RAY GOSLING, born in Northampton, read English for one year at University of Leicester and left to help operate the West End Coffee Bar, a cafe and dance hall and club run by the Townies for the Townies. Now lives in Nottingham. Wrote Lady Albermarle’s Boys (1961) and Sum Total (1962). Recently made a BBC tv film Two Town Mad about Leicester and Nottingham, and is at present working on an Urban Ramble Round Britain, to be published by Faber at the end of the year.
I CAME TO NOTTINGHAM because I was running away from Leicester. Didn’t fancy living in the south of England. Didn’t fancy the North. I wanted to be near to Leicester but in a big city, and so this placeQueen of the Midlands, Arse of the North-I thought would suit me well. By train it is only two hours from London, St. Pancras.
Wanted to be anonymous. Came to this city and hoped I could live here without having to shout out from the rooftops. I wanted no-one to know my name. At first I was successful. It covered me like a cosy wrap blanket. Greater Nottingham with its suburbs holds nearly a million people. Townland runs west into Derby and north all the way to Sheffield. It is large and civilised—first division football. You can eat well, two theatres, film spectaculars, night clubs: yet it has no “town life.” The coffee bar set move from the Kardomah to the Don Juan with their cars and their girls in a self-contained world. Radford has its own. Bulwell. The Meadows. The rich. The lesbian. The mod. The folk music fadder—and these worlds meet rarely which would be alright if we were really big, but this is a second division city—out of the Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham class
The University, stuck out on a hill, lies fat and lush and large in its self-important pomposity and never comes to the town.
I knew no-one when I first came and didn’t want to. I could nod to people on the street, in the shops and on nights out around the town with people and we learnt nothing about each other but our Christian names; often never met again.
I knew that CND held meetings on the Old Market Square on Sundays-like the Salvation Army and the Pentecostals and the Communist Party, they arrived, set themselves up, spoke, answered questions, chatted, and then left in their groups to their own halls and boozers and lives. It was all like watching Variety from the front stalls at the Theatre Royal.
Been here some time and set up a home, the first proper home I’ve ever had—a flat, but still a home: two bedrooms, front room, hot and cold, immersion heater, bathroom, kitchen, corridor—comfortable and fully furnished at £5. 5. a week and have to pay for your own electricity which is why I am now writing this by candlelight. And yet because there is a back boiler I am able to shave, and wash and bath; opposite Players cigarette factory and two streets up from Old Radford parish church.
It would be more than a year of Nottingham when I went to a New Left weekend school at Burley in Wharfedale. On the diesel coming out from Leeds, looking at every station to see the name board; an edgy, nervous journey, making notes—what am I going to say?—what station’s that ?—how much further? I hate John Rex—and looking over on the other side of the gangway was another man with a briefcase also making notes. Think nothing of it. The train thins of passengers and is most commuterless by, at last, Burley in Wharfedale. I got off. He got off, and as the ticket collector took the outgoing half of our return tickets we look at each other. Shy. Speak new left—yes—ah yes and so am I—and we walk together, suspicions proved right, smugly, up the muddy path to the house and that was how I met Ken Coates of Nottingham.
Today, Ken Coates, native of Sussex, ex-Derbyshire pit-man is vice-chairman of the city Labour Party, lecturer in adult education for the University, a founder of UNION VOICE, the monthly trade union sheet; co-editor with Robin Blackburn of THE WEEK, digest of news for busy socialists; and British co-editor with Jim Mortimer of the INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST JOURNAL—healthy triplets all started during last year. It is not that they are exciting, amusing, highly significant or even fabulously alive. They are more like fertiliser: essential.
In the house where Brother Coates lived then, downstairs was the landlord, Mr. Peter Price. Now, anyone writing for a living who is stubborn and pig headed enough to choose to live outside London must put up with, or so the legend runs, and isn’t part of all legend true agonies of isolation, seizures of dull cramp, lethargy, boredom and final extinction. To enter their house, to enter “54” was to enter a world of candlelight, wood fires, and Wagner loud on the record player and it either repulsed you or as it did for me, fascinated, lifted the leeches from beneath the eyes. It was a meeting ground, a talking shop and all sorts from all parts would come in and go out through the same door, with much the same opinions as they went in with—as you do when you go to chapel—only you’d been strengthened. 54 was a powerhouse, and still is, a hive of rebels and none of them a rascal; the antipodes of “110”; the Labour Party headquarters on Mansfield Road. In the same planet but the other side.
