As I have three separate segments to this post, all of which have many photos associated with them, I will use the photos to mark the ends of each segment.
Yesterday was Norwich Pride, and it was by some way the largest we have yet had in that fine city. Normally our parade starts from Chapelfield Gardens and circles round the town to finish outside the forum, where various other events take place but this time there were so many of us that the police insisted that we start and finish in Chapelfield because we would not all fit in front of the forum. Before the parade I attended a Question Time type meeting in The Curve, two floors below the main body of the Forum (which was itself absolutely dominated by the event). Then it was over to Chapelfield Gardens (about 5 mins by the direct walking route) to get ready for the parade. As for the parade itself, pictures tell more than words….
The final day of Marxism is always a little stressful if you are from outside London because you have to pack, and have to put your heavy baggage in the baggage room when you get to the event, and retrieve it after the final rally. This was compounded when my early arrival was set at nought by the fact that the baggage room had not yet been unlocked.
After enjoying Talat Ahmed’s meeting on Islamaphobia I had intended to go to Siobhan Brown’s meeting on After the horsemeat scandal: Capitalism & food, but she was ill, so rather than going full circle in terms of meeting venues (starting and finsihing at Nunn Hall), I went down to the Jeffery Hall for Colin Barker on What could a socialist revolution look like?
The Closing Rally featured a splendidly international panel of speakers: Maria Stylou from the SEK in Greece; Makhanya Siphamandla, one of the Marikana strikers (34 of whom we gunned down by the forces of the South African state for daring to go on strike); Eamonn McCann from Ireland; and wrapping things up Charlie Kimber, national secretary of our own party. The event finished as usual with the singing of The Internationale. Here are some more photos…
Having picked up my stuff from the baggage room I walked down to St Pancras International, from where I was catching a train to Chesterfield, the nearest station to where the gathering of the clans was taking place, based at 6 High Hazels, one of a series of holiday cottages associated with Hardwick Hall.
I was able to buy some coriander for use in Wednesday’s supper for which I was on chef duty. The new Midland Mainline trains are quite luxurious, especially if you are used to the shuttle type trains that run the King’s Lynn to London line. After a minor mishap at the Chesterfield end (a mix up over timings) I finally got to High Hazels at about 7:30PM, and for the first time since the previous Wednesday had a proper supper. Although we were based at principally at number 6 High Hazels, there were so many of us for the first few nights that Number 4 was used for the overspill, and that is where I spent the first night of my stay in Derbyshire, before moving back to the main house the next day. A final selection of photos…