Petition to ‘Save Bradlaugh Hall’

CBS launch petition to Save Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore.

The CBS has produced three new documents which we are pleased to make public today relating to Charles Bradlaugh’s connection to India in preparation of this year’s annual Bradlaugh Talk to be held at 1pm on 25th September 2016 at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

All Welcome.

Bradlaugh Hall Memorial Stone

Bradlaugh Hall Memorial Stone

Please download and circulate these three documents and petition to save Bradlaugh Hall.

 

How to find the Museum and Art Gallery (MAP).

2016 Poster

The poster for this year’s commemoration is now out. Please circulate as widely as possible.

We look forward to seeing as many friends again this year.

All Welcome.

2016 Commemoration Poster

2016 Commemoration Poster

MP’s Support Save Bradlaugh Hall

The Society’s Secretary, Chris Pounds, along with Dr Rabinder Sohil travelled to Parliament in June for a meeting with Michael Ellis and David Mackintosh, Northampton’s two MP’s.

Discussions on how Michael and David can help support the campaign to save the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore were very positive and both agreed to contact the Governor of the Punjab. Several other approaches were identified and we hope to bring you more information about these as they bear fruit.

 

CBS Secretary, Chris Pounds (right) and Dr Rabinder Sohil (left) meet with MP's Michael Ellis (middle left) and David Mackintosh (middle right)

CBS Secretary, Chris Pounds (right) and Dr Rabinder Sohil (left) meet with MP’s Michael Ellis (middle left) and David Mackintosh (middle right)

The scroll was presented to Charles Bradlaugh by the people of India in gratitude for his efforts to bring about Independence. It will be at this year’s Bradlaugh Talk on ‘The India Connection’ presented by Dr Rabinder Sohil. Come back soon to see the new publicity poster for this year’s commemoration.

The India Connection

The Charles Bradlaugh Society is pleased to announce this year’s Speaker for the third annual Bradlaugh Talk on Sunday 25th September at 1:00pm.

Dr Rabinder Sohil will be speaking about Charles Bradlaugh’s connection to India and his support for Independence.

Also we hope to have a discussion on how to SAVE the BRADLAUGH HALL in Lahore.

SAVE BRADLAUGH HALL

SAVE BRADLAUGH HALL

The Charles Bradlaugh Society has been hitting the headline in The Tribune -“UK society pitches in to save Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore”

There is a FACEBOOK page to get behind the campaign to Save the Bradlaugh Hall.

The Historical Association Lecture

The Northampton Branch of the Historical Association will be holding a lecture on the ‘Life of Charles Bradlaugh’.

This is being delivered by the CBS archivist Liam Howley at Northampton University on Thursday 21 April 2016.

The next lecture will be given by Liam Howley on the life of Charles Bradlaugh, from his youth in the East End to M.P for Northampton. Bradlaugh was a giant of his age, but has sadly been largely forgotten by history. His many causes such as atheism, republicanism, and birth control gave him many enemies in a strict Victorian age. His biggest battle was to serve as Northampton’s M.P – barred for his atheism, but backed by the local people. His statue serves as a reminder of his place in the history of the town. Liam Howley represents the Charles Bradlaugh Society

enquiries@history-northampton.org.uk

All Welcome.

Save the Bradlaugh Hall

Last month, on Saturday 20th February, myself and my wife Ruchira were pleased to meet with Dr Rabinder Sohil and his wife Mattie who travelled to Northampton from their home in Slough.

Dr Sohil visits the statue of Bradlaugh in Abington Square. The inscription read: ‘ India, Too, Chose Him Her Representative’

Dr Sohil visits the statue of Bradlaugh
The inscription read: ‘ India, Too, Chose Him Her Representative’

Dr Sohil is the current chairman of the ‘All India Congress Committee’ and ‘Freedom Movement of India’ which was historically based at the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore until the partition of India in 1947 when Lahore became part of the newly created state of Pakistan.

