Bringing this fascinating character to life for the people of Salford
In this intriguing curiosity of a project, rooted in local history, we worked with Salford-based Working Class Movement Library (WCML) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of radical writer Thomas Paine's bones coming to Salford.
Read the Bones of Paine Project Report
In November 1819 the bones of this pioneering political theorist were brought to Salford, after having been dug up from their original resting place in New York by campaigning journalist William Cobbett, only to be refused entry to Manchester by the authorities, with the horrors of the recent events at Peterloo still afresh in their minds.
To mark the bicentenary of this bizarre event and to celebrate Paine's revolutionary writings and ideas (Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason), this joint project with the WCML aims to mix the traditional with the contemporary, and the unusual with the familiar.
The Bones of Paine puppet made its debut at the 16 August performances of From the Crowd, which marked the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.
During autumn 2019, an exciting strand of community-led events took place which brought the story of Thomas Paine to life including; Salford's Big Day Out, Fun Palace, Witches Walk, Irlam Fireworks and the Bones of Paine Procession.
Images by Chris Payne