Every year certain ‘on this day’ pages highlight that on this weekend in 1914 the annual anarchist conference was this year held in Newcastle, and like the Daily Mirror front page spread above, concentrate only on the fashion of the time and talk of ‘flappers’.

This is only a minute picture of the full story. Our forthcoming book (this summer) ‘Anarchism in North East England, 1882-1992 – a history’ covers the entire weekend of the conference and delves into what the delegates at the conference were actually saying, what their leaflets said, what the local press thought of events, coverage of the large public meeting during the weekend, and the large outdoor public meeting concluding events at the Big Market area in the city.


One memorable quote from a delegate, remarking on the huge interest at the public meeting states “We do not know that the local people have any names added to the roll. But we take a leaf out of the book of the old Methodist. Many entered their Bethels out of curiosity and stayed to pray. Many might attend our meetings out of curiosity and stop to think.”


PS, we think it looks like George Barrett (George Ballard) on the left of top picture, whom we know spoke at the conference..what do you think ?


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