Five Leaves Publications - Social History

Latest Publications:

Charlie Peace
His amazing life and astounding legend

by Michael Eaton
ISBN: 978-1910170304, 300 pages

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Charlie Peace – His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend charts the evolution of a Victorian master burglar and murderer from truth to myth. The book begins with the way his crimes were reported in The Illustrated Police News before examining the growth of the legend in Penny Dreadfuls and ballads, before this criminal was uniquely transformed into a folk hero in popular theatre, waxwork shows, early cinema, music hall song and even comics.

The book will appeal to anyone interested in True Crime, 19th century literature, theatre and film history and popular culture. It contains kaleidoscopic extracts from rare and neglected sources and is heavily illustrated throughout.

Michael Eaton is a Nottingham-born playwright and scriptwriter. He is best known for his television docudrama scripts, including Shipman, Why Lockerbie and Shoot to Kill, and for writing the feature film Fellow Traveller (1989), which won best screenplay in the British Film Awards. In recent years, he has become known for stage plays (including a play about Charlie Peace in 2013) and his radio dramas for the BBC

Catalans and Others
History, culture and politics in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands

by John Payne
ISBN: 978-1910170243, 200 pages

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The current claims for independence in Catalonia raise new questions about how Catalan-speaking people view their own past and future. The book covers the Catalan-speaking areas of Roussillon (in France) and in Spain the autonomous regions of the Valencian Community, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Topics covered include the Mediterranean Sea, population movements, revolt and revolution, the continuing impact of the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan language and popular culture.

John Payne has written previous books on Catalonia, on William Morris and on the West Country and on Bath. He lives in Frome. He also writes for the Times Literary Supplement, European Judaism, Catalonia Today, Vida Hispanica, Adults Learning, International Journal of Iberian Studies.

Cities of the North
by Adrian Jones and Chris Matthews
ISBN: 978-1910170342, 240 pages

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Cities of the North Adrian Jones and Chris Matthews Cities of the North explores the changing townscape, special character, architecture and planning of the great Northern English cities. It is a companion to Towns in Britain, published by Five Leaves in 2014, and it builds on the popular Jones the Planner blog. Cities of the North takes an irreverent look at the process of development and ‘regeneration’ which is reshaping Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull and Newcastle, amongst others. It reviews both the successes and lost opportunities of recent years, while maintaining a focus on the intrinsic character of place.

The book is inspired by and follows in the footsteps of Ian Nairn, who opened so many people’s eyes to an appreciation of cities, their often unexpected delights, qualities, possibilities and potential. Like Nairn’s writing, Cities of the North shows a passion and affection for the places and an appreciation of their all-too-often undervalued qualities.

Adrian Jones is a town planner and urban designer, formerly Director of Planning and Transport for the City of Nottingham and member of CABE’s national Design Review Panel.

Chris Matthews is a local historian and lecturer in graphic design at Lincoln University.

Their previous collaboration, Towns in Britain, also based on the Jones the Planner blog, was published by Five Leaves in 2014.

John Clare: The Trespasser
by John Goodridge and R.K.R. Thornton
ISBN: 978-1910170298, 90 pages

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John Clare was reputedly a solitary, shy man, at one with nature and the world around him. Although these authors have both published books which indicate otherwise, in this volume they focus on Clare as a difficult and transgressive figure. While he documented and celebrated the country life he valued so highly, he was also a witness to the partial destruction of that life, with the coming of enclosure and increasingly severe penalties for trespass.

John Clare: The Trespasser shows how, in his poetry, autobiography and letters, Clare was no supporter or respecter of property rights, and how he admired and learned from the nomadic gypsies and drovers who loved the land as he did..

John Goodridge has recently retired as Professor of English at Nottingham Trent University. He recently published John Clare and Community. He has written extensively on 18th and 19th century poetry and labouring-class poets, including John Clare, Robert Bloomfield and Thomas Chatterton. R.K.R. Thornton, formerly Professor of English and Head of Department first at Newcastle upon Tyne and then at the University of Birmingham, retired in 2000. He has edited and written on John Clare, Ivor Gurney, Gerard Manley Hopkins and the English 1890s.

Homes and Places
A History of Nottingham’s Council Houses

by Chris Matthews
ISBN: 978-0993409301, 110 pages

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Council housing in Nottingham is an essential part of the city’s history and identity. The slums of the nineteenth century laid the foundations for the surge of construction activity in the twentieth. Between the wars, Nottingham was recognised as one of the largest and fastest builders of council housing in the country, with huge garden city estates pushing at the city boundaries. During the 1960s and 1970s attention turned to the inner city, and by 1981 around half of Nottingham’s population lived in council tenancies. The Right to Buy discount of the 1980s heralded a new area of decreasing stock, massive sales and modest rebuilding, then the birth of Nottingham City Homes in 2005 opened a new chapter in the story. Since 2010 Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council have been building council housing again with renewed vigour and confidence.

In Nottingham, council housing is popular; it is widely recognised as something that has improved the lives of countless people.

Chris Matthews is a topographer, local historian and graphic designer who lectures at Lincoln University. He leads local history walks in the Nottingham area, and cowrote Towns in Britain with Adrian Jones.

Roman Derbyshire
by Mark Patterson
ISBN: 978-1910170250, 350 pages

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Derbyshire was the geographical centre of Roman Britain. Derby, Chesterfield, Buxton and many places in the White and Dark Peaks hosted forts, farms and industries, including home-grown Derbyshire Ware pottery, all connected by numerous Roman roads. Surviving antiquities, standing ruins, field marks and coin hoards are reminders of the intertwined lives of Romans and native people in Roman Derbyshire. Tales of lost antiquities and legends about those left behind when the Romans withdrew, with some suggesting that local dialect words carry a record of a continued Roman influence down the centuries, are also part of the story.

Mark Patterson is a freelance journalist who writes regularly for the Nottingham Post, The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC, the BBC/The Space digital arts website as well as magazines such as Living for Tomorrow, Nottinghamshire Today, Staffordshire Life, Derbyshire Life, The Northumbrian, Creative Teaching and Writing. His Roman Nottinghamshire was shortlisted for the Current Archaeology Book of the Year.

Curious Camden Town
by Martin Plaut and Andrew Whitehead
ISBN: 978-1910170236, 92 pages

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The psychedelic concerts at The Roundhouse probably marked the moment that Camden became cool, long before Amy Winehouse became the local diva who died much too young. Both are locally well-known, but what about the spiritualist temple that Sherlock Holmes helped build or the folk dance revival that started in a Camden Hay Market or the site of the Camden Town Murder? Camden might have the best eels and mash shop in North London but it was also the home of a local priest who was deported as a political undesirable and of a Black revolutionary who was known all over the world. Curious Camden Town explores thirty or so locations across this lively locality and brings to life the remarkable stories

Martin Plaut and Andrew Whitehead are both journalists who worked together on Curious Kentish Town (Five Leaves, 2014). Brian Kelly, who took the photographs, is a news cameraman. All are local to Camden and have lived in the area for decades.

How We Live and How We Might Live -
by William Morris
ISBN: 978-1910170267, 28 page pamphlet


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“...our present system of Society is based on a state of perpetual war. Do any of you think that this is as it should be? I know that you have often been told that the competition, which is at present the rule of all production, is a good thing, and stimulates the progress of the race; but the people who tell you this should call competition by its shorter name of war if they wish to be honest, and you would then be free to consider whether or no war stimulates progress, otherwise than as a mad bull chasing you over your own garden may do. War, or competition, whichever you please to call it, means at the best pursuing your own advantage at the cost of some one else’s loss...”

