Provincial Propaganda Tour – A Report
A motor propaganda tour was organised with a view to stimulating interest in the Party in provincial centres. In view of the difficulties imposed by finance, breakdowns, and bad weather the results were exceedingly satisfactory and full of promise for the future. The following is a brief record of the tour:-
August 25th.—Left London via the Great North Road. Reached Coventry at dusk. A small meeting was held which was not very good owing to the lateness of the day. At night-fall the van set off for Birmingham. Halfway to Birmingham the tent was pitched for the night.
August 26th.—Broke camp and headed for Birmingham. At about 11.15 the Bull Ring was reached and by 11.30 a good meeting was in progress. An audience of 500 odd listened attentively, but were dispersed by rain. An evening meeting was commenced at 7.0 o’clock, the audience, estimated at 1,500 was scattered by a sudden downpour of rain. Despite these setbacks 200 odd remained to listen in the pouring rain. The attempted meetings of other organisations failed completely. Arrangements for a further two meetings to take place on Monday, the 27th, were cancelled owing to bad weather. Departed for Hanley.
August 27th.—Engine trouble having developed, Hanley was not reached till night-time. A very hearty welcome was received from local comrades.
August 28th.—An evening meeting with an estimated audience of 300 was carried on despite police interference.
August 29th.—An audience of about 500 at a meeting in Hanley Market Place.
August 30th.—The suburbs of Burslem were next visited. The going was heavy all the way and the rain persisted. A good meeting was held.
August 31st.— Left Hanley for Manchester. Tent pitched on the outskirts and entered the town next morning.
September 1st.— An afternoon meeting held in the suburbs of Manchester. Police interference and the threat of a summons were overcome. In the evening a large meeting was held in the centre of Manchester (Oxford Road) with very good results.
September 2nd.—This being a Sunday, meetings were held in the morning, afternoon, and the evening. The morning meeting was poor but in the afternoon the Tour had its best meeting in Stevenson’s Square, the audience numbering a good thousand. In the evening held a meeting in opposition to the Eccles Labour Candidate.
September 3rd.—Departure for Sheffield. Spent night on the moors. Engine trouble.
September 4th.—Engine failure upset arrangements of Sheffield.
September 7th.—Resumed journey to Nottingham, arriving there in the evening. An audience captured from The Economic League provided an interesting meeting.
September 8th.—Derby was next in view, but owing to engine trouble it was not reached till night-fall, and once again an evening meeting was lost.
September 9th.—A small morning and a large evening meeting was held in Derby Market Place. A group of sympathisers was discovered and a number of membership forms were left with an ex-member for distribution with a view to forming a Branch. These sympathisers were also linked up with the Burton Comrades.
September 10th.—Burton was reached at nightfall, an evening meeting having again been lost through engine trouble.
September 11th.—Held a meeting which was considered quite good in view of the fact that the town is owned by the Brewers and the Burton workers are therefore wary of Socialist activities.
September 12th.—A good midday meeting at Swadlincote (a mining area). The van next headed for Leicester. Nothing could be done at Leicester because the roads were filled with stalls, it being Market Day.
September 13th.—Northampton provided a good meeting which was maintained in spite of a “dog fight” between the supporters of the Brewers and the Teetotallers.
September 14th.—The van left for London, and covered the 60 odd miles without a hitch.
Total Collections: £5 18s. 5d.
Total Literature Sales: £3 10s. 10d.