The virtue of the 54 network was I think that it was a network, and not a club or a cell. Solidarity was a word often used and rarely applied. It was people, certain politically active, conscious people from CND; from the young socialists; once communist cadres; it was Ken the rose gardener; John and Edward the university academics; Rod the carpet salesman; miner, student, engineer. The fault was in that it was easy enough and the battles hard enough to make it self-perpetuating, the re-telling of tales—the love of its own rituals, language, manners—the danger of pride in the signs.
CND, as an experiment wanted to launch on a large scale a publicity campaign using newspapers, billboards, leaflets, advertising galore; and as a pilot scheme they settled on Greater Nottingham. After the campaign a public meeting was held in the Co-op Arts Centre for which a large audience turned up. Several television, only faintly remembered, personalities spoke and the platform kept apologising for the absence of much advertised film actor Stanley Baker. After that, there was a nice sherry and thinner than cut slice sandwich do at the George Hotel for the local and national campaigners to get together. (There was a similar do for the Kenya Independence Day celebrations laid on by the Kenya ’Government who seem to have so much money to throw about, that I’ve thought of asking them to pay my electric bill). After the do, the two professionals who has more or less tagged along so far (George Clark and Stuart Hall) were transported to beer and loud talk by those on the 54 network. It was near dawn and cold when after argument, anger, dissension, rage, walk-out, drunkenness and chaos two tired national campaigners gave Nottingham up to its own confusion.
Before I discovered this underworld of action and revolution, inspired by the Slab Square meetings I did, four or five times, go to the Friends’ Meeting House to hear the voices for a unilateral policy and in the new Swedish light and polished wood room, before the thick and small china cups of coffee came round the Quakers would hold forth, respectable, sensible and tame. During questions the raughters made attempts at breaking down the restraint.
The next I knew of CND was on the 54 network, from where the kernel of marshals and organisers and secretaries and committees were now being formed, fixed and activated.
All I know now of the campaign is in circular letters from the satellite town of Beeston which are kind and uninspiring and none ever read. The Sunday meetings on the square have gone. But forms and things are sent to my place from YCND in London inviting me to conferences, asking me to follow up a new member on this or that housing estate—the confusion and muddle which has card indexed my place as the local secretariat is a little beyond me. The best thing the national campaign at Carthusian Street can do seems to me to forget that CND in this city exists and wait until some fresh spirit starts the argument up again on another wavelength. The same, all through this more or less applies to the Committee of 100.
When Centre 42 arrived here last year they opened the week’s programme on the Sunday with poetry and jazz only to find that their day and their time corresponded exactly with that of the Playhouse Theatre poetry and jazz evening. Saboteurs, said Centre 42—Foreigners said the Playhouse. The local artists and Centre 42 became so locked in argument that the pictures in pubs project didn’t come off. Co-operation where it existed at all was between Arnold Wesker and Company and the Trades Council as an official body. People never got together. It was not surprising that only a handful turned up to see and hear the bits and pieces of the Festival. It was a miracle anyone did. This city is a proud city. It is the regional capital of the East Midlands. It is large enough to be Greater, but small enough NOT to be metropolitan: a pompous minded, brassy, almost Yorkshire kind of town. It is no use Wesker complaining at the apathy of the workers, and the inconsideration of the Co-op hall management as he did a month or so ago when he held a return poetry and jazz session to a dozen people in a hall above
the room where the Broast Street Beat Club where having a Rave Night. It is sad they didn’t find out beforehand. It is sad that they have about them the airs of supercilious crusaders, come to save a city that has got to save itself, if at all.
At 4 Fletcher Gate, above Julian’s restaurant, clean and cheap and chic and angled for the lunch time trade, in the Lace Market, the city’s equivalent of the Birmingham jewellery quarter, a kind of miniature City of London is the Communist Party. They usually put up three or four candidates in the local elections and one at the general and do quite well. They are alive and not as much Friends of the Soviet Philharmonic as others tend to be. They publish sheets and handouts and pamphlets from time to time and John Peck, the secretary wrote a pamphlet price sixpence—NOTTINGHAM FOR YOU—the best analysis, if a little out of date now in its details, more to the point and accurate and telling than anything else written on the city today that I’ve come across:
“The Tories who tried to scrap our Civic Theatre are the direct political descendants of those who opposed the opening of Nottingham’s first public library in 1868, on the grounds that reading would be dangerous to the contentment of their workers.”
