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Mossley Writers and Peterloo

Pat Baker stands in front of the display boards at George Lawton Hall
Pat Baker, writer and artist extraordinaire, at the installation of our first group project

When I started Mossley Writers the year after we moved to Mossley, I never dreamed that we'd be doing group projects together. In short, I wasn't sure whether we'd survive past our first meeting.

But, three years on, Mossley Writers is a thriving community group – and I think it's fair to say we've become good friends, as well as good critical friends! In January of this year, we decided we'd try our first group project, inspired by John Fletcher's campaign to have former Mossley resident, John Knight, recognised, in light of his (dangerous, tireless) efforts for workers' rights. He was one of the instigators of the Peterloo Massacre, and, as Manchester goes crazy for Peterloo this month – the bicentenary of the event – we've been exploring his work, his role and his actions through poetry, prose and artwork.

We've displayed some of the shorter pieces at George Lawton Hall, put together a booklet which will be distributed for free across Mossley and hosted everything in its entirety here, at a dedicated website. We've also been generously supported by the Mossley councillors' ward monies scheme, and we look forward to performing our work at a handful of events and hosting workshops around the bicentenary itself, on 16 August 2019.

It's been fantastic to participate so far, and I'm certain there will be more group projects around the corner...


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