HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US   LINKS      
 

 
FRIEDRICH ENGELS IN SALFORD
 

From Salford Star issue 6 Winter 2007

"TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE YOU MUST BE ACTIVE, YOU MUST LIVE AND YOU MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO TASTE THE THRILL OF BEING YOUNG" Fred Engels 1840

Part 1

Fred Engels is the most famous person who ever breathed in Salford - but he's been totally forgotten. Fred wrote the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, and his words were used to inspire revolutions all over the world.

In the communist countries that perverted his theories, he was like a god and they used to parade his image everywhere – on stamps, coins, banners and statues…But the image was always of this dusty, beardy old git.

Yet when Fred came to Salford, age 22, he was on the ale every night, copping off with local girls and stirring up all sorts of trouble. He was the original angry young man, slagging off developers, the council, the capitalists and the conditions that working class people were living in... Hmmm, it seems Freddy Engels is so out, he's in.

Click here for a total Freddy Fest!

 



ENGELS COVER ENGELS STAMP
click image to enlarge

What do you want to be when you grow up sonny?
"I wanna change the world - and I mean it, right!"

EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT FRED ENGELS

Born in Barmen, Germany, in 1820, young Fred was a major trouble maker after he discovered politics, so his dad – a rich mill owner – packed him off to Salford when he was 22 to work for the family's joint owned Ermen and Engels' Victoria Mill in Weaste, which made sewing threads.

By this time Fred already spoke 25 languages, was a top horseman, swordsman, swimmer, skater, artist, journalist, composer and philosopher – well, there was no telly in those days. And he'd published loads of political articles, stirring it up in his home town and prompting his dad to write "I have a son at home who is like a scabby sheep in a flock…"

En route to Salford, Fred stopped off in Cologne where he met his future best mate, Karl Marx.

When Fred arrived in Salford in 1842, by day he worked at Victoria Mill in Weaste and in the company's office in Deansgate (now Kendals' perfume counter), and was an outwardly respectable business type. But at night he slummed it, spending all his time going around the working class areas observing the shocking conditions that working people were living in.

Fred had copped off with a young Irish girl called Mary Burns, who probably worked at his dad's mill, and she took him out at night in disguise so that he wouldn't get his German bourgeois head kicked in.

After twenty months Fred went home and wrote The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844 (published 1845). It was"dedicated to the working classes of Great Britain" but wasn't available in English until 1892. The explosive book described in intimate detail, street after street, the total squalor that working people were living in, based on what he'd seen in Salford and Manchester.

But he didn't just write about the conditions, and his hatred for the ruling class that allowed working people to live like that. Once back in Germany he got his sword out and took part in the revolutionary uprising against the Prussian army. It was after this, in 1848, that Fred and Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto urging a worldwide socialist revolution.

With the authorities after him, Fred took refuge in Switzerland before arriving back at his dad's factory in 1850, exiled in Salford. He stayed for 19 years. This time, Fred was under surveillance from the secret police, and had `official' homes and `unofficial homes' all over inner city Manchester where he lived with Mary under false names to confuse the cops.

While Fred was in Salford and Manchester, Karl Marx used to come and visit him at least once every year. They would sit for hours researching in Chetham's Library – and then go drinking for hours in pubs all over town – possibly the Crescent and The Grapes in Salford, and the Gold Cup and Coach and Horses in Manchester.

The prime reason why Fred worked at his dad's mill for 20 years was to get money to support Marx, so he could complete his masterwork, Das Kapital, which showed exactly how capitalism worked – basically the economic exploitation of the working class by the ruling class.

Fred `slaved' in Weaste until 1869 but most of what he was up to during his stay is up for speculation as he destroyed over 1500 letters between himself and Marx after his mate died, so as not to expose their secret life in the north west. In 1870 Fred left Salford and Manchester for London, and world infamy. He died in 1895.

 

WHAT FRED SAID...

"I once went into Manchester with a bourgeois and spoke to him of the bad, unwholesome method of building, the frightful conditions of the working people's quarters…The man listened quietly and said when we parted `And yet there is a great deal of money to be made here; good morning sir'

"All the conditions of life are measured by money, and what brings no money is nonsense, unpractical idealistic bosh !"

                                                           ********

"Urban authorities…almost everywhere in England are recognised centres of corruption of all kinds, nepotism and jobbery – the exploitation of public office to the private advantage of the official or his family." The Housing Question 1887

      ********

"If we cross the Irwell to Salford, we find…one large working men's quarter, penetrated by a single wide avenue…All Salford is built in courts or narrow lanes, so narrow, that they remind me of the narrowest I have ever seen, the little lanes of Genoa….The working men's dwellings between Oldfield Road and Cross Lane…vie with the dwellings of the Old Town in filth and overcrowding.

In this district I found a man, apparently about 60 years old, living in a cow stable...which had neither windows, floor, nor ceiling…and lived there, though the rain dripped through his rotten roof. This man was too old and weak for regular work, and supported himself by removing manure with a hand-cart; the dung heaps lay next door to his palace.

The working people live, almost all of them, in wretched, damp, filthy cottages…the streets which surround them are usually in the most miserable and filthy condition, laid out without the slightest reference to ventilation, with reference soley to the profit secured by the contractor…"

The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844

                                                                                ***********

"A class which bears all the disadvantages of the social order without enjoying its advantages…Who can demand that such a class respect this social order ?"

The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844

*************

"Exploitation is the basic evil which the social revolution strives to abolish, by abolishing the capitalist mode of production." Fred Engels 1887

                                                   *********

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles…" Marx and Engels: Communist Manifesto

 ************

"Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win…Working Men of All Countries, Unite!" Marx and Engels: Communist Manifesto

                                                                        ***************

"To get the most out of life you must be active, you must live and you must have the courage to taste the thrill of being young…" Fred Engels 1840

See Fred Engels Part 2 here

See Fred Engels Part 3 here

See Fred Engels Part 4 here

Engels Trivia and limited edition poster here

Who was Mary Burns?

