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Oiks in the Crescent
Flying Pigs in Oz
Sandbur: The Latest


Oiks in the Crescent

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Oik mainstay Dave Birtwistle reports that a scheme dreamed up in the Fletcher Moss about a year ago may soon come to pass. The Fletcher Moss, for new readers, is the cultural hang-out for Didsbury writers and eggheads. Seamus Heaney has graced the premises with his presence and local stars like author Elizabeth Baines and top poet Jeff Wainwright are also regulars. Indeed it was in the Fletcher Moss that Jeff rounded on poor Dave (innocent in this instance) for the disgusting libel on him perpetrated in Oik 5 (Goodbye Denmark Road). The once excellent bookshop, Eric Morten’s, is nearby – a degraded husk these days – and opposite that landmark is the Wendy Levy gallery where, if you have £23,000 on you, you can walk out with a Patrick Heron. Just a short jag up Barlow Moor Road is a fine tea shop and book emporium (The Art of Tea) favoured by oiks Brett Wilson and Bob Wild.  On the opposite side of Barlow Moor Road is the notorious toilet where an MP was found committing an indecency. But I digress. 

Steve, the son of the Fletcher Moss pub landlord, is a very engaging character with a vast knowledge of rock climbing and beer. So with his genes and know-how it’s no surprise he’s been given a pub of his own. This is the famous Crescent in Salford (on the Crescent) – a boozer patronised by no less than Friedrich Engels. During an impassioned half hour before closing time (you know how it gets) Steve raised the prospect of a Revolutionary Room in the new pub. I chipped in saying I had dozens of images of Soviet posters and even more bizarre copies of late 60s ultra left mags like The Black Dwarf and The Red Mole. In fact I used to supply a newsagent in Warrington with the town’s stock of Black Dwarfs. They seemed to sell OK until one day the proprietor informed me that he could no longer besmirch his outlet with this filthy rag. An ideological mismatch? I wondered if perhaps he was a Bukharinite. No, he opened the most recent issue to reveal on page four the word PISS.  

I have never been in the Crescent but look forward to a trip to see how the revolutionary room is coming on. Steve asks Dave for ten Oiks to sell over the bar. Boozed up students? – The ideal clientele I’d’ve thought.

I realise that a small proportion of Oiklet readers do not read Russian and I therefore supply rough translations of the inspiring texts above:

2nd left: "Poland Welcomes Russian Invaders 1938" Yes, and that'd be a young Lec Walesa on the left. I think the city centre Rembrandt pub would be interested in this image too.

3rd left "By Force of Arms We Have Smashed the Enemy" by Nicolas Kogoout

4th left: "Death to World Imperialism" by Dimitri Moor 1919

For a closer inspection of these great images just click on the thumbnails above.

Flying Pigs in Oz

While we're on the topic of revolutionary fervour I insert a poem dug up by Jim Burns. He's not sure where it's from or who it's by but thinks it was Australian and appeared in Tribune in the 1960s


It was crisis day in Parliament,
The House was hushed and still,
As a Member rose with a question:
"Are we doomed to go downhill?" 

"I am confident of an upturn,"
The P.M. made reply:
"If workers' pay is held at bay
We'll all be home and dry."

"How true! How true!" cried the workers,
"Let's end this wicked strike,
we don't want a rise in wages,
they can stick it where they like."

"Thank God! Thank God!" sobbed the bosses.
"There's faith on the factory floor.
And now we've got this extra lot
We'll give it to the poor!"

They filled their pockets with money,
And ran with eager feet.
Pressing their surplus profits
On the people in the street.

They moved among the dole-queues.
And boarded every bus.
With streaming eyes and heartfelt cries:
"You need it more than us!"

Soon all the people prospered.
And the devil became a saint.
Now that the sober unions
Had exercised restraint.

And the cities were filled with singing
and the sound of laughter spread.
As hand took hand in the golden land
and pigs flew overhead.


Sandbur: The Latest

As hosts to Fred Whitehead's Newsletter we add Sandbur 4. This includes responses to his bemused lack of enthusiasm for the Occupy Movement. Click on the link to read more.