Tolpuddle Martyrs in Kings Cross – how can we commemorate the 1834 march from Copenhagen Fields?

Tolpuddle_march_2 The Tolpuddle Mural on the wall at the entrance to Edward Square on Copenhagen Street is a great piece of community art.  A huge and vivid depiction of a fascinating piece of our social history.  David Renton has got in touch as follows on the 175th anniversary of the demo:

‘Next year will be the 175th anniversary of the great demonstration in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs that started on Copenhagen Fields and is commemorated today by the mural on the side of the Mitre on Copenhagen Street.

‘A group of Islington residents have been starting to swap ideas for possible commemorative activities. They include a possible musical event. We have also been thinking of activities especially for in the immediate vicinity of the mural – history walks, film showings,possibly events in local schools.

‘If you’ve got any good ideas about what we could do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch initially via me, David Renton, (click for email)  or on 07777671381.’

Either drop David a line or make a comment here.

Google has turned up an engraving of the original demo from the TUC site here which shows the area now Caledonian Park when it was still fields and the long demolished Copenhagen House- click the picture to enlarge.
Copenhagen_fields_demo

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Kings Cross local history. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Tolpuddle Martyrs in Kings Cross – how can we commemorate the 1834 march from Copenhagen Fields?

  1. M@ says:

    As a fun community event, you could get local residents to dress up in top hats and bonnets, make banners and recreate the mural as accurately as possible in real life. Great photo opportunity!

  2. David Renton says:

    Along very similar lines, I’ve been wondering if we couldn’t re-enact the original Tolpuddle oath, complete with a mysterious skeleton in the backgroud to warn anyone who breaks the promise to stand by their union.

    For people who are interested in the Tolpuddle story there’s a very good website here: http://tolpuddlemartyrs.online-today.co.uk/

    And there’s even a Tolpuddle song here: http://tolpuddlemartyrs.online-today.co.uk/Toman.mp3

  3. Lisa Tang says:

    Today an artist called Karen, has started improving the signage of the mural which was unfortunately hidden by the fencing. This is something that Lisa Pontecorvo wanted improved for a long time.
    She has also put Lisa Pontecorvo in the mural holding the sign! She may not finish today but will come back later to tweak Lisa’s features.

  4. Dave Renton says:

    Hi Lisa
    If you happen to see Karen, could you ask her to give me a call on 07777671381? I’d like to talk to her about some of the events we’ve got planned for next year. I’ve tried leaving my number with Sandra in the pub but it didn’t get through. I’ve also tried just milling around the mural most days in the hope of catching Karen painting, but that didn’t work either! Thanks, David

  5. Sally McMahon says:

    Came over from West London yesterday to view the mural as I stumbled across it on the internet. Thought it was very good and think it a great idea to celebrate the reinactments along with dressing up in period costume, also like the idea of the historical walks. My nan was born in her father’s shop in Chapel Street (1880’s), her sister had a shop in Copenhagen Street (no 23) and I noted Tolpuddle Street was the next one up from Chapel Street Market. I have an interest, because of my nan’s family (my paternal side) but when I started doing genealogy some years ago now, discovered on my maternal side a direct ancestor called James Hammett who was born in Tolpuddle – no he wasn’t one of the martyrs, but was his namesake’s first cousin instead! So I knew about Copenhagen Fields and if not for the support of all those people, those men wouldn’t have come back! So yes, it is a very good idea to celebrate this. There is of course the annual union rally in Tolpuddle itself each July, which we have attended for a few years now, meeting up with other Hammett cousins and some direct descendants of the Hammett martyr.

  6. We should surely get the local primary schools involved and perhaps have the street closed off for a day – would be nice to have a respite from the traffic.

    Could also perhaps get the guardian involved – they are only around the corner and interested in the trades union movement – tristram hunt perhaps.

  7. Lisa Tang says:

    David Renton has organised a meeting to start planning the commemorative activities
    for the 175th anniversary of the great demonstration in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs that started on Copenhagen Fields and is commemorated today by the mural on the side of the Mitre on Copenhagen Street.

    The meeting is at 6.30 pm at the Mitre Pub on Copenhagen Street on Monday the 27th October

    There’s only six months to go so there’s lots to do!

  8. David Renton says:

    Sally, as you’ll have seen, there are a group of us meeting on November 3rd at the Mitre – it would be lovely if you wanted to come along too.

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