Hundreds gather to celebrate famed author

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Labour supporters march down Hornby Road. Pic © JMU Journalism

A crowd of hundreds gathered outside Rice Lane City Farm on Sunday to march in commemoration of author Robert Tressell on the 108th anniversary of his death.

Born as Robert Noonan, the author of ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’, was celebrated by members of Walton Constituency Labour Party amongst other affiliated groups in what was organisers claim was the first public memoriam of the Irishman since his death in 1911.

The group assembled on the eponymous Noonan Close and proceeded to march along Hornby Road and down Rice Lane before finishing at Walton Park Cemetery where Noonan lies.

His book has been credited with helping in part to win the 1945 General Election for Labour and is often heralded as the “socialist bible”. On Sunday, supporters were encouraged to sing socialist anthem, ‘The Internationale’, with raised fists.

Twitter: Liam Cork

Various members of Liverpool’s Labour parties attended and spoke, many calling for solidarity across the country’s working class.

Labour MP Dan Carden said: “That manuscript has transformed our country and has given the socialist movement of our time a story to get behind.

“We are changing politics in this city and by engaging with the public we will win a Labour government.”

To fervent applause, Walton CLP Chair Lena Simic said: “The city of Liverpool was built from the blood of the working class.”

Event organiser Alan Gibbons praised Noonan’s work for aiding in the introduction of the NHS, the welfare state and public ownership.

Gibbons also heavily criticised the current government when he said: “Why is it [the book] relevant today? Because of universal credit, because we’ve had the biggest squeeze on living standards in over 200 years.”

Twitter: Liam Cork