Without Salford there would have been no Russian revolution, no Che Guevara, no Fidel Castro…and no John Lennon singing `We all wanna change the w-u--r-r-ld'…
Fred Engels came to work at his dad's mill in Weaste because he knew that the area was right at the cutting edge of everything. Salford and Manchester were the world's first industrial cities, with all the associated social problems and political reactions – mass Chartist rallies, the Peterloo Massacre, the centre of trade unionism and in the year he arrived, mass strikes in the mills repressed by troops and the police. It was kicking off all over the place. If anywhere was ripe for revolution it was here…
Karl Marx was sat in London absolutely skint. He wouldn't have been able to write the Communist Manifesto or Das Kapital without Engels subbing him all the time. Marx would have had to get a job stacking shelves in Netto or something. But the money that Engels sent him came from the profits at his dad's Victoria Mill – the sweat of Salford's workers paid for these history changing books to be written.
Engels wouldn't have been able to write the groundbreaking Conditions of the Working Class In England without being taken around those areas by Mary Burns. They say that if you can't change your doorstep you can't change the world. Mary Burns showed Fred the social horror on her doorstep which led to him igniting the flame that inspired over fifty workers' revolutions across the globe.
Favourite Virtue: Jollity
Favourite Virtue in a Man: To mind his own business
Idea of Happiness: A bottle of wine
Aversion: Stuck up women
Favourite Flower: Bluebell
Motto: Take it easy
As told to Karl Marx's daughter, Eleanor, in 1860
To get an original Matt Carroll poster of Engels buy the last few copies of issue 6 here...
To read Part 1 of Engels in Salford click here
Who was Mary Burns?