This pamphlet contains the text of a lecture delivered to the Hammersmith Branch of the Socialist Democratic Federation at Kelmscott House on November 30th, 1884. It is still relevant today.

William Morris (1834–1896) was a textile designer, novelist, poet, translator and socialist. He was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, and he played a significant role in the early Socialist movement in Britain. Morris trained as an architect, then turned his hand to interior design. He published poetry and novels. In 1877 Morris founded the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, and in the 1880s he embraced Marxism and became a revolutionary socialist activist, first with the Socialist Democratic Federation, then founding the Socialist League in 1884.

Anarchy 38 Nottingham
Freedom Press
ISBN: 978-1910170182, 32 page pamphlet

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Anarchy journal ran for 118 issues, over ten years, as a monthly addition to the weekly Freedom magazine. The print run was never more than 3,000 copies, with sales rarely reaching that amount, but it was influential, introducing new writers and new subjects to the left in this country and abroad. Most of the issues were designed by Rufus Segar and the journal was famed for its covers.

The Nottingham issue included Alan Sillitoe, who was already a distinguished novelist, the biographer, poet and novelist Philip Callow and the journalist Ray Gosling. Harold Drasdo was, and is, a well known authority on climbing while Paul Ritter became the Chief Planner of Perth, Australia.

Anarchy 38, originally published in 1964, has been something of a collector's item for many years and is republished by permission of Freedom Press.

Freedom Press is an anarchist publishing house in Whitechapel, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1886, it is the largest anarchist publishing house in the country and the oldest of its kind in the English-speaking world. Freedom Press came out of a circle of anarchists with international connections formed around the Londonbased radical firebrand Charlotte Wilson. Among this founding group were Nikola Chaikovski, Francesco Saverio Merlino, and celebrated anarchist-communist Peter Kropotkin.

Making Plans for Nigel
A beginner’s guide to Farage and UKIP
by Harry Paterson
ISBN: 978-1910170199, 160 pages

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Is Nigel Farage an anti-establishment figure or simply a more right-wing establishment figure than David Cameron? This book looks in detail at the politics and personalities of UKIP, the public announcements and the private gaffes.

This book aims to help the undecided – and maybe the decided – think twice about voting for UKIP. This timely book comes out when a Tory minority government propped up by a clutch of UKIP MPs is a possibility.

Harry Paterson is a freelance journalist who writes about music for Bass Guitar Magazine, Classic Rock, Teamrock and others, and about politics for Sabotage Times. He has a wide following on social media. His previous book for Five Leaves, Look Back in Anger: Nottinghamshire in the Miners' Strike has become one of the key source books for anyone interested in the strike.

Growing Space
A history of the allotment movement
by Lesley Acton
ISBN: 978-1910170137, 280 pages

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There are currently over 300,000 allotment plots in the UK, with roughly 100,000 people on waiting lists. Allotments are popular, and under threat. This accessible social history book looks at how changing economic, political and cultural conditions have affected the demand for plots. A thorough study debunks the myth that the provision of allotments was solely a benign activity for the poor, but a highly politicised history which reflects national and local policies on land use with a constant struggle to hold onto these city fields and country gardens. The book is illustrated throughout.

Lesley Acton is a conservation and cultural heritage consultant who normally writes on antiques. Her previous books include The Repair of Pottery and Porcelain and Practical Ceramic Conservation. She has written on allotments for the Institute of Archaeology, and the Oxford Food Symposium Proceedings (Prospect Books). She is in contact with allotmenteers nationwide.

Lesley Acton runs the popular website

Curious Kentish Town
by Martin Plaut and Andrew Whitehead
ISBN: 978-1910170069, 64 pages

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This elegant publication visits over thirty remarkable locations within twenty minutes' stroll of Kentish Town station, and tells their curious stories. Anarchists, poets, exiles, artists, African revolutionaries, 1930s fascists, all have left their mark in and around NW5.

Do you know about the North London rent strike that inspired a Peggy Seeger song ... or the horse tunnels built under the canals ... or the spot where the long lost Fleet river breaks cover?

This book brings you the last hurrah of the 'beanfeast' ... a contemporary echo of the Crimea ... the most touching of First World War memorials. You can follow in the tracks of the old piano industry, come across the craziest of London's parish churches and hunt down a beery elephant's head.

The artist-designed map encourages readers to follow in the authors’ footsteps, across Kentish Town and around, from Regent's Park to Tufnell Park, from Camden Town to Dartmouth Park, exploring hidden nooks and crannies and the memorable tales attached to them.

All the locations are brought to life by stunning photographs, new and old, with expert design and layout throughout.

About the Authors
Martin Plaut and Andrew Whitehead are both experienced
journalists who have spent most of their career at the BBC
World Service. Both have published extensively. Martin and
Andrew have both lived in NW5 for decades.
Left for the Rising Sun, Right for the Swan Hunter: The Plebs League in the North East of England 1908/1926
by Robert Turnbull
ISBN: 978-19101700762, 85 pages

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Left for the Rising Sun, Right for Swan Hunter
The Plebs League in the North East of England 1908/1926

One hundred years ago the North East was at the forefront of independent working class education as self-educated shipyard workers and miners sought to understand the conditions in which they lived. The key organisations nationally were the Plebs League and the Labour College Movement, both of which sought a politically committed answer.

Left for the Rising Sun, Right for Swan Hunter - whose title reflects the main choices for working people at the time - celebrates the memory of those autodidacts who took part in the long struggle for an education that was otherwise denied to them.

Robert Turnbull has written for BBC History, TLS, Morning Star and Medieval History. He is a graduate of Ruskin College and the University of Northumbria, where he is involved in a number of labour history projects.
Towns in Britain
Jones the Planner
by Adrian Jones and Chris Matthews
ISBN: 978-1907869822, 340 pages

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Towns in Britain is an evocation and appreciation of our towns and cities and an evaluation of the changes which have shaped them over the last sixty years. Twenty-five places are covered, as diverse as Hackney and Glasgow, Lincoln and Letchworth and Coventry and Swansea.

On our journey we look at the architecture, townscape, urban design, housing and planning of great cities and disregarded places, illuminating their characters and qualities, their potential as well as their planning disasters.

Adrian Jones was Director of Planning and Transport in Nottingham. He is a member ofthe National Design Review Panel for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Chris Matthews is a topographer and local historian who lectures in graphic design at Lincoln University.

Both authors collaborate on the blog

Look Back in Anger
The Miners’ Strike in Nottinghamshire - 30 Yrs On
by Harry Paterson
ISBN: 978-1907869952, 240pages

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The scars left by the 1984/85 "Great Strike for Jobs" are still raw in Nottinghamshire, thirty years later. There, the majority of the National Union of Mineworkers did not support their union, working throughout the strike, later forming the breakaway Union of Democratic Miners. Look Back in Anger puts these events into context, giving a history of the coalfields through the twentieth century and the first comprehensive overview of the strike year in Nottinghamshire.

Harry Paterson has interviewed striking and working miners, Coal Board officials, women active in opposing the pit closures, Council officials and others. The book includes information that has never before appeared in print, alongside memorabilia and personal letters from the period.

