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:
 
 
 
Brexit Salford
stephensons ad 1
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: KEN LOACH, RICKY TOMLINSON, JB BARRINGTON STAR IN SALFORD COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE FUNDRAISER
Great idea and I hope well supported but why at the Miners in Moston when it's the Salford unemployed. There are many venues in Sa... [more]
article: FIVE CANDIDATES TO STAND IN SALFORD LANGWORTHY BY-ELECTION
Do not understand why any Church is run as a Company with Directors. Please explain. Do Directors get paid or the Church Company m... [more]
article: FIVE CANDIDATES TO STAND IN SALFORD LANGWORTHY BY-ELECTION
Stephen. I think this is a public issue. If you are correct why is a Director of a London Church standing in Langworthy Ward. Why ... [more]
article: FIVE CANDIDATES TO STAND IN SALFORD LANGWORTHY BY-ELECTION
See comments below from The Salford Way et al...There's only two active directorships, one for a community organisation and one fo... [more]
article: FIVE CANDIDATES TO STAND IN SALFORD LANGWORTHY BY-ELECTION
Interesting stuff. Am I hearing UKIP is backing Michael Felse as the Independent with their 1000 Langworthy votes. Is Felse still ... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

KEN LOACH, RICKY TOMLINSON, JB BARRINGTON STAR IN SALFORD COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE FUNDRAISER

Star date: 19th November 2017

WATCH KEN LOACH FILMS WITH KEN LOACH!

Films and Conversations With Ken Loach
Thursday 23rd November 2pm-midnight
Moston Miners' Community Arts Centre £20/£10

This Thursday, there's a chance to watch Ken Loach films, I, Daniel Blake and Spirit of '45, together with the man himself, plus there's entertainment from Ricky Tomlinson, JB Barrington, Smug Roberts and more in a special fundraiser for the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre.

Full details here...

MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS SHOPPER SHOCKER AS ‘THERESA MAY’ AND CO TAX RAIN, SMALL CHILDREN AND PUPPIES

Star date: 18th November 2017

MANCHESTER PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY SUGGESTIONS FOR TORY BUDGET TAXES ON SANTA AND CARING THOUGHTS

Market Street in Manchester City Centre became a showcase for Tory Government pre-budget suggestions this afternoon, with 'Theresa May' and 'Philip Hammond' liking the idea of taxing everything from the northern rain to Santa himself.

It was all part of a Bodge The Budget performance from Manchester People's Assembly, and a pre-amble to the organisation's big Eve of Budget Rally to Shine A Light On Tory Failure, this Tuesday 21st November at 6:30pm, at GMex.

Full details here...

PENDLETON SIXTH FORM COLLEGE GRAPHIC DESIGN EXHIBITION

Star date: 18th November 2017

EX STUDENTS, CURRENT STUDENTS AND POTENTIAL FUTURE STUDENTS INVITED TO SPECIAL SHOWCASE

Pendleton Graphic Design Alumni Exhibition
Tuesday 21st November from 5:30pm
Pendleton Sixth Form College

After a fire hit the Graphic Design Department at Pendleton Sixth Form College 18 months ago, the place has risen from ashes with new state-of-the-art facilities. And to celebrate, next Tuesday, successful former students will holding an exhibition; a "must-see show for any aspiring designers or anyone interested in creative arts and design" state the organisers.

Full details here...

REVEREND RACCOON CONVERTS THE KINGS ARMS SALFORD

Star date: 18th November 2017

SPIRITUAL SALVATION NOT GUARANTEED BY REVEREND RACCOON

The Life and Crimes of Reverend Raccoon
Monday 20th November 7:30pm
The Kings Arms £5/£4

Loss, faith and spiritual quackery are explored in The Life and Crimes of Reverend Raccoon, that plays out at The Kings Arms on Monday. It's a one man dark comedy that parodies the archetypal tv preacher, as Ian Leslie discovers.

Full details here...

FIVE CANDIDATES TO STAND IN SALFORD LANGWORTHY BY-ELECTION

Star date: 18th November 2017

TWO MAIN PARTIES PLUS GREENS, LIBDEMS AND INDEPENDENT STAND IN LANGWORTHY

Five candidates have put themselves forward to stand in the Langworthy by-election which takes place on Thursday 14th December. Joining the Conservative and Labour Party are the Greens, LibDems and Michael Felse standing as an Independent.

Full details here...

 



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