Monday, 29 August 2016

Caroline Martyn - Pioneering Woman & Clarion Van Speaker

Caroline Martyn 
Pioneering Woman & Clarion Van Speaker
THE DUNDEE grave of a leading female trade unionist, who died on visit to the city over a hundred years ago, has been uncovered thanks to the detective work of a local Dundee Trades Union Council Secretary Mike Arnott.

Caroline Martyn, an acclaimed public speaker was born at Lincoln, 3rd May 1867, died aged 29 after a short illness in Dundee, in July 1896.  Where she was attempting to recruit women jute workers into the Dundee Textile Workers’ Union.

Mike Arnott, secretary of the Dundee Trades Union Council said he was asked by an English local historian Michael Walker to trace Miss Martyn's grave in Balgay Cemeter, Dundee.

The granite memorial with metal lettering was on a path between the north entrance and the Hird Bridge.

Mr Arnott said, “I spoke to the burial section of the council’s leisure and communities department and we found the plot number.

“The grave hadn’t been tended to and was covered in moss, with another tombstone leaning against it.”

Mr Arnott said he had been unaware of Miss Martyn’s career but discovered her fiery oratory was well known in England.

He said, “She was a major figure in the Lancashire area and had founded the Socialist Sunday School Movement. She was also a frequent visitor to Scotland for meetings and speeches.”


A notice in the old Dundee Advertiser from Monday, July 20, 1896, reported that Miss Martin, “who has been holding a series of open-air meetings,” had cancelled her engagements due to illness.
Miss Martin had collapsed after a lecture. A telegram was sent to her mother to go to Dundee, where she was taken to her daughter at a house in the Murraygate.

A single sentence in the Advertiser of July 24, announced that Miss Martyn, “the well-known lady trade union organiser” had died the previous day.

The Advertiser next day reported that Miss Martyn was interred in Balgay Cemetery the previous afternoon, following a service in St Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Mr Arnott said the hasty internment and burial of Miss Martyn in Dundee are still a mystery.

He said, “It certainly seems speedy. Her brother bought the plot on the day she died and she was buried the next day”

Mr Arnott and colleagues have cleaned up the memorial over the last few days, although a piece of its top section is missing.

He said, “We know the original stonemason was called Cochran and we’re hoping that a contemporary stonemason may hold their records. It would be good to identify what it originally looked like and possibly restore it.”

Librarian locates monument clue

A Dundee librarian has uncovered the missing piece of the puzzle that could lead to the restoration of the grave of a 19th century female trade unionist who died in the city. 

The Courier reported the rediscovery of the burial site of acclaimed public speaker Caroline Martyn in Balgay Cemetery by Dundee TUC secretary Mike Arnott, who had been asked to locate it by an English historian Michael Walker. The red granite monument had long been neglected and its top section was missing. 

Miss Martyn died in July 1896 of pleurisy, aged just 29, on a visit to the city to recruit women jute workers into the Dundee Textile Workers' Union. She was buried the following day. Mr Arnott said it was obvious there was a missing piece to the monument, but its description was unknown.
Fortunately, David Kett, team leader at Dundee Central Library's reference services, saw The Courier's story and set to work.  

Mr Arnott said,
"David searched the 19th century British Library newpapers database for Caroline Martyn and found a reference in an old Aberdeen Journal to the monument, which was erected at the grave the year after she died. "It described a 'broken column of polished red (Peterhead) granite supported on a neat die.' "

Mr Arnott said that on reading the description he realised he had unwittingly come
across the missing piece on a previous visit to the cemetery. 

He said, "I saw a column fitting this description in Balgay the other night, lying maybe 100-150
yards west of the memorial. It was lying in a row of gravestones and looked nothing like anything else around it." The symbolism of the "broken
column" is obscure, although a theory suggests it means someone whose life has been "broken off" abruptly by dying young. 

The discovery coincides with him receiving one of the only known photo-graphs of Miss Martyn from the researcher who asked him to find her grave. Mr Arnott now hopes to have the monument
restored to its former glory. He said, "I'll be speaking to the council, as obviously it is their graveyard. I'd like to set up an appeal fund and ask
people for donations to pay for a proper stone-mason to fix it.  "The Aberdeen article describes the full height of the monument as 9ft 6in, so it will need a professional

In 2010 
26th July Monday afternoon I was pleased to
attend a commemoration and rededication of the grave of Caroline Martyn.
 Caroline Martyn was a Christian Socialist, trade unionist, and promoter  of co-operation who lived between 1867 and 1896. She was born in
Lincoln but died aged just 29 years in Dundee and had been taken ill during a speaking tour organised to help recruit women jute workers into
 the Dundee Textile Workers' Union. Keir Hardie wrote that she was the leading socialist of her day, with 'a power of intellect and moral-force' that was unmatched. Caroline Martyn's grave is in Balgay
Cemetery.





The event today was organised by Dundee Trades' Union Council, well done to them for all that they do to promote trade unions in the city and also to preserve the city's trade union history. The pictures here show Mike Arnott from the Trades' Council and also Caroline Martyn's great-niece Viv Flowers speaking at today's event; and also a couple of pictures of Caroline's gravestone which was erected by her 'socialist comrades and Dundee Textile Workers Union.'

6th July 2010 commemoration of her life at her grave, at the

Her great niece Vivienne Flowers travelled from England to speak at the ceremony. It was held in Balgay Cemetery, where Caroline Martyn is buried.
She said she was overwhelmed by the support and love from the Scottish community, and by how much her ancestor is appreciated.

