Pendle Radicals – Events

Sharing our heritage

A Life in Common

26 September 2021

Book Launch

Ever daydreamed about swapping your day job for a life of utopian idealism on a commune? Meet Chris Coates, who ran away to join a commune. A Life in Common charts a tale of countercultural poacher turned gamekeeper – from being a homeless squatter through living in an alternative living/working co-operative to building a Centre for Celebration at the turn of the millennium.

We are delighted to welcome this intrepid pioneer of Lancashire counterculture back to Burnley. This informal event will reunite Chris with some other key participants in important experiments in alternative living around our area.

FREE of charge but places must be booked in advance. Light refreshments included. Full details and booking HERE.

Rights, Riots And Routes

An exhibition by James Fox as part of the British Textile Biennial 2021

1-31 October 2021

The tension between the industrialisation of cotton manufacturing and traditional cottage industry is the starting point for James Fox’s new work that explores the history of protest and punishment via the Lancashire loombreaker riots of 1826. The installation at Helmshore Mill includes James’ trademark hard-hitting embroideries and prints plus a new film collaboration with Maxine Peake presenting the tragic continuum of women’s experience of the criminal justice system over two centuries. Find out more HERE.


An artist’s project to celebrate this unique and historic event

Clarion Sunday is the annual pilgrimage to the last Clarion House by Clarion Cycling Clubs across the north of England.  It is always a special occasion.  This year, after repeat postponements, it really meant a lot.  We commissioned Alan Ward for an artist project to make the experience of taking part just a bit more special. We had a very successful day.  The organisers, Clarion National Cycling Club 1895, were delighted and said it was the busiest Clarion Sunday for several years.  Over 200 people attended, and approximately 150 of them were cyclists.  Alan took portraits of about 100 of these, and has ample material for the limited-edition publication that he will create from the events of the day.  A copy will be sent to every participant.  You can read Alan’s blog on the Rebel Pen Club blog.



This online event on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 gave attendees the chance to meet the Radicals… Some of them at least! We introduced some of the nonconformists, reformers and change makers researched by the volunteers of the Pendle Radicals project, and introduced The Radicals Trail, a new way of exploring our rural communities around Pendle Hill. There must have been something in the air, because radical history is all around us. You just need to know where to look… An audio recording of the event is available on SoundCloud. A list of resources shared at the event is available HERE.

ETHEL CARNIE’S THIS SLAVERY: A Radical Tale from a Rebel Woman

This online event was on Monday 8th March 2021 for International Women’s Day with Jules Gibb and Liz Robertson, creators of our new podcast series (see below) exploring Ethel Carnie’s 1925 novel This Slavery – a radical feminist and socialist tale of love, loss, poverty and politics. Offering a unique insight into why and how this podcast came about, the importance of the text and the impact that Ethel herself had on the world. You can hear an audio recording of the event on our SoundCloud page HERE.

THIS SLAVERY – A Podcast about Ethel Carnie Holdsworth

We’re delighted to introduce our first Pendle Radicals podcast, created in partnership with Lancashire Libraries and Libraries Connected.  Put together by three of our Radicals contributors, the 3-part series is entitled This Slavery.  Published today (10 February 2021), the first episode is Pies, Chips & Politics.  Find out more on Our Podcasts page.

SICK OF BEING NORMAL – Film Premiere & online event

The premiere of the short film (16 mins) about SOBN and the event that happened back in February took place on Friday 18 September 2020. On the same evening we hosted an online gathering of some of the main players from the SOBN project and the SOBN event in February, to talk about the ideas behind the project, how it fits into the wider Pendle Radicals programme and offered the audience the opportunity to ask  questions. Follow this link to Vimeo to watch the film.


On Saturday 8 February we had a wonderful evening of music, photography, words and print as the Sick of Being Normal exhibition and event looked back at the punk explosion in the Pendle Hill area in 1979-80, and its legacy.

This sold out event was attended by people from far and wide. One musician travelled from America to play and audience members made the trip from across the country, as well as from as far away as Australia, just to be a part of this special night. What many of the audience had in common was that they had been part of the punk movement as teenagers, so it was a night of reunions and recollections as well as great music!

We will be sharing a film of the event in due course.  Unfortunately Casey Orr’s exhibition is no longer accessible due to the COVID-19 library closures. Click here for more details.

For those further afield you can get a copy of the Sick of Being Normal photozine posted directly to you. Visit our Shop for details.


Read about the amazing exhibition of 213 protest, commemorative and community pride banners that took place in Brierfield as part of Pendle Radicals and the British Textile Biennial.