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Music, poetry and speech as Wigan Diggers festival returns in honor of Gerrard Winstanley

Organizers have promised the 11th annual event will be “the best ever” as it honors the life and values ​​of one of the country’s most influential writers and activists.

Whatever the weather, there will be a day of fun, including music, poetry and community stalls, from 11.15am to 9.30pm on Saturday in Believe Square in Wigan town centre.

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Festival plans unveiled to celebrate Wigan Borough’s mining heritage

This will be the 11th time the festival will take place

Paul Hilton, of Diggers Festival, said: “We are proud to welcome everyone to our 11th Wigan Diggers Festival, which promises to be the best ever.

“As well as music and poetry on two stages, we host activities and talks on the fringes of the museum, Wigan Parish Church and The Edge conference centre.”

There will be several lectures at the Museum of Wigan Life on Library Street, while Eric Foster, secretary of Golborne Ex-Miners, will be on hand to discuss the miners’ strike and Golborne mining disaster of 1979.

In addition, the film Winstanley will be screened in the auditorium at 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

The crowd at last year’s festival

Unite branch 54 organized a conference entitled Cost of Living Crisis: Enough! with speakers including MPs Barry Gardiner and John McDonnell.

A variety of music will be featured throughout the day, including headliners Jess Silk and The Wakes.

Mr Hilton said: “During hundreds of years of radical working class action, Wigan has played a leading role in the struggle for a just society.

“Gerrard Winstanley and the Digger movement is one of the most famous examples of this, but there are many unsung heroes out there, and our festival exists both to keep the memory of those who came before us alive and to support workers in struggle today.”

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn at last year’s festival

The festival usually attracts hundreds of people wishing to celebrate the life and values ​​of Gerrard Winstanley, a 17th century pamphleteer and philosopher, who founded the Diggers movement and is well known for his view that “the Earth has become a common treasure for all”. .

Last year former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn attended and gave a speech on the Diggers movement, while actor Maxine Peake is a regular at the festival and actors in 17th century themed costumes are always present .

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