Ian Nairn, Words in Place
by Gillian Darley and David McKie
ISBN: 978-1907869877, 160 pages

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with contributions from Jonathan Meades, Owen Hatherley, Deyan Sudjic and Gavin Stamp.

Large format paperback.
Dimensions: 229mm x 152mm

"Ian Nairn taught a generation to look, and another one to write"

Ian Nairn lit up the pages of the architectural press, broadsheets and TV screens with his incandescent reports on the uglification of Britain, not just by standard eyesores but by the prissy and the pretentious and the blunderings of planners and architects creating new buildings and roads which show no respect for the places they invade. There is spreading across the country, he warned, a blight of anonymous, soulless development, which he called Subtopia.

The least likely of TV personalities, Nairn worked without a script. He was awkward and melancholy, but made admired programmes including Nairn's Travels. He was not just a prophet of doom. He championed what others mock: Swindon and Wigan, even a used car dump. Nairn’s London is still acclaimed as one of the best books written about the city. Nairn often piloted a plane over his subject matter!

He died at 52 in near obscurity. Yet in his brief incendiary heyday he taught a whole generation to look at their world in a new, more perceptive and above all, more responsive way. That is the heart of his legacy.

Gillian Darley and David McKie have charted the remarkable life of this exceptional man, with contributions from four writers who knew, worked with or were inspired by him.

Gillian Darley has written a several biographies and the pioneering Villages of Vision. Her latest book, Vesuvius, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.
David McKie is a former deputy editor of the Guardian. His most recent books include McKie's Gazetteer and Great British Bus Journeys.
Jonathan Meades' latest television series is The Joys of Essex.
Owen Hatherley is the author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain.
Deyan Sudjic is the director of the Design Museum
Gavin Stamp is a widely-published architectural critic.

A Brief History of Whistling
by John Lucas and Allan Chatburn
ISBN: 978-1907869884, 196 pages

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Whistling has been used for communication, including secret communication, work, entertainment and self-expression. This book is inspired by the comment "You never hear anyone whistling nowadays". True, but only in part, as whistling appears regularly in TV advertisements and even in rap songs.

A Brief History of Whistling is – astonishingly – the first popular work to look at whistling in all its forms, exploring folk traditions, music hall, film, the "whistling villages" and tribes in other countries, the varieties of whistling. The book attempts to answer the question "how do you whistle?", which is more complicated than simply the instruction – as Lauren Bacall said to Humphrey Bogart – "just put your lips together and blow". Yes, whistling can also be to do with sex, and it has also appeared in literature from Homer to DH Lawrence, and even provided a running storyline in Star Trek.

The book is richly illustrated by folk customs, sayings, and the astounding number of practical uses for whistling.

John Lucas has written many scholarly works on Dickens, Hardy, William Blake, and literature in the 1920s and the 1930s. His 92 Achernon Street won the Dolmen/Author's Club Prize for travel writing. His memoir Next Year Will Be Better is published by Five Leaves.

Allan Chatburn has been a manual worker all his life, returning to his trade as a plasterer after taking a degree in English Literature at Loughborough University.

Mixed Messages
American Jazz Stories
by Peter Vacher
ISBN: 978-1907869488, 232 pages

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From journeymen musicians to stars with many albums to their name, Mixed Messages includes interviews with 21 American jazz musicians – on music, mostly, but the world intrudes, as it does with the best of jazz music. The musicians range from the trombonist Louis Nelson, who was born in 1902, through the New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis, who is still playing and on to Byron Stripling, who plays trumpet with his Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Peter Vacher has been interviewing American jazz players since the 1950s and this is his second collection of interviews.

Mixed Messages is lavishly illustrated with rare and original photographs and will be of interest to any serious follower of jazz.

Peter Vacher knows everybody in the jazz world. His interviews
and articles have appeared throughout the English speaking
world, including in the Melody Maker, Jazz UK and CODA.
His previous book of interviews is Soloists and Sidemen
(Northway Press). He also writes obituaries of jazz musicians
for The Guardian.

Edited by Ross Bradshaw
ISBN: 978-1907869501, 240 pages

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The second annual themed compendium of writing by Five Leaves’
authors and friends. The first, Maps, received positive reviews in
The Guardian and Time Out, and sold out twice in its first three months.

Paul Barker was the editor of New Society from 1968-86. In his series “the other Britain” he wrote about the utopian village of New Lanark.
Marie Louise Berneri’s essay was first published in Journey Through Utopia in 1950, one year after her untimely death. She had been joint editor of Freedom.
Will Buckingham’s latest book is Introducing Happiness: a practical guide (Icon Books). He also gives talks on the Moomins and Philosophy.
Jeff Cloves lives close to Whiteway, near Stroud, a famed anarchist colony. In 2011 he organised a festival celebrating the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.
Gillian Darley is the author of Villages of Vision. Her other books include biographies of Sir John Soane and Octavia Hill. Her most recent book is Vesuvius.
Dennis Hardy writes about liveable cities, the subject of his current research. His books include Alternative Communities in Nineteenth Century England.
Pippa Hennessy attempts to live as we should live, and bring her family up likewise. It is not easy. Pippa works at Five Leaves and writes poetry and fiction.
Ian Clayton lives in Featherstone. A broadcaster, writer and storyteller, his memoir about music, Bringing It All Back Home, is an indie press best-seller.
Haywire Mac claimed to be the author of The Big Rock Candy Mountain, a hobo tune. Some think it “traditional”.
Mike Marqusee asks us not to fear utopian thinking. He is the author of books on cricket, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali and If I Am Not For Myself: journey of an anti-Zionist Jew.
John Lucas wonders if New Zealand is the nearest we’ll get to utopia. His books include the Dolmen Prize winner, 92 Achernon Street.
Karen Maitland first researched the mediaeval women’s communities, the Beguines, for her novel The Owl Killers.
William Morris needs no introduction…
Chris Moss visits Patagonia, home to many utopian experiments. He is the travel and books editor of Time Out.
Deirdre O’Byrne looks at Marge Piercy’s feminist utopia.
Deirdre teaches Irish and English literature at Loughborough University.
John Payne’s latest book is a Signal city guide to Bath. Here he writes about the debates during the English Civil War.
Mike Pentelow and Peter Arkill draw on their book A Pub Crawl through History to look at pubs and pub signs connected to utopian pioneers.
Peter Preston was very active, for many years, in the William Morris Society. His other big love was DH Lawrence.
Andy Rigby looks back on communes. His 1970s book Communes in Britain was well known in its day. He taught at Bradford University School of Peace Studies.
David Rosenberg writes about the Bund, the pre-War Jewish socialist organisation in Poland. He is the author of Battle for the East End: Jewish responses to fascism in the 1930s.
Leon Rosselson’s songs include this one on William Morris, and the Billy Bragg hit The World Turned Upside Down, also the title of his 4-CD boxed set from Fuse/PM.
J. David Simons lived on a kibbutz in the 70s and 80s. He is following The Credit Draper and The Liberation of Celia Kahn with a novel set in British Mandate Palestine.
Paul Summers’ latest poetry collection is union. He currently lives in Australia. When in his native North East he founded the magazines Billy Liar and Liar Republic.
Mandy Vere has been at News from Nowhere Bookshop since 1976 and imagines she will eventually be carried out.
Colin Ward was the major chronicler of the unofficial landscape. His books covered squatting, allotments, the water crisis, the plotlands of the South East, transport and anarchy.
Ken Worpole has written on Essex before, in 350 Miles – an Essex Journey. His other books are on the hospice movement, town planning, and graveyard art.

