Aristocrats of Labour

Great article here

northumberlandia

Aladdin's Cave

“The working man belonging to the upper-class of his order is a member of the aristocracy of the working-classes. He is a man of some culture, is well read in politics and social history. His self respect is also well developed.”

George Potter, 1870

“To have saved thy life, I would have parted with

My lands for years three,

For a better man of heart, nor of hand,

Was not in the north country”

The Ballad of Chevy Chase, 14th century

It’s now a year since my grandfather died. Ken Lawton had been a coalminer for 38 years, and on Christmas Eve 2013 I watched that burly and battered body of his, blue-veined and strong right until the end, finally succumb to multiple illness and plain exhaustion.

We were very close, and after my own grief passed I’ve spent time brooding on what his death meant to…

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