Bringing this fascinating character to life for the people of Salford
In this intriguing curiosity of a project, rooted in local history, we're working with Salford-based Working Class Movement Library (WCML) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of radical writer Thomas Paine's bones coming to Salford.
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, there is an exciting strand of community-led events which will bring the story of Thomas Paine to life.
People can meet the fascinating Bones of Paine puppet at various locations across Salford at the following events:
Saturday 14 September Salford's Big Day Out
Sunday 6 October East Salford Fun Palace at Walk the Plank's Cobden Works
Friday 25 October - Witches Walk, Buile Hill Park, Salford
Friday 1 November - Irlam Fireworks, Princes Park, Salford M44 6BR
Also, check out the various Thomas Paine events at the Working Class Movement Library taking place this autumn.
"We're excited to be working with the people of Salford and Walk the Plank on telling this bizarre but importat story, which offers a local angle on a character who had a significant impact on history internationally. Recounting the story within the context of events such as Peterloo helps give this unusual tale a relevance to a modern audience. We hope that our Bones of Paine events will get everyone talking about the extraordinary Thomas Paine in a fun and engaging way that inspires curiosity." Lynette Cawthra, WCML Manager.
Also, get your hands on a 'Bones of Paine' badge to get everyone talking.
Images by Chris Payne