Talking Green
by Colin Ward
ISBN: 978-1907869518, 160 pages

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Colin Ward was the historian of unofficial uses of the
landscape. The ten essays in Talking Green cover
environmental pollution, urban life, allotments, the uses of
nature, land settlement, regionalism, squatting, smallholding,
the green personality and the shires of Southern
England. Together they provide discussion points for anyone
interested in taking green politics further than climate
change and recycling (important as these are). Colin Ward
connects green politics and lifestyle to everyday living and
working, always providing positive proposals for future

Colin Ward was the historian of unofficial uses of the
landscape. The ten essays in Talking Green cover
environmental pollution, urban life, allotments, the uses of
nature, land settlement, regionalism, squatting, smallholding,
the green personality and the shires of Southern
England. Together they provide discussion points for anyone
interested in taking green politics further than climate
change and recycling (important as these are). Colin Ward
connects green politics and lifestyle to everyday living and
working, always providing positive proposals for future

Made in Nottingham
A Writer's Return
by Peter Mortimer
ISBN: 978-1907869525, 200 pages

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The Tyneside writer Peter Mortimer is used to writing about difficult places. Against Foreign Office advice he wandered round Yemen. He set up a children's theatre group in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon and, over one summer, walked the length of Britain with one dog and no money, dependent on the kindness of strangers to provide accommodation and food.

In this book, part memoir, part documentary and social commentary, he undertook a shorter journey, taking up residence in the same street he grew up in, on the Sherwood council estate in Nottingham. It was a journey of only 160 miles, but one which involved revisiting his previous Nottingham life, some fifty years back.

Often feeling like a ghost, or disembodied spirit, Peter Mortimer stalks the streets of his past, attempting to put it into the context of how he lives now, trying to make sense of the two times.His sojourn makes for an unpredictable, often comic, sometimes painful journey.

Themes of changing times, class and society are universal. Anyone who has returned to their childhood home, however briefly, will immediately identify with the feelings and contradictions so vividly portrayed.

Peter Mortimer is probably best-known for his book Broke
Through Britain, recording his walk through Britain with no
money and nowhere to stay. His has written other extreme
travel books including Camp Shatila (Five Leaves) and Cool for
Qat (Mainstream). He lives in the North East, where he runs
Cloud Nine theatre company and Iron Press.

Edited by Ross Bradshaw
ISBN: 978-1907869242, 150 pages

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A quirky compendium of essays on maps, places and people, many by leading writers including Iain Sinclair and The Guardian's David McKie and Chris Arnot as well as writers from the London Review of Books, academic journals, a journalist from the World Service and biographers.

Iain Sinclair - Walking Through Liverpool
Chris Arnot - Lost Cricket Grounds of England
David Belbin - Graham Greene in Nottingham
Ross Bradshaw & Ian Parks - The Land of Green Ginger
Andy Croft - Reading Poetry in Siberia
Richard Dennis - Mapping Gissing's Novels
Gillian Darley - Ian Nairn and Jack Kerouac: On the Road
Roberta Dewa - Wilford: An English Village in the 1950s
John Lucas - Uprisings in the South West
David McKie - The Mapping of Surnames
Deirdre O'Byrne - The Famine Roads of Ireland
John Payne - Death on the Border: Walter Benjamin
Mark Patterson - A Short Walk up Dere Street
Andrew Whitehead - Beyond Boundary Passage: London Fiction
Sara Jane Palmer - A Walk to Tafraoute
Paul Barker - The Other Britain: Leeds
Robert Macfarlane - The Guga Men

Remembering Colin Ward: 1924-2010
by Eileen Adams, Peter Hall, Dennis Hardy, Peter Marshall, Colin Ward, Stuart White, Ken Worpole, and others.
ISBN: 978-1907869280, 52 pages

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Colin Ward was an anarchist, a writer, an educator and an environmentalist. His books include Anarchy in Action and many others, primarily on social history, childhood, housing and the informal landscape. His wide-ranging interests included New Towns, allotments, transport and the British holiday camp. He was the founder-editor of Anarchy and the Bulletin of Environmental Education, and was for many years a contributing editor to Freedom.

Colin Ward made anarchism respectable, but not too respectable. His anarchism was pluralist and practical. It drew inspiration from writers of the past such as Kropotkin and Gustav Landauer but was firmly rooted in the present.

This booklet consists of tributes at his funeral and a memorial meeting from other writers, editors, family members and educators. These include Peter Hall, Ken Worpole, Peter Marshall, Dennis Hardy, Stuart White and Eileen Adams, and others.

Battle for the East End
Jewish Responses to Fascism in the 1930s
by David Rosenberg
ISBN: 978-1907869181, 268 pages

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Throughout the 1930s, Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts increased their campaign against the Jewish community, particularly in London's East End. As their campaign became more overtly anti-Semitic the Jewish community debated how to deal with the Fascist threat, building their own defence organisations, culminating in the Battle of Cable Street when more than 100,000 Jews, Irish and others came out to stop Mosley marching into the East End.

David Rosenberg leads guided walks round the East End. He has written several articles on history and current affairs for Channel 4 websites. He is a freelance contributor to the Times Educational Supplement, Time Out and New Statesman. He is an active member of the National Union of Teachers. His previous books include Daily Racism: The Press and Black People in Britain (co-authored with Paul Gordon).

Battle of Cable Street, 1936
by The Cable Street Group
ISBN: 978-1907869174, 57 pages

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This book describes the famous clash of 1936 between police and anti-fascists when Sir Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirt army attempted to march through largely Jewish Stepney in East London. 100,000 people crowded the streets, barricades were erected and the area successfully defended. The story is partly told through the voices of those who took part. The authors also examine the political, economic and social conditions of the time - and its present day legacy.

The Cable Street Group came together initially to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, publishing an early edition of this booklet, whose writers included Ruth Kelly, later Minister for Education. The group has celebrated the anniversary ever since with huge events on significant anniversaries, and the creation of the famous Mural.

Everything Happens in Cable Street
by Roger Mills
ISBN: 978-1907869198, 248 pages

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There are other histories of Cable Street apart from the famous Battle. For a while it was a red-light area, Maltese gangsters tried to run the streets, local writers set up the Basement Writers and the film, To Sir, With Love, was shot there, based on a local head teacher. Meanwhile plays, carnivals and the huge Mural continued to celebrate the Battle of 1936. Part oral history, part investigation, the other stories of Cable Street are told in an unashamedly personal style.

The book includes long forgotten posters and ephemera

Roger Mills is the author of A Comprehensive Education, and two
novels for teenagers published by HarperCollins. He has written
freelance articles about London and oral history for many
educational and other papers, including The Guardian and has
been assistant editor of Rising East - the journal of East London
studies. He has been involved in activities around Cable
Street since the 1970s.

Stratford - Another East End
by John Gorman
ISBN: 978-1907869068, 24 page pamphlet

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Stratford: Another East End is a memoir of working class life written by the late John Gorman, born in the Stratford without swans and Shakespeare. At that time it was the largest industrial borough in England. This essay originally appeared in Outsiders & Outcasts, a series of articles in honour of the historian of the East End of Whitechapel and Spitalfields, William J Fishman. It draws on John Gorman’s longer memoir Knocking Down Ginger.

