maker and “Debt Generation” author David Malone, and Dr. John Gurney (health permitting) author of “Gerrard Winstanley: The Diggers’ Life & Legacy” about the historic Wiganer and his movement, also known as the “True Levellers”.

Although, many of our expenses have already been covered, and many of those taking part are providing their services either for free, or for little other than their travelling costs, as a result of our move to an outdoor location two years ago, the costs of staging the festival have risen considerably. This is not least as a result of our needing to hire professional security to comply with the Council’s licensing conditions (and free public liability insurance cover), the hire of Portaloos, a much larger outdoor PA system, a professional sound engineer, stage lighting, and the cost of various weather proofing measures (circa £3,500 combined cost).

In order to ensure we are able to cover these costs, which will also enable us to stage next year’s event, we are in vital need of the financial assistance of sympathetic organisations such as your own. If you can help us in any way then please send a cheque, made payable to the Gerrard Winstanley Society, to the address below. Your valuable support will be acknowledged in the festival programme.

Yours in solidarity

Stephen Hall
for and behalf of Wigan Diggers' Festival Committee
39 Spa Road, Atherton, Manchester M46 9NR

Tel: 01942 886645/07724 139278 or E-Mail:

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