The political scene is jumping here just as the flower beds on the traffic islands are splendid and colourful; very fine, uplifting: makes your morning eyes feel glad. The New Left Club brings in people from the comers of the world to speak beneath the fluorescent brightness of the Mechanics Institute. There is the famed Jordan’s International Bookstore for all your socialist literature—tucked away in a back street, hidden behind a front of second hand paper backs, thrillers and all, gad what, Comrade.
And the Young Fabians—set up only eighteen months ago have produced three pamphlets. Not with the punch of the Communist document these are a little more learned—POLITICAL ISSUES IN NOTTINGHAM,—A HOUSING PLAN FOR NOTTINGHAM (there are 40,000 obsolescent houses,)—PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN NOTTINGHAM.
True to Fabian traditions they decided to hold a day school for Labour candidates and councillors some time before the ’63 May elections. Being mostly at the university they offered their brains to be picked by the future city council—the day was well prepared and the councillors and candidates thought such a refresher course would be good for them, all eager beaver and keen and on the day only one Labour candidate turned up, and none of the councillors.
It is not that this now controlled by the Labour Group city council is composed of evil men. More likely it is tired minds. Flower beds are lovely oases. Flower beds are like closed clubs. Our city fathers fear more than God attempting anything grand enough, so adventurous that it might excite the people, that it might change the city.
On a wet night in December The Beatles came to the Odeon. The following night Lord Snowden with the Lord Mayor and the Vice Chancellor of the University, and the Duke of Portland and others (Princess Margaret couldn’t come because she was having a baby and so sent her regrets with her husband): all came to see open at last the plush civic theatre and be tickled a little with Coriolanus. (Excerpts only because the speeches took so long.)
I had thought of making a protest—what a way to open such· a beautiful building; what a way to open a theatre whose birth had been such a comic opera of party political in-fighting—why not fireworks, revue and bunny-girls and general rejoicing—why not like The Beatles the night before—why not like Harry Worth who came at the end of that week to be ready to star in pantomime. A camera, oh for a camera to be trained one day on the box office at the New Playhouse and the next at the Harry Worth. What comedy and tragedy would be in those pictures, only they were never taken. And I did nothing about the opening of the theatre because I couldn’t get that worked up about the idea, and there wasn’t that much money, and after all it wasn’t fair to protest when after such a battle the theatre was actually open. After all John Neville had given up life in London as a star to come here and be the sun and the moon of just one Solar system—so we stood and watched; stood in the small crowd of women who clapped and cheered timidly as Snowden ran for his car. Next day read in the papers of how the actors arrived at the civic reception at the council house to find no food, and the Mayor said go in there and they went towards the door, and the Town Clerk blocked the way, and then there was a punch uIr. and the day after that the council were demanding an apology from the New Playhouse and the New Playhouse were demanding an apology from the council house. The row has now subsided and the theatre plays on directed by the triumvir of John Neville, Frank Dunlop and Peter Ustinov. It saves you the two pound return rail fare to Shaftesbury Avenue. Like it is another flower bed, you catch a glimpse of it from the top of the bus and think how lovely and long to plant marihuana between the daffodils—because it isn’t a theatre of the people not even as much as the other place is where Harry Worth closed after two months of packed houses of Dick Whittington.
Little wonder that in such an atmosphere you shed a tear and keep firm on your own network.
The city’s Pigalle Club advert in the paper:— “Owing to public demand we announce a complete change of programme next week.” There have been good happenings like that—down by Trentside a whole jazz complex has mushroomed in the past two years into a really lively scene. The fleapit Scala has been taken over by the Classic Cinema chain. The folk workshop, sadly set in the liquorless Co-op Arts Centre blossoms and a monthly magazine of suburban short stories and bric brac NOTTINGHAM PARADE, a kind of local Readers’ Digest flourishes. The Midland Artists’ Group Gallery opposite the New Playhouse has become a main-shows-always-reviewed-in THE GUARDIAN art gallery without losing the basement which can be hired by almost anyone; cheap and worthwhile and noticed.
One night last April I sat in the ’Ghost Pub and the 54 crowd were in and the municipal elections pending and people were talking and saying how Peter was a good man and would be good for the council, only the city labour party seem to operate a mild-Macarthy policy—reserving special wards for the bright, new-blood and willing yet not in on their “110” official Labour Party Club/Network—wards, all of them with large Tory majorities.
