Poll Tax banner
Poll Tax banner

I thought this might invoke a smile or two! Some of you might remember it. Hessle members might know the names.

Last week I received a parcel addressed to the Beverley and Holderness Labour Party containing this banner made of brown paper covered in plastic.

The letter included was as follows:

To Comrades past and present,

You have in your hands a very tatty banner that was carried (never dropped) through the poll tax riot in Trafalgar Square London 1990. At the time it had a wooden stick attached to the back to stop it from flying around.

Four Labour Party Young Socialists from (as was) the Beverley CLP named Jonathan Allenby, Alison Read, Sally Waters and Peter Hurd, represented our little corner of the UK in showing our disgust at (one of the many) unfair and unjust Tory policies of the time. I’d like to think that things are different now – better even – but I think, rather not. Still it was quite a day.

My mother made the banner and I carried it then and I’ve kept it for over 30 years in a battered brown suitcase; from town to town, city to city and village to village. And now I’m passing it on to you to do with as you will; a little curio of social and political history from the dissenting youth of the late 20th century or, as extra tinder for the fire. It’s so old it’ll probably go up easy with just a spark…I will not be offended. I just thought that someone might be interested, nostalgia being the curse of the age.

So keep the red flag flying and good luck.

Don’t let the buggers grind you down!

Yours in solidarity

Peter Hurd

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