Ms Martyn's grave was rediscovered last year after inquiries by an English historian.
A monument at the burial site has been restored, with its missing column reattached, after detective work by Dundee TUC secretary Mike Arnott.
Mrs Flowers was alerted to the rediscovery after reading an online article in The Courier.
She said, "I did a lot of reading about her and we're terribly proud. We're still quite amazed we didn't know anything about her."

The ceremony, which was attended by around 25 people, was addressed by Lord Provost John Letford.

It closed with a rendition of Mary Brookbank's Jute Mill Song.

Monday afternoon I was pleased to attend a commemoration and rededication of the grave of Caroline Martyn. Caroline Martyn was a Christian Socialist, trade unionist, and promoter of co-operation who lived between 1867 and 1896. She was born in Lincoln but died aged just 29 years in Dundee and had been taken ill during a speaking tour organised to help recruit women jute workers into the Dundee Textile Workers' Union. Keir Hardie wrote that she was the leading socialist of her day, with 'a power of intellect and moral-force' that was unmatched. Caroline Martyn's grave is in Balgay Cemetery. 


The event today was organised by Dundee Trades' Union Council, well done to them for all that they do to promote trade unions in the city and also to preserve the city's trade union history. The pictures here show Mike Arnott from the Trades' Council and also Caroline Martyn's great-niece Viv Flowers speaking at today's event; and also a couple of pictures of Caroline's gravestone which was erected by her 'socialist comrades and Dundee Textile Workers Union.'








Labour Chronicle, 1 Aug 1895, repeated in her biographical entry in the 1896 issue of The Labour Annual.
a fine time. Three days running I had six meetings each day, then ten, then eleven. Rochdale; fine
meetings. Good spirit. Bolton; very good prospects."

Unfortunately the lifestyle of an itinerant speaker did not suit Caroline's health. She confided her feelings to friends, such as Isabella Fyvie Mayo, on more than one occasion: She missed the stability of a fixed home and felt she was merely a speaking machine. Long journeys by third-class rail, poor sleeping accommodation and a sense of always having to move on also took their toll physically.

On Monday 13th July 1896, Caroline arrived in Dundee to hold a series of meetings and to help recruit women jute workers into the Dundee Textile Workers' Union. She was already struggling with her health, but said little about it for fear of concerning her comrades:

"I do not know if it is the weather, which is close and gloomy or what but I have been feeling very queer the last few days. I have not been quite up to the mark for a week or two....... Last night, after my
speech, I took the names for 19 new members of the Textile Workers’ Union myself, and there were two
or three others taking names also. I hope I shall soon be all right. It is very hard to speak in public when you feel faint and ill."

On the night this letter was written, Caroline Martyn spoke publicly for the last time. She was far from
well, and at the close of her lecture she passed out. On the afternoon of Wednesday 22nd July, a
telegram was sent requesting her mother Kate to come at once from Lincoln. She was met at the station by some of Caroline's comrades, who took her to the house of Dundee ILP member Agnes Husband, at 107 Murraygate, in which her daughter lay dying.

Caroline Martyn died in the early afternoon of Thursday 23rd July 1896, aged 29, reportedly of Pleurisy,

After a service the following day at St Paul's Episcopal Church (now Cathedral), she was buried in Balgay Cemetery; section A, lair 13, at four o’clock in the afternoon. Mourners included her mother, brother George, who had purchased the lair, Miss Irwin11 and representatives of the Dundee ILP.

Wreaths came from Dr Emily Thomson, Dr Alice Moorhead and Edwin Scrymgeour12. The red granite memorial was erected the following year and was made by stonemason J. Cochran of King Street, Aberdeen. The top section is in the shape of a broken column, which possibly represents a life cut short. In tribute, Keir Hardie wrote that she was the leading socialist of her day, with 'a power of intellect and moral-force' that was unmatched. The Labour Leader carried a full page obituary, including a sketched portrait captioned 'Died for Socialism', along with a poem by J.Connell.

Added poignancy came from the fact that she had just taken over the editorship of Fraternity, the journal of the International Society for the
Brotherhood of Man, and was about to start as a trade union organiser, working among Dundee's
women jute workers. In many senses it seemed her best work was about to begin.


Socialist Holiday Camp - Caister

Caister Socialist Holiday Camp opened 1906













Britain's first holiday camp was organised by the Labour Movement and opened in 1906. 

The Socialist Holiday Camp at Caister Norfolk was the first British holiday camp for families along modern lines.

The camp was organised by John Fletcher Dodd a former grocer and a prominent member of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and a Clarion cyclist.

It has been stated that the site was found when London Clarion cyclists and ILP'ers visited the Norfolk coast and where Fletcher Dodd's bought a house and then invited ILP'ers and Clarion cyclists to camp in bell tents on his lawn.

The camp as well as offering a healthy holiday at the seaside close to London also held regular lecturers on issues of importance to the Labour movement.

John Fletcher Dodd's regular stood as ILP candidate in local elections.

Michael Walker


Nelson Clarion House



Nelson Clarion House 
Still open and now going from strength to strength

Clarion House,
Jinney Lane, Newchurch-in-Pendle Lancashire BB12 9LL


Ordnance Survey
LANDRANGER 1:50 000 Series, Sheet 103 
OUTDOOR LEISURE 1:25 000 Series, Map 21
National Grid Reference SD 832 396
Lat: 53:51:08N (53.8523) Lon: 2:15:29W (-2.2579) 

Bournemouth Co-op Society Education Committee



Bournemouth Co-operative Society Education Committee Stand

Allotments - Independent Labour Party ILP



Back To the Land
Allotments
Independent Labour Party ILP

National Union of Agricultural Workers - Benevolent Fund

National Union of Agricultural Workers
Benevolent Fund

300 Raindeer killed by lightning


http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/more-than-300-reindeer-killed-by-lightning-strike-in-freak-disaster-a3331741.html