But, people said, the swing is to Labour and this Lenton Ward could be marginal. If only Liberal would stand and split the vote then Peter might stand some chance. If only one of us were not so involved and caught up in the local Labour Party one of us could stand. If only. And in my pots I stood up and boasted how I would stand and split the vote and make the difference. The laughs around me were loud and chilling. Walking around the area in the normal course of a day’s business and pleasure people said—good idea-—ou ought to stand needs shaking up, will you be Labour ?—look at this and they call themselves a council—you’ll have my vote. I had been lllmbered. The week came for the nominations. It was a question of pride and honour. I had to stand-no it wasn’t only that. For two years living as a passive citizen in this listless city and never showed at all what I felt. I sat down and wrote out a manifesto and every word I meant:
VOTE FOR A MADMAN. JUST FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE. VOTE FOR A MADMAN. I am not a politician. I am not your “honest candidate.“ I have no support from any political party. But please read on.
I am a not rich, 23-year-old professional freelance scribbler (writer) who settled eighteen months ago on Hartley Road, Radford—and I’m asking you, electors of Lenton, to make me your REPRESENTATIVE on Nottingham City Council.
On May 9th, I would like You to vote for Me—Independent Liberal.
Where’s my interest? Why am I doing this? I tell you I’m doing this for FUN, and for LOVE—for love of this Nottingham, city of nearly one million people with its suburbs and outskirts—a great city that I am proud to live in, very very proud—so proud that now as a citizen I am not prepared to go to the Poll and cast a vote for the shower of crumbling, muddle-headed and funked-up councillors of a city that seems to an outsider to be falling asleep and slowly into chaos while grown men fight among themselves in that Council House at Slab Square.
I can’t keep still or silent, merely voting when the state of this city I’ve made my home shames me so much-,—not that it is bad—but because it could be SO GOOD: and it isn’t, while I have energy, and can make time, and as we live in a supposedly Democratic country, I offer myself to you, the people of Lenton.
Electors of Nottingham—wake up—travel to Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham and see new buildings rising up, cities moving forward, modern and active; living and growing richer in every way—come back to this, by tradition, the Queen of the Midlands-one of the richest, most advanced and civilised areas in the world and you see a shambles where it shouldn’t be—a city ripe and ready to develop and move into the 1960’s, but swimming in its own slime; shambling along in the 1950’s without imagination, guts or go.
It is easy for a city to become tatty and then a second rate place. Too many promises have been made by our councillors, and too few have been kept. Maybe there are reasons, but I would like to know them.
And I stand for Lenton Ward, because to someone who comes from outside it is a very special ward, having what must be Nottingham’s three most famous areas:-
…where “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” has made the 58 bus route world-renowned; for the laughter, and the pubs, and the finest girls in England—those Players Dollies.
…I was fifteen and never been here, when I first heard of the houses off Wilford Road, a boy at school I was told of the slums, the bad housing that still exist in 1963 — The Meadows.
and THE PARK Estate
…busless, shopless, exclusive and private — You can walk from the
Castle to Park Road on an afternoon and not pass one single person.
Lenton is a very special Ward. I wouldn’t want to change its character, in either The Park or the other side of Derby Road—but the roads in The Park are falling apart; too many houses outside there still have no lavatory and no bathroom.
Lenton is somewhere special—special enough I feel to send to the Council
for one term of three years a man with—
and NO FEAR
I have nothing to lose, no reputation, no business, no property—and, I can afford to say just what I please. A Council wouldn’t work at all with many madmen—but without one or two fearless little men it can get too big for its boots and DIE.
When the Labour Group ran the Council they promised and promised and promised this and that and the other—and along came the scandal of Popkess and the Planetarium. And then came power to the Tory Group who promise and promise and came the scandal of the Civic Theatre—and now more promises.
I can promise little but to act as a catalyst, to shake-up the others, to ginger-up their promises—into facts. To try to find out why it seems to take so many years for a Council to keep its word.
I want you to vote for a madman, who if elected can have no loyalty but to Lenton Ward, and my own love of this city.
CHANCE IT—Chance an Independent Liberal—and I promise one thing, firmly, if after SIX MONTHS I have had no effect—and as I wander around your ward in your pubs, and shops, in your homes and on your streets you tell me so-—hen I shall resign. That I do say.
On Thursday, 9th May you have a choice—
Tory promises and Sanity! !
Labour promises and Sanity! !