As we know, Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore has been inaccessible for many years due to its poor condition, and there are grave concerns for the survival of the building.

Lahore Hall

Bradlaugh Hall

Dr Sohil told us about the important cultural and political history of the hall, and the urgency of campaigning work to protect the hall from the threat of demolition.

He explained how in 1947 many members of the All India Congress Committee which owned the hall, and many people active in the life of the hall were forced to resettle in India. The Indian Government then set aside some land in the Union Territory of Chandigarth in the adjoining Indian Punjab – Dr Sohil’s home town – and  The Bradlaugh Hall Committee planned to construct a new Bradlaugh Hall there. Unfortunately, the plans to build a new hall have never come to fruition, despite official backing and funding. Currently the government has re-possessed the land from the committee.

Consequently, Dr Sohil and his colleagues are campaigning in two fronts: for action by the Pakistan Government to save the Hall in Lahore with the support of the Indian government , and also for the Indian authorities to preserve the land set aside in Chandigarth for construction of the new hall.

He requests that the CBS considers helping and supporting this campaign, and that we approach our two local MP’s to gain their support in preserving this heritage. Dr Sohil is politically well connected at Westminster and in both India and Pakistan, and is confident that the support of the CBS and our MPs – Bradlaugh’s heirs – will help move things forward. On behalf of the CBS, I intend to arrange a meeting with our MP’s and Dr Sohil.

Chris Pounds (Secretary)

125 years

30 January 2016 will be the 125th Anniversary of Bradlaugh’s death.

Many of the campaigns upon which Bradlaugh worked so tirelessly are still unfinished. Some progress is being made fortunately:

Atheism must be taught as part of religious education lessons in British schools, the High Court has ruled.

But on other issues such as universal suffrage much is still to be done. His words are as true today as they were 125 years ago.

..for so long as the working classes are denied justice, and are not admitted to the suffrage in so ample a manner as to outnumber the upper class electors, it is to the working men that Mr. Hare’s bill is peculiarly beneficial; and I trust that even if universal suffrage were obtained tomorrow the people would know that a permanent and progressive democracy can only subsist usefully by permitting its opponents to be heard in the national deliberative assembly.

The Real Representation of the People – C. Bradlaugh

 

Memorial Stone

For those who wish to visit Bradlaugh’s memorial stone then we thought these photos, maps and links may be of interest.

This is a link to Find a Grave where details of Bradlaugh’s memorial stone can be found.

Memorial Stone

Memorial Stone

You can see where the missing wreath would have been located.

This Map of Brookwood Cemetary may help you find Plot 108 in which the memorial stone is located. The sign ‘Plot 108’ is attached to a tree and there are several graves within Plot 108. The memorial stone can be seen from the Avenue between 108 and 109 if you stand with your back to 109.

 

From the Avenue with back to Plot 109

From the Avenue with back to Plot 109

The missing bust of Bradlaugh would have been where the stone block is on top in this photo.

The Brookwood Cemetery Society have a page dedicated to Charles Bradlaugh.

Bradlaugh Day is a great success.

Thank you to everyone who came to Bradlaugh’s commemoration, some as far away as Bath.

 

2015 Commemoration

2015 Commemoration

 

We’re especially grateful to one of Bradlaugh’s descendants making the effort.

 

Bradlaugh's great great great grandson

Bradlaugh’s great great great grandson

The new format of a Talk, followed by the Walk and finally the Commemoration was agreed to be a great success.

Thanks to Richard Duncker for his excellent talk on Faith-based Assault.

Richard Duncker

Richard Duncker

We look forward to meeting you again next year.

19 hours remaining…

….until this year’s commemoration of Charles Bradlaugh begins, we hope you will be joining us.

We’ve had enquiries as to the route of the Walk: it starts at 2:00pm at Bradlaugh’s portrait in the museum, making its way to All Saint’s, then the market square, next the Guildhall,  and finally to Abington Square for 2:50pm.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow for what looks like a sunny and glorious day!

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