Watch….Cotton Couture….a film and exhibition at Manchester City Art Gallery. Cotton was king in these parts until its decline in the mid- 20 century. In the 1950s the Cotton Board, which was based in Manchester tried to promote cotton products as items of haute couture and to grow the export trade. The film shows the reality of the industry in its aerial view of a cotton mill, maybe Oldham, and then swoops onto the factory floor to catch a woman as she minds her looms. Quickly and before we ask any questions or find out anything about the woman worker we are now at a fashion show where models are exhibiting dresses and suits in cotton. It is high end fashion, you only have to look at the women in the audience to see who can afford to buy the clothes. After watching the film there is an exhibition of some of the clothes shown in the film. In real life they do not look as glamorous and you wonder what the designers really thought about using cotton instead of silk. Fascinating film and exhibition more for what it doesn’t say or show ……..further info see
Oppose the victimisation of a pregnant young woman….and join a demo at Ashton Jobcentre on 21 and 22 August at 1pm against benefit sanctions. A 19 year old pregnant young woman (23 weeks) has been sanctioned 3 times in 2 months. Her case is being supported by Tameside against the Cuts and the local Green Party.
Join the People’s March for the NHS….they are a group of mums walking from Darlington to London and inspired by the Jarrow March of the 1930s (which refused to allow women to take part except for Ellen Wilkinson) and next weekend they will be in Leeds. They are marching 300 miles, through 23 towns and cities all the way to Parliament. The easiest leg of the march to join is on Saturday 23rd August – when it sets off from central Leeds to march the 10 miles to Wakefield. The rally in Leeds starts at 930am. Work colleagues in BHA Leeds Skyline – the city’s HIV support centre – will be opening up early on Saturday 23rd at Gallery House, 131 The Headrow, opposite the start of the march, and providing marchers with tea, coffee and toast. Further info see
Were you at... the march against the war in Iraq on February 15, 2003? If you did, you walked beside over 15 million people in over 800 cities around the world. “We are many” is a project to produce a documentary telling the stories of the marchers across the world. You can share your story at
Take part in…a Gig by the Green on Sunday 24 August at the Moston Miners..a community festival with music, stalls, children’s entertainment both inside and outside the centre and its all free! Further info see
Go to a play…. last season the Royal Exchange produced a wonderful production of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and this season we can watch a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Salford’s finest actor Maxine Peake. It is going to be popular so get your tickets it starts 11 Sept-18 October. See
Listen to...one of the finest orchestras in Europe; the BBC Philharmonic and they have a new Basque chief conductor, Juanjo Mena, who will open the season on the 27 September with the wonderful Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. And the great thing is that if cannot afford to go to the concert they will recorded by BBC Radio 3 and some will be broadcast live. Further info see