We recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of George Orwell’s ground-breaking piece of social journalism, The Road to Wigan Pier. He described the shocking living conditions he found in deprived working class communities in the north of England in the 1930s
The main event took place in the beautiful Wigan library where Orwell did some of his research. Historian, Yvonne Eckersley, explained he hoped that his writing would inform the newly democratised electorate, and ultimately pressurise politicians into protecting those who were destitute through no fault of their own. Other speakers added more local context.
The VIP guest was Lisa Nandy, local MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, who was presented with a gift by the Orwell Society who co-ordinated the events.
Guests were also treated to a captivating programme of drama and poetry, including Beyond the Pier – a new piece of musical drama which also aims to provide ambitious new training and employment opportunities for local people.
And there was a heartwarming performance from the talented children of St Mark’s Primary school, who had been researching Orwell’s life and work.
All of that topped off with the chance to indulge in one of Wigan’s legendary pies.