John Gorman was a printer, his firm G&B Arts set up originally with Lionel Bart. His other books include Banner Bright, Images of Labour and To Build Jerusalem, classic works on the visual history of the British trade union and labour movement. He was a Governor of the Museum of London and an honorary fellow of Ruskin College, Oxford.

Personal Copy
by Ray Gosling
ISBN: 978-1905512997, 256 pages

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"We’d a lot of fun in those tumbledown days. Hippies playing at being parish priests."

Personal Copy is Ray Gosling’s memoir of the 1960s. He writes about building and losing a youth centre in Leicester, trying to do things differently before retreating, bruised, to Nottingham. He made his name fighting to save the best houses and demolish the worst of the St Anns slums, which were home to 50,000 people, 500 shops and 50 pubs. Along the way he wrote pamphlets for the Fabians, stood for election (“Vote for a madman”) and was involved with major figures from the ’60s including his hero Colin MacInnes.

His memoir captures the mood – or rather moods of the time: pill popping; tribal Labour voting; class-divided Britain; home to a new generation of immigrants with their blues clubs. He writes of the cafés, pubs and life on the streets. Speakers’ corner, the Sally Bash and the Communists in the Square on Sundays, crumbling Victorian mansions, overcrowding, allotments, the new art gallery, the backstreet lesbian bars… Ray Gosling describes his adopted city, still his home.

Ray Gosling made over 100 TV documentaries and over 1,000
radio programmes, concentrating on the eccentric and the everyday
activities of the people in the street. Now in his 70s he returned to
national attention in 2010 when he revealed on television that he
had a pact to kill a dying friend – a lover who was dying with AIDS
and in terrible pain. Ray Gosling is currently writing a full
Next Year Will be Better
A Memoir of the 1950s

by John Lucas
ISBN: 978-1905512911, 417pages

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The 1950s are often seen as the “grey decade”, marred by austerity, rationing and conformity. True, but Next Year Will Be Better also tells of skiffle, jazz, CND, Teds, the Angry Young Men, new movements in art and literature. Meanwhile there was work to be had, on building sites and on holiday camps. And there was the joys of Eel Pie Island, Soho, hearing Louis Armstrong, playing jazz and being kissed by Alan Ginsberg.

"Only a dedicated sourpuss could fail to be swept along by Lucas’s zest and intelligence" - The Spectator

John Lucas is an Emeritus Professor at the Universities of
Loughborough and Nottingham. His 92 Acharnon Street won
the Authors Club Dolman Prize for Travel Writing and was
reviewed everywhere. He is the author of over forty books of
poetry, social history and criticism and is the editor at
Shoestring Press.

Goodnight Campers
The History of the British Holiday Camp
by Colin Ward & Dennis Hardy
ISBN: 978-1905512089, 240 pages

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This highly illustrated book traces the development of the British holiday camp from its origins a century ago through the 1930s and 1940s pioneer camps to the golden years of the Pontin, Butlin and Warner camps of the 1950s and 1960s. Holiday camps declined with cheap overseas travel but are now making an unlikely comeback. Goodnight Campers! captures the memories of the glory years when holiday camps offered a promise of freedom, health, family fun and an enticing hint of romance. Dennis Hardy brings the story up to date.

Colin Ward is the author of over thirty books on utopian history and unofficial uses of the countryside. He died in 2010, resulting in obituaries in every single broadsheet and specialist journals ranging from architecture to transport. Dennis Hardy is Professor of Utopian History at Middlesex University. Together with Colin Ward he has written Arcadia for All: the legacy of a makeshift landscape. His other books include Alternative Communities in Nineteenth-Century England; Utopian England and books on the New Towns.
Camp Shatila
by Peter Mortimer
ISBN: 978-1905512805, 240 pages

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Travel writer Peter Mortimer reports on Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon – scene of the Shatila massacre of 1982, now home to about 12,000 people living in one square kilometre. The author developed a children’s theatre group in the camp, whose members will be visiting the UK around publication.

Peter Mortimer is a former journalist at the Guardian and the Newcastle Journal. He runs Cloud Nine Theatre Company, and is the editor of Iron Press. His best selling travel book was Broke through Britain, which ran to several editions. This is his sixth book for Five Leaves. He lives in Newcastle.

"Peter Mortimer is the unsung hero of Northern literature" - Newcastle Journal

The Insurrectionists
by William J Fishman
ISBN: 978-1905512782, 216 pages

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William Fishman traces the lives and ideology of the leaders of the French Revolution, Marat, Robespierre and Blanqui, their influence on Karl Marx and, finally, their influence on Lenin and the Russian Revolution.

William J Fishman is the author of Streets of East London, East End 1888 and East End Jewish Radicals, all from Five Leaves.

He is a visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London and still lectures in history.

E1: A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields
by John Bennett
ISBN: 978-1905512546, 90 pages


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After Petticoat Lane, Brick Lane is arguably East London’s most famous street. But whereas Petticoat Lane bursts with life on a Sunday and becomes a redundant, litter-strewn gash down the side of the City most other times, Brick Lane seems to be a street that rarely seems to sleep.

From Mile End to Whitechapel and on to Spitalfields, John Bennett presents the hidden gems and the well known sites of the core of London’s East End.

Through his photographs and essays John Bennett reminds us of the often brutal history of the area – from the squalid slums of the time of William Booth and the Siege of Sidney Street to the violence of the Kray Brothers.

Again and again, however, he explores how streets, parks, pubs, neighbourhoods have developed as new migrants have moved in – the Huguenots, the Irish, Jews, Bangladeshis and now, for the first time, well-off City types.

John Bennett has been photographing the East End for the last thirty years. He works in London as a despatch driver. He is descended from Huguenots and Sephardic Jewish East Enders. He lives in north London.

The Dirty Thirty:
Heroes of the Miners' Strike
by David Bell
ISBN: 978-1905512676, 108 pages

Out of Print

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The miners’ strike of 1984-85 came to be called the "Great Strike", with good reason. It was the largest, longest trade union struggle in Britain, and the most far reaching in its consequences, since the 1926 General Strike. For a whole year, some 170,000 miners, plus the women of the mining communities, battled against everything the government and the police threw at them.

Only 30 miners out of 2,000 from the Leicestershire coalfield struck against the pit closure programme. They became renowned as The Dirty Thirty and travelled the world for the strike fund selling badges, mugs and vests, making speeches and supporting the other 170,000 strikers in the biggest industrial conflict.

David Bell has interviewed most of the surviving miners and the women’s support group to find out why they struck, and why they held out for so long. The Dirty Thirty is illustrated throughout with period photographs and ephemera.

Published to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

The story of the miners, and their wives and families courage, humour and an unbreakable will to win.

Introduction by actor Ricky Tomlinson. The book will be launched at a reunion of the group.

David Bell has written a book a year for Countryside Books for the last twenty years. These include local history titles, tales of mystery and murder and oral history. He is Midlands’ convener of the Crime Writers Association.

by Peter Mortimer
ISBN: 1905512492 , 96 pages

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“This is an electric light. It switches on and off here. Always put it on before you leave the room empty. You wish to work on the ships?”

RIOT, recalls the events of 2 August 1930, the Yemeni and British seamen’s riots in South Shields, but it speaks to the Britain of today. During the disturbances a police officer was stabbed and more than 20 Yemenis were later deported from the country. The play is relevant to today's ethnic tensions and tells an important story about a little-known piece of social history.