Nigel Thomas wrote
at 11:32:30 AM on Thursday, February 27, 2014
This doesn't mention his most important and influential sole-authored work, published after Marx died: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). Something of a feminist as well as a socialist.
 
Rebecca Smith wrote
at 4:49:27 PM on Saturday, January 07, 2012
Cheers for that, I'm visiting there for maps next week and ill look it up!! xx
 
Salford Star wrote
at 2:35:08 PM on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Rebecca - The best ever book on Engels in Salford and Manchester was written by Ruth and Eddie Frow, who kept his memory alive when Salford Council was busy bulldozing world heritage ie his mill in Weaste. Think it's called Engels in Manchester and is available at the Working Class Movement Library on The Crescent - enjoy!
 
Rebecca Smith wrote
at 2:28:30 PM on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
love the way this is wrote, didn't know this about Engels. Come in handy for essay this will. Where can I reference the history of Engels living in Salford???
 
Liz wrote
at 8:07:02 AM on Saturday, February 20, 2010
Did Victoria mill become Winterbottoms?, over the step bridge.
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Deli Lama
Salford Star photo stories
Cornerstone advert
Mary Burns Publishing
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD COUNCIL £93,000 PAY-OFF TO EX CHIEF EXEC BARBARA SPICER
It doesn't really matter trying to name and shame them, they don't care, they have the pay off and they know full well it wont get... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL £93,000 PAY-OFF TO EX CHIEF EXEC BARBARA SPICER
They both quit, walked out, resigned, moved on. Whatever it is called they went of their own accord, so what the fuck is the payo... [more]
article: SALFORD PEOPLE SPEAK OUT AGAINST MEDIA STIGMA
As the article states these people are no longer drug dealers, drug users or criminals and many have not committed crime for over ... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL £93,000 PAY-OFF TO EX CHIEF EXEC BARBARA SPICER
Wonder how many more pay-offs have this council made. They seem to be able to find the money for this,yet they can't find any mon... [more]
article: SALFORD MEN THIRD WORST LIFE EXPECTANCY IN ENGLAND
The fact that Salford itself shows a huge divide suggests that its more than poverty but about lifestyle too. I work in one of the... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD COUNCIL £93,000 PAY-OFF TO EX CHIEF EXEC BARBARA SPICER

Star date: 28th July 2014

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL MAKES HUGE PAY-OFFS TO SPICER AND VICKERS  DESPITE CUTS

As Salford Council was formulating cuts to transport for disabled adults, the Salford Children's Camp and more, it paid out huge sums to senior staff who left their posts, the Salford Star can reveal.

Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer, who quit the Council in October last year, got a £93,000 pay-off, while Martin Vickers, who left the Council in August last year and then controversially walked almost straight into a job with Salford City Reds, was handed a pay-off of £78,817.

Full details here…

SALFORD MP CONTROVERSIAL LABOUR PARTY SELECTION PROCESS RAGES ON

Star date: 27th July 2014

SARAH BROOKES SELECTION FIASCO COMPARED TO EXPENSES SCANDAL

Controversy continues to rage in the Salford Labour Party, with Karl Brookes writing to members of the Selection Committee who picked the shortlist of candidates to stand in Hazel Blears' vacant seat for the next election, comparing their actions to the MPs' expenses scandal – of which Hazel was the poster girl.

Karl is the husband of Sarah Brookes, who came joint second in Labour Party branch nominations for the candidacy, only to be overlooked by the Committee in favour of a candidate who got just one nomination.

Full details here…

GREATER MANCHESTER FRINGE FESTIVAL AT THE KINGS ARMS

Star date: 26th July 2014

LAST FEW DAYS OF THE FRINGE AT THE KING'S ARMS SALFORD 

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival draws to a close on Thursday 31st July but before that there's still lots of music, comedy and theatre going off at the King's Arms in Salford.

Tonight sees the opening of the new Lucy Davis Vaults in the cellar of the Kings with Ransack Theatre's production of Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter. There's also music and comedy, including An Evening of Filth and Despair.

Full details here…

SALFORD MEN THIRD WORST LIFE EXPECTANCY IN ENGLAND

Star date: 24th July 2014

…AND SALFORD WOMEN HAVE THE FOURTH WORST LIFE EXPECTANCY

More horrific data has emerged on the early deaths of men and women in Salford, with the city recording the third worst life expectancy in England for men at 76.1 years, and the fourth worst life expectancy for women at 80.5 years.

Meanwhile men living in the posh area of Kensington and Chelsea can expect to live six years longer than Salford men, and women living in Richmond upon Thames can expect to live almost five and a half years longer than Salford women.

Full details here…

FURY AS SALFORD COUNCILLORS REJECT VULNERABLE ADULTS CUTS CALL IN

Star date: 24th July 2014

SALFORD PEOPLE UNANIMOUSLY IGNORED BY SCRUTINY COUNCILLORS AS £4.4MILLION CUTS GET GO AHEAD

"It's gobsmacking and you would really question your faith in Salford City Council's political system today" Steve North, Salford City UNISON

There was fury yesterday as six councillors sitting on Salford Council's Budget Scrutiny Committee unanimously voted to reject a `call in' to reconsider over £4million of cuts to services for vulnerable people in the city.

The call in was brought by three Labour councillors, who, backed by service users, argued against the cuts on both financial, safety and moral grounds. But UNISON's Steve North said afterwards, "We put our faith in the democratic process, were patronised and then told unanimously that we needn't have bothered."

Full details here…

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx