Category Archives: Pendle Radicals

Ethel on International Women’s Day (via the Rebel Pen Club)

A Week in Lancashire Part Two

PhD researcher and Radicals collaborator Jenny Harper had a very busy week on her first study visit to Lancashire.  It started with a delve into some precious public collections, which you can read about HERE, followed by a rather special ride on a charabanc!

My packed week of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth-related activities continued with a ride on a charabanc (vintage bus) arranged by cultural partner Mid Pennine Arts through its Pendle Radicals project. PhD work isn’t just about archival research, it also involves connecting with a wider research community, and learning from existing experts in the field. The charabanc event was a great opportunity to do this. The tour marked International Women’s Day on March 8th and was a day-long celebration of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth’s work and life, including visits to many of the locations across East Lancashire (and a bit of Yorkshire), that were of importance to her.

Read more on the Pendle Radicals, Rebel Pen Club blog.

Ethel and the Archives (via the Rebel Pen Club)

A Week in Lancashire Part One

PhD researcher and Radicals collaborator Jenny Harper had a very busy week on her first study visit to Lancashire.  It started with a delve into some precious public collections.

As part of a packed week of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth-related activities, I ventured deep into the library archives of Manchester and Bolton. In carrying out my six-year PhD project on Ethel, I’m always seeking to dig deeper, to find out where new connections can be made, and to thus bring Ethel into sharper focus.

Read more about Jenny’s visits to the John Rylands Library, Working Class Movement Library and Bolton History Centre in our Pendle Radicals blog.

Selina at the Unity (via the Rebel Pen Club)

In autumn 2021, many of our Radicals contributors joined the celebration events for the delayed and much-anticipated launch of the Selina Cooper project at Nelson’s Unity Hall. Selina at the Unity has now been featured in the North West History Journal. Kevin Webb, one of the prime movers behind this lovely project, gave us this recap on how it all came about. Read the full article on our Rebel Pen Club blog.

Weaving a Way Back to Ethel (via the Rebel Pen Club)

The latest turn in our collective exploration of the great Ethel Carnie takes MPA and Pendle Radicals into uncharted territory.  We embark on that rare thing – a collaborative doctorate, with MPA as the non-academic partner – and we welcome the new PhD candidate who was awarded the opportunity.  Jenny Harper introduces herself and the personal history that ties her to the mill working milieu that Ethel writes so powerfully about in the latest Pendle Radicals blog.


My grandfather Neville Hartley worked all his life in the Jimmy Nelson Cotton Mill in the town of Nelson, starting in 1930 at 14 as a half-timer, and taking early retirement at the age of 62. Apart from occasional holidays, his only real break from the mill came when he served in the Manchester Regiment during WW2 (pictured). He saw huge changes in that time.

Click HERE to visit the Rebel Pen Club page to read the rest of Jenny’s blog.


A Life in Common (via the Rebel Pen Club)

Ever daydreamed about swapping your day job for a life of utopian idealism on a commune? Meet Chris Coates, who ran away to join a commune.

Pendle Radicals is delighted to welcome former MPA Trustee Chris back to Burnley to talk about his experiences with the People in Common experiment in communal living. This FREE event, to launch his book, will take place at Finsley Gate Wharf on Sunday 26 September 2021.

Furloughed from his job and locked down for the best part of the last twelve months former Green Party County Councillor Chris spent the time writing an  ‘autoblogography’ of the time he spent living and working in an alternative community in Burnley called People in Common.

People in Common grew out of the counterculture of the 1970’s. We didn’t call ourselves a commune because of all the assumptions that are made about the hippy lifestyle and Burnley isn’t the obvious place that you’d think of for an experiment in communal living.

To read more about Chris and the creation of his book, and to book a FREE place at the event visit the Rebel Pen Club blog.