Author, Peter Mortimer says "The play tries to understand what caused this riot. The Arabs got blamed for high levels of unemployment at the time and they were the scapegoats."

"An honest, sympathetic, sometimes self-deprecatingly humorous but illuminating book that is deeply relevant to the troubled times we're currently living through" - Shields Gazette

"It is about the cauldron of prejudice, ignorance, generational divide and politics which brewed up into the ingredients for a riot."
- The Journal

"Touching, thought-provoking and, at times, humorous"
- North Tyneside News Guardian

"An astounding piece of work. A genuinely brilliant piece of theatre."
- Newcastle Evening Chronicle

RIOT plays The Customs House, South Shields in June and Unity Theatre in Liverpool in July.

Villages of Vision
by Gillian Darley
ISBN: 978-0907123507, 300 pages

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Villages of Vision: A Study of Strange Utopias by Darley, Gillian

All over Britain and Ireland there are planned villages: for aesthetic, philanthropic or political reasons, for convenience and for ideals – the best known being Portmeirion, Port Sunlight, New Lanark and Bournville. Gillian Darley covers many hundreds of these strange and pretty arcadias built by aristocrats, industrialists and visionaries.

This revised edition includes a greatly expanded gazetteer, revised bibliography and a new introduction. The gazetteer shows, county by county, where such villages can be seen – not as museums but as evolving, living places.

"The book is no mean achievement. It spans over 250 years of development…The hare-brained, the magnificent, the withered, the bizarre notions of architectural theorists, as well as the successful, are all here in abundance" - Design Magazine

"Gillian Darley has produced an attractive book on an attractive subject…fascinating and lively" - TLS

Gillian Darley is a writer, broadcaster and prize-winning journalist, a former architectural correspondent of the Observer and Director of the Landscape Foundation until 1998. She is the former Chairman of the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings.

She has degrees in History of Art and in Politics and Administration. Her biographies include Sir John Soane and John Evelyn (both shortlisted for the James Tate Memorial Prize) and Octavia Hill. She has written on architecture and landscape, in publications including the Financial Times and the Observer as well as the London Review of Books and the TLS.

Illustrated throughout, preface by the Guardian’s David McKie.
Reporting from Palestine
by Barbara Board
ISBN: 978-1905512324 , 200 pages

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Reporting from Palestine is a unique book.

Barbara Board (1915-1986) was a rare woman foreign correspondent, from the age of 20 she reported from Sudan, Egypt and the Middle East.

Newsgirl in Palestine was published in 1937, and her Newsgirl in Egypt followed a year later – resulting in her being expelled from Egypt. This – her third book – was stopped because of Government war censorship then post-war paper shortages, and has lain forgotten until now.

Reporting from Palestine was written from the front line of the conflict between Jews and Arabs, Zionists and non-Zionists and Jews and the British Mandate Government. Barbara Board was there when the bombs went off, reporting mainly for the Daily Mirror.

Barbara Board interviewed everyone she could find – supporters and opponents of the Jewish underground armies, Arab landlords and peasants, Armenian and Christian minorities, refugees and British servicemen.

Secret Judaism & the Spanish Inquisition
by Michael Alpert
ISBN: 978 1905512294, 260 pages

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From the end of the fifteenth century until the 18th century Spanish Jews carried on Jewish practices in the shadow of the Inquisition. Those caught were forced to recant or be burnt at the stake in public “autos de fe”. This book describes the private lives of these secret Jews, drawing on their confessions and trial documents. This paperback edition covers the fate of the Crypto-Jews into modern times in Portugal and Spain, where traces still exist and families still carry out long-hidden Jewish traditions.

"Michael Alpert is to be congratulated on producing a book that is both scholarly and accessible. Not only does he interpret and bring to life the Inquisition files but he reveals with compassion the final years and months... of the Inquisition's victims..." - Sephardi Bulletin

"...a succinct and well-written survey.....detached and objective....wide-ranging and must be stressed that this is an important book covering many topics, rooted in wide-ranging study and direct archival research..." - Jewish Historical Studies

Michael Alpert is Emeritus Professor of the Modern and Contemporary History of Spain at the University of Westminster). His other books include the Penguin Classic ‘Two Spanish Picaresque Novels' and 'A New International History of the Spanish Civil War'. He writes regularly for Spanish popular history magazines on all sorts of historical subjects.


Dockers and Detectives
by Ken Worpole
ISBN: 978-1905512379, 120 pages

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Long unavailable but in demand, this pioneering study of twentieth-century working class reading and writing in Britain helped revive a number of literary reputations, such as those of Alexander Baron and James Hanley, as well as distinguishing distinct regional literary cultures and narrative styles still existing in Britain.

Dockers and Detectives comprises five long linked chapters on:

● literature and politics
● American influences on popular fiction
● popular literature during WWII
● the novels of working class writers from Liverpool
● the novels of the Jewish East End

Dockers and Detectives was Ken Worpole’s first book, and was widely reviewed and praised on publication.

Ken Worpole is the author of a number of books on architecture, landscape and social history, including Last Landscapes and Here Comes the Sun. He writers regularly for the Guardian, Prospect, Times Higher Education Supplement and other papers.

"For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape." - The Independent
After the Gold Rush
by John Stuart Clark
ISBN: 0907123406 , 400 pages

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In 1849 several hundred thousand Europeans and Americans trekked across the country for the gold fields of California - the Gold Rush being a defining moment in that country’s short history.

John Clark followed the same historic roads and trails, retracing that journey through history. His travels took him through violent ghettos and even more violent hurricanes, desert sandstorms and blazing heat - cycling in areas where no sane person would choose to cycle. Along the way John Clark meets crazed war veterans, failing farmers, unemployed Mexican migrants, the washed up and those left over from the American Dream which the Gold Rush had done so much to form. His journey also took him through the wildest, the most beautiful and remotest parts of America.

"Travel books can easily degenerate into egocentric self-portraits... John knows his craft better than that. Indeed, it's hard to open the book at a random page without being plunged into some vivid and revealing conversation John's had on tour, be it with some extreme, ironic character or simply a couple of unassuming, hospitable family folks. A competent, well crafted book... readers will learn a lot from this exploration of a country."

John Stuart Clark is a travel writer and cycling journalist as well as a cartoonist specialising in development issues. His credits include:

Travel writing: Daily Telegraph, Travel Africa, TGO, Traveler’s Europe

Cycling: Cycling Plus, Bicycle, Cycle and all major high street and specialist cycling magazines.

Comic strips: Time Out, Independent, Economist, Al Jazeera, New Internationalist, Times supplements... as well as creating and illustrating the international mass circulation development comics produced by UNICEF.
The Allotment
by David Crouch & Colin Ward
ISBN: 0907123910, 320 pages

- Out of Print -

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The standard work on allotment history and culture, rich in anecdote and detail on one of the last vestiges of our once everyday contact with the land. Now in its 2nd edition.

" all of you I recommend that classic The Allotment" - Observer

"...a wise and stimulating book" - Sunday Telegraph
The Anarchist Past and other essays
by Nicolas Walter
ISBN: 1905512163, 252 pages

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Nicolas Walter helped create the surge of political dissent in Britain in the 60s and 70s. For forty years he was a key contributor to the anarchist press, as well as being editor of the New Humanist and factual accuracy was one of his passions. “Getting the facts right is not history, but it is a necessary preliminary” was his answer to the charge of supposing that history consisted of nothing more than getting the facts right. He presents anarchism as a natural response of ordinary people to the problems presented by the society into which they are born. He appeared regularly on Thought for the Day, That Was the Week That Was and other TV and radio programmes. He perfected the art of writing sharp and succinct letters so that more than 2,000 of these were published in the broadsheet and literary press in his lifetime.