…or a Freeman and a Voice that won’t keep silent—
Say no more. I believe that. Try it yourself. You need no deposit. I found a copy of the Labour Party booklet on local elections. For three weeks this was my Bible, my chart through the oceans of red tape and ceremony. An agent, and we were on. Wandered through those I knew well in the ward (you must choose a ward where you are known fairly well)—parents of friends and others—many signed—there were completed nomination papers. It is only necessary to have one with twelve signatures, but even with more I still hadn’t a properly signed paper. At the Town Clerk’s office where I found a nice young lady who helped me. Showed me where I was wrong. Back to the ward. Try again. Made it. To her superior. To the Town Clerk. Signed and sealed and it was all in order this time. I was duly nominated: candidate for Lenton Ward, Independent
Liberal: I still thought, then, that I might with this tag take some Liberal votes. Terrified of polling two figures.
The evening papers spread it a little—“Last minute surprise nomination”—and the next day I was invaded by the Liberal Party. At first they were persuasive. Then puzzled. Finally they left convinced—I was not a Liberal.
I held a press conference, and the papers printed chunks of manifesto. Out in the ward nippers squealing after me—here comes the madman mam—many people will have to try this type of campaign before it is accepted that not only do we have a vote for the Council. but we can stand. Politics everyone thought was power, and where was my power—the days had passed of the little men. The ward was buzzing. We ran a full-blooded, disorganised campaign—toured the boozers—every house had a manifesto and visited many—with no money and no experience and a handful of enthusiastic, half-giggled workers, many of whom were too young to vote, we felt good.
The great day came—the moment of truth. That morning’s Manchester GUARDIAN carried a feature headed “Like Mad”—a journalist had spent a night with the campaign—Killed were any last hopes of kidding anyone I was anything but an unaligned stirrer-up. The Liberal Club had already barred me as an imposter. Up early and trudging the streets. The Tory cavalcades were out in force. The Labour Party were roving in cars and vans and I was catching the bus. We did have people stuck by the polling booths but we had no idea how many votes we were catching, or where they were coming from. At six I retired in defeat. At seven we had an army of supporters. They lifted us all dayers into a revival with two cars and one van. Optimism. Back round the houses and at nine it was over. At eleven the results were out.
J. Gough (con.) 2,511 53%
P. Price (lab.) 1,687 36%
R. Gosling (ind.) 475 11 %
There had been a poll of 41 % of the electorate. The campaign had cost £36. The Tory made his victory speech, clean. fight, best man winning. The Labour candidate, his thank you mister returning officer and all, clean fight and then the eyes in the counting room turned towards our table. I couldn’t face it. We rose and walked out, bad losers.
Was it worth it all? Yes: a worthwhile spanner thrown at the people-matter-like-machines camps, and a giggle, and good stories to tell. I’m not sure about a parliamentary election. They need a lot of money and where the candidates as Lord Sutch at Stratford and William Rushton in West Perth and Kinross are not local living men there’s not much chance. Both of those polled under 0% which must have broken a tear duct or two. Local elections: yes.
And next year? Not like that anyway because never do a straight good repeat. It would be alright to do it if during the past year we had built up a fairly organised force to make a real stab at getting onto the council. I couldn’t do this because I’m not sure now If I’ll be here for three years more. One idea is to have a “mad man” candidate standing in each ward of the city, every one. That could have some effect, but there again it needs fabulous promotion. Another idea that needs fabulous money as well as promotion would be to run a campaign ’saying vote for no-one: spoil your ballot papers by marking them bullshit, andy capp, or some slogan—so that the returning officers, the candidates and their agents, party officials would have a shock. The point of all this?
As we have the vote and it was~fought hard for it is a complete waste I believe to abstain. There is often, as in Nottingham little point in voting for either party because they are both very much thick and thicker. To write “goodbye” on your ballot paper having taken the trouble to use your vote, however negatively is a way of showing active disapproval in the ballot box.
Nottingham is small enough not to be like Mc., Lpool., Bham—filled with—well take football—Everton and Liverpool: Aston Villa and Birmingham City: Manchester United and City: Rangers and Celtic—Nottingham doesn’t have this metropolitan atmosphere. Yet it is large enough not to have a “town” loyalty and “town” life that goes with Leicester, Wolverhampton, Derby, Burnley, Coventry, Peterborough. It is Greater and not Metropolitan. Football loyalties are divided between Forest in Division One and County in Division Three—and there is not much cohesive all town loyalty to either. The support is divided, and so the city life. It works on networks, rather than gangs or clubs and in spite of having a fine city centre there is no central focus for the whole townspeople.
