Sunday, 22 October 2017


Dear Reader,

                                                                        A Mill owner

From Francis  Kilvert's diary - October 23rd, 1874

'When the Squire came to see John Hatherell last Sunday he reminded the old man of the nights they patrolled the road together 45 years ago during the machine-breaking riots.  Robert Ashe led a patrol of six men one half of the night, and Edward Ashe headed another patrol of equal strength the other half.   One night when Robert Ashe was patrolling the village with his men and keeping watch and guard against the machine-breakers and rioters, who were expected from Christian Malford and other villages, he seized by mistake old Mr. Eddels, taking him in the dark for a machine-breaker or incendiary.   The old man had come out at night in the innocence of his heart to get some straw from his rickyard.'

The Luddites (machine-breakers) were a group of English textile workers and weavers in the 19th century who destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest.  Luddites feared that the time they spent learning new skills of their craft would go to waste as machines would replace their role in the industry.  But it is a misconception that the Luddites protested against the machinery itself in an attempt to halt progress of technology.   The Luddite movement began in Nottingham and culminated in a region-wide rebellion that lasted from 1811 to 1816.   Mill owners took to shooting protesters and eventually the movement was suppressed with military force.

I myself feel very Luddite about modern technology.   I know it is marvelous in many ways, especially where medicine is concerned, but I dream of a world with less technology, but simpler, kinder and more considerate, more thoughtful.  Ah well....



Grief bridles you
holds the reins
is an unwanted guest in your head
releases uncontrollable torrents of tears

is ever present
your albatross

you glimpse a slipper
under the chair
study the wedding photographs
count the claret bottles
no longer wanted
and you weep.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Patricia, what a good and poignant poem you have written about grief. I am so full of admiration. Xxx