Belief in values and culture of working class at heart of Maconie’s long road talk...
STUART Maconie had passed up the screening of his friend’s new film, Peterloo, in Manchester to be at the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival, and so from the off he had the audience at St Chad’s on his side – and as an entertainer he was first rate.
He took us with him on his Long Road from Jarrow walk, mirroring the original 300-mile journey in three weeks through towns such as Darlington, Northallerton and Market Harborough. He reserved particular scorn for Market Harborough, possibly because he was unable to get a real meat pudding there, but more likely because it forms part of ‘the soft south’.
Stuart shared curious facts such as during the march the men put on weight with a diet of sandwiches and broth supplied by sympathetic supporters, emphasising how poor their usual diet was. At the heart of a Long Road from Jarrow is Stuart’s passionate belief in the values and meaning of northern and working-class culture. He comes from the north, is proud of this and can demonstrate how we need to value this.
His favourite eating and drinking place may not do guacamole, but it offers ‘good value’.
Just like Stuart did on the night.