Previous publications include About Anarchism, which was translated into Serbo-Croat, Turkish, Chinese and many other languages. Nicolas Walter was a third generation anarchist activist. He was the father of Natasha Walter.

The Anarchist Past and Other Essays is edited by David Goodway whose own writing on anarchism includes (with Colin Ward) Talking Anarchy, published by Five Leaves.
Arts in Society
by Paul Barker
ISBN: 1905512074, 340 pages

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Arts in Society comprises a set of lucid essays on photography and painting, films, design, TV and theatre, buildings and towns – discussion points about culture in the 60s and 70s.

Contributors include:

Angela Carter on male pin ups and on make- up
John Berger on war photography and on Francis Bacon
Michael Wood on John Lennon, Roy Lichenstein, A Clockwork Orange, Bob Dylan and WC Fields
Reyner Banham on the potato crisp and on container terminals
EP Thompson on Britain’s penchant for humbug
Paul Barker on “Art Nouveau Riche” and on Kes
Paul Meyersberg on If…
Andrew Weiner on T. Rex and on Tom Jones
Dennis Potter on TV Plays
Albert Hunt on Joe Orton and on Morecambe and Wise
…and more

"Always the essays are strong and authoritative" - The Times

"These aren’t simply essays in criticism. The pieces are about how things actually work: why they are what they are." - The Guardian

"First published in 1977, this path-breaking collection of essays on modern culture from New Society magazine retains all its vigour and verve. Angela Carter writes on Sixties style, and on D H Lawrence; John Berger on Pop Art and Bacon; Dennis Potter on TV drama; Michael Wood on Dylan and Kubrick... These pieces set the gold standard for hip but heretical cultural coverage. The sheer quality of writing, and of thinking, keeps them fresh."
- Boyd Tomkin The Independent

"These days, every university seems to have a chair in Big Brother studies. But back in the Sixties, treating popular culture and mass entertainment as worthy of intelligent, passionate analysis was something of a revolutionary idea. These essays, culled from the pages of New Society and originally published in 1977, treat ice cream vans, crisp packets and cop shows on the telly like they matter. They also, with only one or two exceptions, still read extraordinarily well. While some of the predictions haven't worked out, much of the analysis (of our obsession with nostalgia, for example) is spot on, and the way in which the authors engage with their subjects is thoroughly enviable. These might be archive pieces, but they deserve to be rediscovered, and embraced, by the critics of today." - The Observer

"Arts in Society draws on an extraordinary galaxy of talent... (it) quickly became a classic... immensely enjoyable... reaches out to a broad audience rather than a specialist audience; (giving) the maverick view." - Night Waves (Radio)

Paul Barker is the former editor of New Society. He regularly contributes to Radios 4 and 3, and the national press, on social and cultural issues. He also writes regularly for Prospect.
East End 1888
by William J Fishman
ISBN: 0907123856 , 343 pages

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East End 1888 is essential reading for anyone interested in social history and the history of London. Professor William Fishman shows what life was like for the labouring poor in the year of Jack the Ripper and the Matchgirls’ strike, when poverty, crime, disease and social unrest were at their height.

The communal life of the street, pubs and clubs softened the brutality of the daily grind, where the sweatshop, the ghetto, the poor tenement — and the threat of the workhouse - were ever present in an age of genuine “Victorian values”.

"In the hands of virtually any other historian this would have been a depressing book. But Bill Fishman has a gift, shared with Richard Cobb, of writing about horrible subjects in such a way as to leave you thinking that there is a God in heaven after all."
- Norman Stone, Sunday Times

"Fishman ís admirable book not merely enlightens us about a dead past, and excites our indignation on behalf of wrongs long since righted. It shows us a past in which we can all too clearly see the present." - Leon Garfield, Times Higher Educational Supplement

"A brilliantly perceptive study... a marvellous, vivid account of the poverty stricken world of the East End, not only scholarly and well documented but also very easy to read" - Spectator

William (Bill) Fishman is the chronicler of London’s East End. His other books include The Streets of East London and East End Jewish Radicals 1875–1914, recently re-issued by Five Leaves. The author is the son of an immigrant tailor, avisiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London and former visiting professor at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin. Now retired, he regularly leads East End walks and lectures in social history.
East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914
by William J Fishman
ISBN: 0907123457, 340 pages

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East End Jewish Radicals is essential reading for anyone interested in Victorian and Edwardian London or the history of the Jewish community in London, labour history and the history of immigration to this country.

Professor William Fishman describes London’s East End at a time of mass immigration from Eastern Europe to the shabby tenements of Stepney and Whitechapel. He describes the spread of libertarian and socialist ideals among the Jewish community culminating in the great strikes of 1889 and 1912. East End Jewish Radicals is published is republished for a new audience perhaps unaware of this forgotten part of London’s history.

"Brilliantly chronicled" - AJP Taylor

"An extraordinary period described by an inspired storyteller" - Arnold Wesker

"An immensely readable work, it should attract a large and enthusiastic audience" - Paul Avrich

William (Bill) Fishman is the chronicler of London’s East End. His other books include The Streets of East London and East End 1888. The son of an immigrant tailor, Fishman is a visiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London and has held visiting professorships at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin. Now retired, he regularly leads East End walks and lectures on East End subjects including Jack the Ripper.
Cotters & Squatters
by Colin Ward
ISBN: 0907123198, 196 pages


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Squatters were the original householders, and this book explores the story of squatter settlements in England and Wales, from our cave-dwelling ancestors to the squeezing out of cottagers in the enclosure of the commons.

There is a widespread folk belief that if a house could be erected between sundown and sunset the occupants had the right to tenure and could not be evicted. Often enquiry into the manorial court rolls shows this to be the case. Unofficial roadside settlements or encroachments onto the 'wastes' between parishes provided space for the new miners, furnacemen and artisans who made the industrial revolution, while cultivating a patch of ground and keeping a pig and some chickens. Colin Ward's book, full of local anecdote and glimpses of surviving evidence, links the hidden history of unofficial settlements with the issues raised by 20th century squatters and the 21st century claims that 'The Land is Ours'.

