On Saturday 13 September, the Wigan Diggers festival came around for its fourth consecutive year. The festival was set up to celebrate the life of Wigan-born Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676), a leading member of the 17th-century Diggers movement.
Last year’s festival was a great success, with around 2,000 people attending. The organisers worked hard this year to make it even better than the year before. There was an excellent line-up of music, stalls and activities.
The high-point of the day was a march through the town accompanied by an English Civil War era-style troop of drummers. Spurred on by the tremendous positive response they received from the people of Wigan, our comrades boldly took centre-stage, proudly holding aloft the flags of Palestine and the Soviet Union as they marched.
Indeed, many CPGB-ML and Red Youth comrades attended this year’s festival, and one of our comrades was involved in the organisation of the festival itself. We also had a stall there, which allowed us to speak and have plenty of discussions about recent events, with a lot of people’s discussions focused around the NHS and Palestine. We had lots of books, leaflets and pamphlets available on the stall.
The festival was bigger this year than it has ever been, and the signs are that it will continue to grow, to become perhaps the biggest and most vibrant event of its kind in the North West. We feel sure that our proud association with the Wigan Diggers Festival will continue to grow also, since the communists of today carry the proud tradition of Comrade Gerrard Winstanley into the 21st century and beyond.