This may be partly because the press in Nottingham—the morning GUARDIAN JOURNAL and the evening EVENING POST, both owned locally are unbelievably unimaginative and often vile. I haven’t written about work very much because of space—but the main employers: Boots, paternalistic: Players the same and Raleigh, now owned by Tube Investments have become real bastards.
Recently the troubles at Raleigh came to a head, and the toolmakers came out on strike. This meant that many others had to be laid off. The usual story. The local papers have presented so one sided a story of this that they ought to be reported to the Press Council for their conduct. Headlines were made from a group of housewives, led by a lady from Eastwood where D. H. Lawrence was born, who were persuaded into forming an anti-strike committee to get their husbands most of whom were laid off and not on strike, back at work whatever the cost. They have basked in print and glory—and the strikers and the unions have received all shares of the blame. The whole issue is complicated by in-fighting inside the unions and between the unions and the men, which has so far been kept reasonably quiet. But love that front page of the NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST one night to print what a striker said to me, and he wasn’t an active union man—Raleigh don’t want to make bicycles. They want to do contract work for the motor industry. They want women and youths. They want to cut down expenses and give the shareholders bigger profits—in the year before Tube Investments took them over Raleigh declared a profit of over £2 millions—yet they could sell bicycles all over the world, in Latin America and Africa and Asia. Japan can do it. There is long term money in it, but Raleigh want profits NOW. To sell over the world needs hard selling. It needs the bosses to roll up their sleeves and sweat their way through Asia and spend hours with governments and accountants working out proper credit facilities for the buyers. Hard work, and they don’t want it. Easier to slowly turn the factory over to the small stuff and employ women and children and they can sell the bits and bobs easy in Birmingham and Coventry. Little work and fat profits now, and the men—laid off. That is part of the Raleigh story.
One idea of my own is—and if anyone reading this thinks it good enough to work on, and thinks I could help then I’m game. Be marvellous to see a: paper set up in the city for the city and by the city. Not necessarily appearing every week or fortnight or month. Maybe arriving only now and then when something special happened like the Raleigh strike or the opening of the New Playhouse, or municipal elections. A paper that is a kind of fifth column, an ombudsman—a cross between the Nick Luard SCENE and ANARCHY and PRIVATE EYE and the 1960 NEW LEFT REVIEW and TOWN and WHAT’S ON IN LONDON GUIDE—only based and rooted in this city. Being in part a local news digest with comment. In part a guide to the scene in Greater Nottingham; where to eat, what jazz is where, what club is doing what from The Stork to Amateur Theatre and the Miners Welfares. In part a voice of the people—reporting on what happens by the people it happens to, like the man from Raleigh, like the Vox Pop programmes the BBC puts out in some regions. Using tape-recorders for this, and then printing it out. And the fourth part a place for local poems and short stories and cartoons.
Something to be an umbrella to the networks and not another network. The present newspaper combine is not a network. It is more of a closed club and a secret society. A paper might work better than a building. The Co-op Arts Centre is good, but there are no bars and corridors and places where you can just wander. You go there as to most other “Centres” in the city for a purpose.
One last splendid idea that has arisen to thrill me in the last few weeks is from the Students’ Union at the University who are thinking of building a Students’ Union type of building in the heart of the city for all of us, students and non-students-with bars and rooms and corridors. It could be exciting. It could even happen.
This town is jumping out all over, but like. self-contained cells or the flower beds on the traffic islands—Most of the time you don’t know what the other pieces are jumping around with—nor they you—and Nottingham isn’t London. Not even metropolitan. The scene here is only alive when you know where.
from the Nottingham EVENING POST—Thursday 27 February 64
Mr. David Turner of Boundary Road, West Bridgford, said last night he was “hoisted to his feet” by a steward at the meeting on Monday in the Albert Hall, Nottingham, which was addressed by Mr. Edward Heath.
And last night, Mr. J. D. Crosland, chairman of the Nottingham Conservative Federation, who organised the meeting, said he would make the fullest investigation. “If indeed anyone was hoisted to his feet I shall ask that an apology be made,” he stated.
Earlier, Mr. Turner, who was wearing a CND badge on his lapel, said:
“I am not an anarchist, but I simply do not agree with having to stand every time this tune is played. I do not consider it a fitting National Anthem.”
Mr. Turner was sitting with five friends during the meeting. As the Anthem was played he and his colleagues remained seated. “The next thing I knew was that a steward had grasped me by the jacket from behind and pulled me to my feet,” he said.
He alleges that he was held there until the music stopped.
One of the stewards who was present on Monday night said that he considered it discourteous to remain seated during the playing of the National Anthem.