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NORTHERN VOICES 15 above is now on sale its usual outlets.  This issue of Northern Voices has an interview with the anti-establishment painter from Buxton, Jeff Perks.  He is a radical artist who has done exhibitions at Stockport Art Gallery, the Whitechapel Gallery, an exhibition titled 'Race Against Time' - Trades Union Congress House, and was Winner of the Friends of Buxton Museum Sculpture Award (3 times).  His art aims to make people feel uncomfortable.  Sales of Northern Voices in Ashton town centre shot up during a Green Party demo a couple of weeks ago when street sellers started shouting: 
'Kieran Quinn - Kieran Quinn - Look at the Rat in the Wheelie Bin!' 

Other articles include a piece on 'Who Owns the North' by the writer Chris Draper; a report on Fracking at Barton Moss Salford by the activist Barry Woodling; an account on the consequences of the Scottish referendum by the Labour councillor, Paul Salverson; a story on Northern Canals by Les May; a historical item 'Shoot the Conchies' also by Chris Draper; reviews on the radical touring play UNITED WE STAND and Dave Douglass's new book on 'A history of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850-1890'; a searching review on the book on Cyril Smith by Simon Danczuk M.P. by Les May;  Tameside Eye, and 'Six O' the Best Northern Bus Journeys'.

The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES 15, with all sorts of stuff others won't touch and may be obtained as follows:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included)
Cheques payable to 'Brian Bamford' at
c/o 46, Kingsland Road,
Rochdale, Lancs. OL11 3HQ.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.


NORTHERN VOICES 14, is still on sale at our usual outlets with coverage of our role in the outing of Cyril Smith.  John Walker, a former editor of RAP (the Rochdale Alternative Paper), in a leading feature documents the intimate story of Cyril Smith which was used as the basis of the Channel 4 documentary Dispatches last September on the eve of the Lib-Dem annual conference.   Since he left RAP Mr. Walker has occasionally contributed to Private Eye, here he is flattering in his praise of Northern Voices, and he writes of us 'being part of that long tradition of a radical press, that has never been afraid to call into question abuses of power.'                                                                                                                                          

Other stories include Chris Draper's 'Six o' the Best' Northern Artists with reference to Lowry, Ruskin, the Pitmen Painters and  Thomas Bewick, and an analysis by Debbie Firth and Trevor Hoyle of the architectural possibilities as Rochdale Council threatens to open up the river Roch and set-up a new shopping centre.  There are reviews of the Seascapes exhibition at Touchstones and the current Harold Riley exhibition at Salford Museum.

A forthcoming review of NV14 gives extensive coverage to a review by Derek Pattison of David Goodway's 'Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow' about the ideas of Colin Ward and the relevance of 'voluntarism' in today's 'Big Society' debate.  The are local reports from Salford Spy and Tameside Eye about 'Who's in bed with the Blacklisters' about local councils awarding contracts to blacklist companies, and a Barry Woodling interview with George Tapp, an electrician injured on a picket last May. 


The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES 14, with all sorts of stuff others won't touch and may be obtained as follows:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included)
Cheques payable to 'Northern Voices' at
c/o 52, Todmorden Road,
Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.

NORTHERN VOICES 13 - the printed / physical version of N.V. - deals with some of the issues that the others on the so-called British left won't touch. Starting with an interview with Sylvia Lancaster, mum of the murdered 'Goth Girl' / 'New Romantic' Sophie Lancaster, who was kicked to death up Bacup, in Lancashire, in August 2007. How do you feel about a new 'Hate Crime' on the statute book? Previously, Northern Voices has given you 'The Gangs of Manchester' dating back to an early 20th Century, but that was about lad's gangs: does the merciless killing of our sublime Sophie represent a step into a darker age? To be up-to-date and understand the way Northern Voices thinks and is different from other publications you should read the real and physical N.V.

Other stories include an apparent attack on the arts in Rochdale by the Link4Life organisation; 'The Strange Burnley story of Philip Morrell: the man who resisted Britain's participation in World War One' by Rev. Father Petty; an interview with a Libyan freedom fighter in Manchester by Barry Woodling; Tameside Eye & Salford Spy; Bribery & Corruption Column covering blacklisting; work-for-dole; allegations of bribery on Bury Council, 'environmental vandalism' at Chat Moss in Salford and Les May on what he is now describing as 'Backdoor Privatisation' in Rochdale. 

Do you think theatres and drama are Crap? Well, if you do or you don't, there's a review of Six O' the Best Northern Theatres by Chris Draper and with 'Miss Julie'* staring one of our northern actresses Maxine Peake, and starting at Manchester's Royal Exchange on the 12th, April, you can decide if it's worth a visit to Theatre -in-the-Round, based on what Chris has to say about the state of our local theatres up North. In our coloured centre-spread there is an image of an anarchist scarf that James Keogh, a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39 and who last November was awarded a Blue Plaque by Tameside MBC, sent to his mum in Ashton-under-Lyne. Did James buy it on the Ramblas in Barcelona after he arrived in Spain in 1937? Then if you fancy a bit of culture you can have a look at our view of the Ford Madox Brown Exhibition, and the tricky business that led to his painting of the murals in Manchester Town Hall: our centre spread includes 'Bradshaw's Defence of Manchester A.D. 1642'.
Then there's history with 'Peterloo & the politics of Failure' by Dick Dutch and more of Chris Draper on the Sheffield outrages and sucking-up to the bosses by British trade union gaffers. 

* 'MISS JULIE' by August Strindberg at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester:
a new version by David Eldridge, from a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund 
'I can't run away, I can't stay. I can't live, I can't die. Help me'

MAXINE PEAKE plays Miss Julie. Known for her television appearances in SILK, the BAFTA nominated HANCOCK & JOAN and SHAMELESS, she is reunited with director Sarah Frankcom, whose recent successes at the Exchange include the award-winning PUNK ROCK and A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.

'Sweden, 1894. Midsummer night’s celebrations are in full swing but the Count’s daughter, the beautiful and imperious Miss Julie, feels trapped and alone. Downstairs in the servants’ kitchen, handsome and rebellious footman Jean is feeling restless. When they meet a passion is ignited that soon spirals out of control. Strindberg’s masterpiece caused a scandal when first produced – and has been hugely popular ever since – for its searingly honest portrait of the class system and human sexuality.'

Spying in the North & beyond:
Northern Voices 12 kicks-off with a topical story on state sponsored snooping. Derek Pattison looks at the well-paid agencies that spend their time infiltrating peaceful protest groups and compiling data on innocent folk. Recent reports in The Guardian newspaper say this includes joining the Clown Army, collecting data on innocent folk, as well as leading Climate Camp demos; these seemingly stop-at-nothing spies even sleep with the enemy in the cause of surveillance. According to this report protesters were held overnight at Oldham Police Station and a member of the Manchester Anarchist Federation was ‘quizzed’ by the police in 2009: yet despite repeated requests by NV this robust anarchist has relentlessly refused to talk to us about this.

Kiddie fiddling in Rochdale:
NV12 features a survey of the political life of the controversial northern politician from Rochdale, Cyril Smith, in which a former editor of RAP(Rochdale Alternative Paper) disputes a report in the Rochdale Observer last September, quoting Cyril’s brother saying that the allegations of Cyril's improper treatment of boys in his care in the 1960s had been ‘disproved'. NV12 also covers Sir Cyril Smith's relations with the local asbestos trade and contacts a solicitor involved in the notorious Stefan Kiszco case. Sir Cyril Smith died on the 3rd, September 2010; there were many tributes but some criticisms.

Manchester Matador Interview:
Former butcher’s boy Frank Evans went from a Salford slum to make his name in the bullrings of Spain and Latin America. Now in his late 60’s, he talks to Northern Voices about the place of bullfighting in Spanish life and the attitude of Spaniards to him as a northern English lad; he considers his future and that of bullfighting in the current credit crisis in Spain.

Reports on Council finances in Salford; Tesco’s corporate connivance in Tameside – is this more shades of Pathfinder & ‘renewal of the North’ with Tesco Towns; plus Salford Spy and Tameside Eye.

A Bit on the Side:
Art reports with an exclusive interview with Burnley artist, Liam Spencer, about the work of the Lancashire impressionist - 'winkling out gems from unlikely sources' - now showing at Rochdale’s Touchstone Gallery, and a retrospective review of last year's Picasso Peace & Freedom Exhibition at the Liverpool Tate. Chris Draper – NV’s lad in the back row - gives us his ‘Six o’the Best’ Northern films and he offers a controversial review of Howard Brenton’s newly adapted play of Robert Tressell’s book ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the Liverpool Everyman. Also a review of the latest volume of Geordie pitman Dave Douglass’s autobiography.

Northern Voices 11 is still available. Contents include:

'Villains & Victims' - the contrasting fortunes of villainous Northern MPs (including James Purnell, Hazel Blears, Tom Levitt & Phil Woolas) and their victims such as 'regenerated' communities in Derker and Toxteth, Blacklisted workers Keaveney & Anderson & agency binmen in Bury.

'On the banks of the River Roach, Jacky Brook, Healey Dell in Rochdale & the Cheonggyecheon in Seoul' by Brian Bamford

'Leeds: Royal Park School - More Municipal Vandalism by Stealth' by John Lawrence

'Six o' Best: Northern Tea Time Treats' by Chris Draper - featuring Eccles Cakes from Salford or maybe, Hebden Bridge; Fat Rascals from Harrogate; Sad Cakes from Burnley; Chorley Cakes from North Lancs.; Bakewell Tarts from Derbyshire; Curd Tarts from the West Riding of Yorkshire; Singing Hinnies from Newcastle and Yorkshire Parkin.

'Glossop North End go to Wembley on a shoestring' by Richard Holland

'Can tha' keep a secret?: An old Yorkshire tale of class war, conspiracy, murder' by Christopher Draper; a history of Ned Ludd in the West Riding of Yorkshire (which can be read in full here).

'The Golden Days of Municipal Motoring' by Chris the Clippy on the disappearance of the North's regional buses and their unique colour schemes. much more. Also included are the usual local columns (Salford Spy, Tameside Eye), plus restaurant reviews (Sam's Chop House in Manchester and The Plate @ Backridge in the Forest of Bowland), exhibition reviews, the lively letters page, plus an obituary for Pedro Cuadrado, a Bolton local of Spanish origin, involved in the Spanish Civil War and imprisoned by the Nazis, Americans and the British in turn.

Issue 10 of Northern Voices (Summer/Autumn 2009) is still available.

Inside you'll find articles on Bolton art-forger Shaun Greenhalgh, Blacklisting in the building trade, the hunt for the grave of Ashton lad James Keogh murdered by Fascists in the Spanish Civil War, as well as local gossip in Burnley, Bury, Tameside and Salford. We also look at Liverpool in the 'Capital of Culture' year and you may have already read the article on 'welfare to work' that we've posted here.

The reviews section has features on the 'six of the best' top Northern towns, a review of 'Gangs of Manchester', a new book by Andrew Davies, plus restaurant reviews of Mitton Hall in Clitheroe and Ramsons of Ramsbottoms, and the letters page is livelier than ever.

Price £1.50 [£2.00 post included] cheques payable to 'Northern Voices' obtainable from c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH. £4.00 gets you a two-issue subscription.

And on sale at a large number of newsagents in Greater Manchester, Rochdale, Tameside, Salford, Swinton, Eccles, Burnley and bookshops in other areas such as Bookmarks in London, News From Nowhere in Liverpool, Bob's Bookshop in Oldham and Bookcase in Hebden Bridge, as well as The Cornerhouse and People's History Museum in Manchester.