Stu­art walked in the foot­steps of his­tory

Rochdale Observer - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS LISTINGS - Steve,cooke@aata.me

WELL-KNOWN ra­dio DJ and tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter, cur­rently host­ing his af­ter­noon show, along­side Mark Rad­cliffe, and his own show Freak Zone on BBC Ra­dio 6 Mu­sic, Stu­art Ma­conie is the lat­est ad­di­tion to this year’s Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val.

Stu­art, as a jour­nal­ist, has writ­ten for such di­verse pub­li­ca­tions as Q Mag­a­zine, ELLE, The Times, The Guardian, Mojo and Coun­try Walk­ing and was an as­sis­tant ed­i­tor for the NME.

He has writ­ten sev­eral best-sell­ing and crit­i­cally­ac­claimed books, in­clud­ing the au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Cider With Road­ies and The Pie at Night: In Search of the North at Play.

Stu­art also wrote and pre­sented the ma­jor BBC Ra­dio 2 se­ries and ac­com­pa­ny­ing book The Peo­ple’s Songs.

At ‘A (short) Evening with Stu­art Ma­conie’ he will be shar­ing sto­ries and in­sights from his re­cent re­trac­ing of the fa­mous Jar­row March, as ex­plored in his lat­est book Long Road from Jar­row: A Jour­ney Through Bri­tain Then and Now.

He vis­its the great cities as well as the sleepy ham­lets, quiet lanes and roar­ing mo­tor­ways.

He meets those with sto­ries to tell and whose voices build a funny, com­plex and en­ter­tain­ing tale of Bri­tain, then and now.

He said: “Three and half weeks. Three hun­dred miles.

“I saw roar­ing ar­te­rial high­way and si­lent lanes, can­dlelit cathe­drals and an­gry men in bad pubs.

“The Bri­tain of 1936 was a land of beef paste sand­wiches and drill halls.

“Now we are a na­tion of va­p­ing and nail sa­lons, pulled pork and salted caramel.”

In the au­tumn of 1936, some 200 men from the Ty­ne­side town of Jar­row marched 300 miles to Lon­don in protest against the de­struc­tion of their towns and in­dus­tries.

Pre­cisely 80 years on, Stu­art walked from north to south re­trac­ing their route.

Trav­el­ling down the coun­try’s spine, he moved through a land that is, in some ways, very much the same as the Eng­land of the ‘30s with its po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lence, aus­ter­ity, north/south di­vide, food banks and foot­ball ma­nia. Yet in other ways, it is com­pletely un­recog­nis­able.

He vis­ited the great cities as well as the sleepy ham­lets, meet­ing those with sto­ries to tell and whose voices build a funny, com­plex and en­ter­tain­ing tale of Bri­tain, then and now.

Af­ter dis­cussing Long Road from Jar­row, Stu­art will be pleased to an­swer ques­tions on any of his books, ra­dio or TV work.

Well-known ra­dio DJ and tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter Stu­art Ma­conie will be speak­ing at the Rochdale Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val

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