Fourth meeting of the Mary Quaile Club

the Spongers 009On 21st June 2014  we held our fourth  event in the Annexe of the Working Class Movement  Library which was a special screening of The Spongers written by Jim Allen. First broadcast in 1978  as part of the Play for Today series, the drama depicts in unhurried but relentless detail how Pauline, a  single mother with four children, one of whom has  learning difficulties,   falls deeper and deeper in debt and how the social  security sytem and social services department –   supposedly there  to support  and help her –  not only utterly fail her,  but   contribute to  her taking a dreadful decision at the end of the play.

the Spongers 008

We were delighted to welcome the writer  Jimmy McGovern to our event who  expressed his admiration for Jim Allen’s work in general,  and this  play in particular,  which  he described as “a  work of genius”. Jimmy  was followed  by a thoughtful and often passionate  discussion about Jim’s work and the issues raised in the play with many of the audience taking part.  This was  recorded by Lizzie  Foster who is making a BBC radio documentary about Jim Allen with the actor Christopher Eccleston. Christopher was unable to join us but he sent  a message to the event:  “Jim Allen cared about others and was a technically brilliant writer. A precious combination. The Spongers is  a masterpiece.The greatest British drama.Has anybody currently running BBC, ITV and Channel 4 seen it? I don’t think he’d have wanted to just preach to the converted”.

We would like Jimmy McGovern, Andy Willis,  Alice Nutter, Christopher Eccleston,  the Working Class  Movement Library  and everybody attending for an outstanding event.

The Jim Allen archive  is housed at the Working Class Movement Library  and is available for researchers.  For more information, please contact  the library: enquiries@wcml.org.uk

 

 

 

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Drama, Mary Quaile club meeting, Television, working class history

next event: showing of The Spongers, 21 June 2014

 

thespongers

The Mary Quaile Club is pleased to present a showing of The Spongers written by Jim Allen, first broadcast in 1978, and now considered a classic. It shows the effects on a working class family of cutbacks in council services.

This  will take place on Saturday 21 June, 1pm, in the Annexe of the Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford M5 4WX. This event is free.

Spaces in the Annexe is limited so booking places in advance is strongly recommended. Please email: maryquaileclub@gmail.com.

The actor Christoper Eccleston described The Spongers in an interview as “… the single most important drama for me; the drama that made me want to work in television. I remember watching it with my mum when I was about 12 years old. It’s a devastating piece of work, showing the disintegration of a family. I still think it’s one of the greatest dramas I’ve ever seen”.

The viewing will be followed a discussion introduced by our guest speaker, Jimmy McGovern.

jim allen

Jim Allen was a trade unionist, socialist and writer whose work embodied the strength, humanity and vision of working class people. His archive is now held in the Working Class Movement Library.

This event has been  sponsored by Manchester and Salford NUJ, PCS North West region, Salford UNISON, Wigan UNISON, University of Manchester UNISON, UNITE social action branch, UNITE Rochdale, UNITE North West region and the North West Labour History Society.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Drama, Television

Third meeting of the Mary Quaile Club

johnfay

On Saturday 24 May we welcomed John Fay, writer of TV  dramas such as Brookside Coronation Street, Blue Murder and The Mill, an historical Channel 4  series set in Styal Mill.  In a wide ranging, thoughtful,  and never less than entertaining discussion which  lasted   an hour and a half,   John discussed how he  became a writer and reflected on the various TV dramas he has written for… and a great deal more.

Our thanks to John and Gina at 3MT and above all  to John for taking the trouble to come over to Manchester and share his  passion for writing.

The second series of The Mill will air later this year.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Events, Public Meeting, Television, working class history

A Writer Looks at History

 

The Mill 1

A discussion with writer John Fay on how television presents history.

Saturday 24 May, 2.30pm. Free.

Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, 35-39 Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JG

John Fay is the creator and chief scriptwriter of the Channel Four series The Mill. Based on real events at Styal Mill in the 1830s, the first series aired in 2013 and showed the struggle for better working conditions and the Ten Hour Day. The second series, set in the 1840s at the time of the Chartists, will air this autumn.

In addition to the Mill John’s work on television over the last 20 years has included Blue Murder, Brookside, Coronation Street, Clocking Off, Primeval and Torchwood.

This meeting has been organised by the Mary Quaile Club and sponsored by Manchester and Salford NUJ, PCS North West region, Salford UNISON, Wigan UNISON, UNITE social action branch, UNITE Rochdale, UNITE North West region and the North West Labour History Society.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Drama, Events, Public Meeting, Television, women's history, working class history

Second Meeting of Mary Quaile Club

 

 

CPBF 003CPBF 007

Our second meeting, ably chaired by Alice Searle,  was a success.  A packed room at the Friends Meeting House heard Granville Williams  from the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom  and Stephen Kingston from the Salford Star discuss issues of media ownership,  censorship and bias,  truthful reporting, right of reply and alternatives to the mainstream media. This was followed by a lively and informed discussion. Afterwards there was a healthy sale of books on the press and the miners strike.  Our thanks to our speakers and everyone who attended and also to those organisations and individuals who sponsored the meeting.

some useful  links

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

Salford Star

National Union of Journalists – Manchester and Salford branch

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

 

 

 

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Media and Press, Miners Strike 1984-85, Public Meeting, working class history

Revealing Truths; Just How Free is the Press Today?

The next meeting of the Mary Quaile Club will take place on Tuesday 29 April from 7.30-9.00pm at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street Manchester M2 5NS

Granville Williams, editor of a new book, Settling Scores, will talk about the issues raised in the book concerning the media, the police and the miners strike.

Settling Scores cover

Granville is active in the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and a founder member of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

Stephen Kingston,  an award-winning investigative journalist and editor of Salford Star.

Donate

He will discuss the challenges of running a community-based, radical magazine.

This meeting has been sponsored by Manchester and Salford NUJ, Salford UNISON, Wigan UNISON, UNITE Central  Manchestester branch, UNITE social action branch, UNITE Rochdale branch   and UNITE North West region

Posted in Uncategorized

First meeting of Mary Quaile Club is a success.

First meeting of the Mary Quaile Club

First meeting of the Mary Quaile Club

The Mary  Quaile Club held a well-attended inaugural meeting on Saturday 15 February 2014  at Cornerstones Cafe, Langworthy, Salford.  An attentive audience heard Paula  Bartley discuss aspects of the life of Ellen Wilkinson,  including her involvement in the the suffragist  campaign, anti-fascism, the Jarrow Crusade and the 1945 Labour government. She was followed  by Hugh Caffrey who  gave a summary of  the campaign to save the NHS from privatisation and explained how  people can get involved.  The audience  then discussed  the issues raised for some time  with many people joining in.  It was generally agreed that it had been a sucessful and enjoyable event. The meeting  was filmed by Quays News. It was tweeted in real time  by Chloe on the MQC Twitter account @maryquaileclub.

Paula Bartley and Hugh Caffrey

Paula Bartley and Hugh Caffrey

The MQC is now planning events for April on the media and the 1984-85 miners strike and for May on trade unionism, past and present.  These will be posted here as soon as details have been finalised.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Events, NHS, Welfare State, women's history, working class history

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Twitter!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers