HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
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?

paul wrote
at 12:03:17 PM on Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Some of Engels words are very true in some respect, And this may ring true with Salford City Council, Like the avenue they seem to be taking by letting salix homes do their dirty work for them, like the dispersal of SALFORD PEOPLE and families away from the area so the upper class can move and buy the multitude of apartment that are on offer, 2 tier system. SOCIAL HOUSING. Social Cleansing is happening in SALFORD thanks to your local labour council. Labour voter Not no more.
 
Piss Off Posho wrote
at 12:53:52 AM on Thursday, September 22, 2016
oh FFS only a clueless posh twat could write about a factory owner in such glowing reverential terms. Engels was an exploiter of the manchester working class you clueless fuck. Equal measure sacred shitles and in awe. PS he was also a fucked racist twat as well. Notice you don't mention a word on engels' opinion about the irish.
 
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 7, 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:
 
 
 
SLADS
Salford Live Events
Salford Star contact
Salford Star
Salford Star print
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW £25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE
Hedley hooper your right. It's yet another case of voting on things they know nothing about. Thank you Salford Star for opening ... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW £25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE
One name that doesn't seen to come up much in all this is Keepmoat, and I don't understand that. Surely a lot of the responsibilit... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW £25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE
Will the star be attending the meeting and will it be filmed or allowed, people of the UK need to see these shameful people. The c... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW £25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE
I wish my Landlord would take a leaf out of the Salford Councils book. I live in Arthur Millwood and apart from them sealing a few... [more]
article: UNISON ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF LYING TO JUSTIFY SHUTTING DISABLED KIDS HOME
Well done, UNISON, for casting off your associations with Salford Labour Councillors and denouncing their actions and priorities! ... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD BENEFIT ARMY TO TAKE ON DWP OVER UNFAIR DISABILITY ASSESSMENTS

Star date: 17th August 2017

VOLUNTEER ARMY TRAIN TO HELP DISABLED FIGHT UNFAIR ASSESSMENTS

A new army of volunteers has been trained this week to accompany people going to DWP disability assessments to ensure they are treated fairly and gets their rights to state help.

"I think it's very important that people are there to stand up for those who are not necessarily best able to defend themselves in a benefit system that is set up basically to catch people out; force them off benefits" explained Ben Clay, who was one of the volunteers at the training course organised by Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL SET TO BORROW £25MILLION TO MAKE TOWER BLOCKS FIRE SAFE

Star date: 16th August 2017

£25MILLION FOR NINE PENDLETON BLOCKS AS PUBLIC MEETING CALLED ON FIRE SAFETY

Salford City Council is set to borrow £25million in order to sort its nine Pendleton high rises, after they failed consecutive Government fire safety tests. Who ultimately pays for the work, a Council report states, is "likely to be the subject of dispute", although it believes that Pendleton Together is liable.

Meanwhile a public meeting for residents will take place next Tuesday, 22nd August at Salford Arts Theatre, with speakers from the Justice4Grenfell Campaign, Salford City UNISON and the Fire Brigades Union.

Full details here...

UNISON ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF LYING TO JUSTIFY SHUTTING DISABLED KIDS HOME

Star date: 15th August 2017

'INACCURACIES' AND 'LIES' IN COUNCIL ATTEMPT TO SHUT THE GRANGE – AS STRIKE BALLOT LOOMS

Next week, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, will make a decision on whether or not to shut The Grange, Salford's only residential care home for disabled children.

The Council report recommending the closure has been slated in new counter reports from both the families of children at The Grange and Salford UNISON, which accuses the Council of 'inaccuracies', including over unfilled places... "The so-called lack of demand for The Grange is a lie to justify a cut" it states. The report adds that UNISON members "are willing to consider industrial action in defence of their jobs".

Full details here...

NEW SALFORD COUNCIL STADIUM LOAN WILL TAKE TOTAL TO ALMOST £25MILLION

Star date: 14th August 2017

SALFORD COUNCIL TO HAND ANOTHER £632,000 LOAN TO AJ BELL STADIUM

This week, cash-strapped Salford City Council is set to agree another loan of 'up to' £632,500 for its City of Salford Community Stadium, branded the AJ Bell Stadium.

This will take the current total amount of Council loans for the Stadium - which made another huge loss last year and has net liabilities of over £7million - to almost £25million.

Full details here...

YOUNG SALFORD PEOPLE MAKE NUJ FILM ON REPORTING POVERTY

Star date: 13th August 2017

POVERTY REPORTING NEEDS THE WHOLE PICTURE

Young film makers from the Reporters' Academy in Salford have made a short film about reporting poverty, aimed at journalists who jump on the poverty porn bandwagon.

A variety of people are interviewed in the film about their experiences, urging journalists to have the whole picture on poverty before reporting crap.

Full details here...

 



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