Working Class Life: written by working class activists. Read “A Bolton Childhood” by Alice Foley

lipstick socialist

a bolton childhood

In this occasional series I want to rediscover the autobiographies of working class people that have been forgotten or marginalised. They are important in understanding how and why people become activists. They are important in asking questions as to why today there is such a lack of working class people who are active in all kinds of political organisations from political parties to trade unions.

Alice Foley (1891-1974) wrote a biography of her early life called A Bolton Childhood, which was published in 1973 and re-issued by Bolton Libraries and Arts in co-operation with the Bolton Branch of the Workers’ Educational Association in 1990. It covered her life until 1918.

At the start of  A Bolton Childhood  we are immediately thrown into the realities of the life of the working classes in the 1890s. “I was born on a scurvy, inhospitable day, in late November, 1891, a premature victim…

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