"...presents a wealth of fascinating anecdote, analysis and polemic highlighting the sheer variety of ways individuals have created sustainable homes and livelihoods in nooks and crannies at the margins of society." - Regeneration and Renewal

"A word of warning. Ward's deadpan style when writing about municipal bureaucracy is as scathing as his sense of humanity is strong. Planning and housing careerists should read it at home, not at work." - Roof

"Rural squatters are now only a footnote in social history. Their families built themselves a house on some unregarded patch of land... For years, the environmental humanist Colin Ward has tried to rescue such people from the mythology of heritage museums, the indulgences of romantic novelists and the dust of local archives; and to draw lessons from them for today. Cotters and Squatters is the latest vivid instalment of his campaign."
- The Independent

"Ward is not averse to a little squalor, or at least untidiness. The modern countryside is altogether too neatly packaged and sewn-up for the benefits of the well-off, he feels. Overzealous planning laws, and what he calls "the suffocating nimbyism of the countryside lobby, with its Range Rover culture", are dismissed as an affront to rural history. His new book is an exploration of the long struggle of the rural poor to acquire and keep a roof over their heads."
- The Guardian

"The politics of land ownership is a central theme of this book, and it includes a chapter on how squatting traditions relate to current issues in planning and rural development. ...Ward provides fascinating insights into this overlooked area of architectural history."
- SPAB News (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings)

"I recommend Cotters and Squatters as a very interesting read but above all as a broad overview of the historical background to self-building by the poor and maybe a reminder to those of us who have houses that we should be more sympathetic to those without."
- Vernacular Architecture

Colin ward is the author of many books exploring popular and unofficial uses of the landscape. Together with David Crouch he wrote The Allotment: its landscape and culture, published and reprinted several times by Five Leaves.
Journey Up The Thames
by John Payne
ISBN: 0907123686, 215 pages

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Journey Up The Thames follows the course of the river to its source, the same journey taken by William Morris in News From Nowhere. John Payne explores both the villages and towns he passes through and the ambiguities of life in modern England. William Morris's ideas of democracy, of craft, of technology and the countryside form the backdrop of this journey, which ends 'by this sweet stream that knows not of the sea.'

The journey covers Walthamstow, Merton, Putney, Hammersmith, Hampton Court, Runnymede, Windsor, Eton, Slough, Cookham, Reading, Abingdon, Oxford and Kelmscott.

"John Payne might not have actually found utopia anywhere up the Thames from London to Kelmscott, but his appreciation of what he calls "Morris's tone" is keen, and the obvious enjoyment he had in writing this delightful book is yours to be shared when you read it."
- Freedom

"What I valued about his upstream journey was the way he teases out a whole series of today's social issues, in particular the loss of traditional employment and the widening gulf between the poor and the affluent." - Town and Country Planning

"This is not a literary book, nor is it a book about Morris... It is a book about the plight of all people at the beginning of the 21st century... it's ideas are important and thought-provoking." - Journal of Utopian Studies

John Payne has written books on adult education. His book on the culture and history of Catalonia is forthcoming from Five Leaves.
The Last of the Hunters
by Peter Mortimer
ISBN: 190551221X, 100 pages

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Where Peter Mortimer first journeyed, others later followed. He was the first writer to travel and work with fishermen out on the high seas, experiencing conditions not seen on land for 200 years. The Last of the Hunters, though much sought after, has been unavailable for years. Described as ‘a minor classic’, it is now brought out in a new updated format, though containing every word of the original.

Fishing is dangerous and unpredictable. Lives are often lost. This is a harsh, macho and dangerous world of thirty-foot long rust buckets about which most of us know nothing. Peter Mortimer lived the life, working on six separate boats over a six months’ period, winning respect from the fishermen and developing his own respect for people whose working conditions are primitive, and whose job security is non-existent. North Shields fishermen often work with unprotected machinery for 18 hour days, exposed on open decks to the harsh elements and the vagaries of the North Sea.

This new edition contains an Afterword which brings us up to date with the people of the distinctive North Shields fishing community, and how the changes in fisheries’ policy have affected them. Peter Mortimer was born in Nottingham and has lived in the North East for more than 30 years. He edits IRON Press and runs Cloud Nine Theatre Company. He has written more than 20 plays, and his book Broke Through Britain became a best-seller. His play RIOT and travel book Cool for Qat document the 1930s South Shields Yemeni riots and their relevance to Western attitudes to Muslims today.

"Both starkly graphic and descriptive as the moment demands. A compelling book." - Newcastle Evening Chronicle
The London Years
by Rudolf Rocker
ISBN: 0907123309, 304 pages

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includes a new introduction by Colin Ward

The London Years is the autobiography of a remarkable man and a window into a long-forgotten world.

Rudolf Rocker was a German Catholic who moved to London to became the acknowledged leader of the Yiddish-speaking Jewish anarchists. Rocker introduced this mass movement to world literature, lecturing on Shakespeare, Cervantes and Tolstoy; organised demonstrations of up to 25,000 against the contemporary Russian pogroms, edited Yiddish political and cultural journals; set up properly instituted Jewish trade unions.

Rocker established the Jewish Bakers’ union in a community action where housewives would only buy bread with a union label. In 1912 he organised a famous general strike of Jewish tailors which abolished the sweatshop system. This happened at a time of mass immigration by impoverished Jews, who were persecuted by a right-wing press and an 'anti-alien' movement which brought in the first anti-immigration controls. The London Years chronicles this vanished world.

The Jewish anarchist movement came to an end in 1914, Rocker was arrested as an 'enemy alien' and his journals were closed down. After the war Rocker was active in the ferment of Weimer Germany before leaving for the USA where he was active in the Jewish anarchist movement until his death in 1958. In the USA Rocker was mainly involved with the Yiddish anarchist magazine Frei Arbeter Shtimme which lasted until the 1970s and whose adherents included the young Noam Chomsky.
Sheffield and Socialism
by Edward Carpenter
ISBN: 0907123104, 16 pages

Out Of Print

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with a foreword by David Blunkett MP
The Streets of East London
by William J. Fishman
ISBN: 0907123562, 140 pages

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The Streets of East London is an illustrated guide to the most vibrant area of London. For 25 years this has been a classic text, and steady seller in many London shops. Suitable for tourists, historians, and anyone interested in the history of London.

The Streets of East London talks about the East End, from the Huguenots of the seventeenth century to the Bangladeshis of today.

William (Bill) Fishman talks about the areas poverty and attempts to relieve it, the successive waves of immigration, crime – including Jack the Ripper and the Krays, the radical movement and ends with suggested walking tours.

The Streets of East London is crammed with historic photographs, and more recent images by Nicholas Breach.

William (Bill) Fishman is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Talking Anarchy
by Colin Ward & David Goodway
ISBN: 0907123996, 160 pages


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Of all political views anarchism is the most ill-represented.

In Talking Anarchy, Colin Ward discusses the ups and downs of the anarchist movement including the many famous characters who he worked with, such as:

Herbert Read
Alex Comfort
Noam Chomsky
George Orwell

Already published in Italian. German and Spanish editions in preparation. Accessible anarchist history and theory for students and politics buyers.

The authors:

Colin Ward has been a journalist and editor for sixty years, most famously editing the journal Anarchy. He has also been a columnist for New Statesman, New Society, Freedom and Town and Country Planning. OUP are publishing his Anarchism: a short introduction in 2004. Colin Ward's books include anarchist solutions to everything from vandalism to what to do after the motor age, as well as celebrating unofficial uses of the landscape, from holiday camps to squatter communities. The Allotment: Its Landscape and Culture; Cotters and Squatters: Housing's Hidden History; Arcadia for All: The Legacy of a Makeshift Landscape; and Chartres: The Making of a Miracle (coming 2004) are available from Five Leaves.

"Talking Anarchy is perhaps the closest thing to be found to a biography of Colin Ward... a welcome insight into the life of one of the great anarchist propagandists." - Freedom

Colin Ward is a widely published UK anarchist writer with 30 books to his name. Colin Ward's books are regularly reviewed by TLS, The Guardian and other broadsheets as well as specialist journals.

David Goodway teaches history in the School of Continuing Education, University of Leeds. He is the author of London Chartism, 1838-1848 and has edited For Anarchism; Herbert Read Reassessed and collections of Alex Comfort's and Herbert Read's anarchist writings.