Bones of Paine procession

Date: 30 November 2019 to 30 November 2019

Location: Salford

Client: Working Class Movement Library

Telling history on the move through Salford

Bringing a fascinating piece of local history alive with the people of Salford in collaboration with the Working Class Movement Library.

The story of 18th century radical thinker Thomas Paine's bones, and how they ended up in Salford (but not Manchester) is one that we have been telling at various Salford events in 2019.

The culmination of this story took the form of a procession through Salford on the last Saturday of November with our now familiar skeletal effigy being biked through the streets from the Working Class Movement Library to the People's history museum.

Unlike larger processions, which by virtue of their size warrant a road closure, our Bones of Paine parade took place amidst busy Saturday afternoon traffic - a combination of early Christmas shoppers and football fans.

A bizarre moment of spectacle, this modest community parade was a great example of how we brought alive an unusual story and, in doing so, attracted the attentions of people who encountered our Bones of Paine groupies along the way.

Continuing with the bones theme, the procession finale included a Mexican Day of the Dead-inspired dance by local Mexican dance group Colibri who have joined us on several occasions for our Manchester Day parade.


"Our 2019 series of Bones of Paines events culminated with this quirky, bizarre but hugely captivating procession through Salford on a Saturday afternoon to tell one of the more unusual stories of Salford history. In an age when people are bombarded with creative content on their phones and other devices, it was great to turn heads and create a real sense of curiosity with this walkabout intervention through the streets of Salford. It also great to link one local cultural place with another - the Working Class Movement Library and the People's History Musuem." Ben Turner, Producer
Project Specification
Project Scale
Creative Content
Parades and processions