Friendly Society that reached around the world

This month marks the 185th anniversary of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. Today the name is all but forgotten yet it is a landmark in the development of the trades union movement. Formed to right a vindictive wrong it ended up costing its founders almost everything. Towards the end of October 1833 the men Read More…

Buttoned up

Blandford cartwheels, bird’s eyes, singletons, old dorsets… they could easily be real ales, rare insects, or even Morris dances. In fact, they’re different types of Dorset Button. As with much of its history, the origins of Dorset Buttonry are shrouded in myth, but the industry flourished from the early 17th century until the mid-19th century. Read More…

Remembering Jackie Leven

There are many far better qualified than I am to write tributes to the one they called Jackie Leven, but my own testament is no less sincere. The few times we met he was always gracious and garrulous in conversation, as generous with his ears as he was with his tales, however tall they may Read More…

Graham Dee: lost Mod icon

He could be the king of British Northern Soul, a lost Mod icon, but Graham Dee’s air of detached modesty says more about him than either soubriquet. He’s just happy to finally see some of his work see the light of day when Acid Jazz release The Graham Dee Connection: The 60s Collection, rounding up Read More…