Martin McGarrigle

Martin McGarrigle

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Part two of Martin's video


TONY WRIGHT: This is Tony Wright, it’s the 28th of August 2012 and I’m talking to Martin. And can you tell me your full name is and where and when you were born?

MARTIN MCGARRIGLE: Yeah it’s Martin Anthony Lawrence McGarrigle…and I was born in Ballyshannon……in Shiel Hospital in 1960… Donegal, in the north west of Ireland.

TW: Right….yeah…….so were you raised there?

MM: No, I grew up in Bradford, but I was….I was there until….I was a baby basically and me ma and da, they were living over here, and then me mum went back to have me over there until they got a place sorted.

TW: Right. So you don’t remember much of that.

MM: No, but you know, I have got… memories or, you know, because it was on the beach….it was on the beach….where, by Rossnowlagh, where me mum’s family come from and then further up the coast, only a number of miles, about five, is where me dad’s family come from.

TW: Right. So you feel a real connection with that part of the world then?

MM: Oh yeah, yeah, I go back every year pretty much.

TW: Right, okay. And so you were really brought up in Bradford then?

MM: Bradford.

TW: As a child.

MM: Yeah.

TW: What was Bradford like in the sixties then?

MM: Well that was……I mean cobbled streets, you know, and it was… was Manningham, in the middle of Bradford, which was an immigrant area…..and we grew up on a street called Salt Street, after Titus Salt… know, the Shipley guy

TW: Yeah.

MM: And there was mills round there which were part of his empire as well…..and….it was…..what was it like….I mean as a little kid, we lived on a corner as well, half way down the street, and so there was like snickets; there was like a little side street to a snicket that way and a side street to a snicket that way, but that one was blocked off, and then diagonally opposite our house was the Manningham Ward Labour Club…. bit like The Trades Club here but in them days it was a proper Labour Club, you know, and that was a big place; two storeys……about the size of The Trades Club, both were, there was like a dance hall downstairs and then upstairs was the club as it were, you know, and……I have memories of that, because we lived there until I was seven, then we moved, but my memories of that are… earliest memories are sitting out on the street corner as a tiny child, in good weather, playing with the…..the gas tar that used to bubble up in between the cobbles, and that was our…..that was our plasticine, so we’d make things out of that, and you’d just end up getting covered, completely covered in gas tar shite, right, which you can’t get off; it stains you brown like, you know, so….but one of the only things that used to get it off was butter…..funnily enough.

TW: Is that right?

MM: Yeah, butter, and vinegar I think is what they used… used to have to really get….you know, my mum would go ballistic and so would everybody other’s mum like, you know; it was the advert, you know, where the kid comes in covered in shite and the…..the….the mother turns round and goes ‘oh good….good job I got a giant packet of Omo’ and then starts beating the children around the room with the big packet, you know [laughing] it’s that sort of thing, you know, that sort of scenario, you know…..yeah, gas tar…..and….and so…..and also, all the cars……all the fifties and sixties cars you see I can remember, cos they were all….they’d all be parked…..and we used to let the tyres down with matchsticks you know, because there was a few of us just sat there on the pavement, just letting the tyres down you know, and the people got mental, of course they would like, you know, and… know, yeah, really, and……..but we never got done for it or owt, you know…..and also the cars in them days, some of the older ones, they used to have….they used to have indicators like little rods that used to flip out at the side like that, half way along, and of course they’d all get broken off and stuff like that you know, terrible really, and…..all the kids in that area were cajoled into gangs, yeah….I didn’t join any but, even like at five, six….four, five six, just big massive groups of kids you know….

TW: Were they all kind of…..were they all Irish or were they all this kind of group or

MM: They were all Yorkshire tykes mainly, and Ukraines and….Poles and Italians and Irish and…….and everything like that, you know…..and…..a few West Indian kids…..and the Asian kids were just moving in at that time, and we weren’t allowed to mix; there was a sort of separation then you know. The Asians were really looked down on…..everybody was….was what you’d call now institutionally racist; they just were culturally racist, everybody was, I mean we didn’t learn racism until…..I was in my….mid-teens you know…..didn’t really know what it meant……and… the sort of crack that the tiny kids would get up to was….the next street along was a tarred street…. Carlisle Place, and that…..that was down the back street, and that, and that was…..that had that sixties kind of gravel….you know, reddy kind of pinky surface, you know, greeny pinky surface of like….gravel, set into the tar, you know, so it was a smooth surface; it was like somewhere in the south of England or summat, you know, and so what happened was, it was really good for bikes, so all the kids would play this….this game called British Bulldogs and no matter what age you were, you were cajoled into it, you were forced into it you know, so basically all the kids would assemble, and you could have up to a hundred kids maybe, in two teams, one at the top of the street, one at the bottom of the street, and then on bikes, all the kids on bikes would be at the front and all the little ones like me would be at the back so it was like two armies, and it was this game of British Bulldogs right, and then they’d just charge each other, and then there was a kid, I think the way it worked was there was a kid in the middle with a mallet….right, a wooden mallet, and he actually chucked the mallet and whoever it hit…..then they were out…..something like that, can’t remember how it worked, something like that…..anyway, but I was terrified of this game. Jesus, cos even like at, you know, like four, five, like ‘I don’t wanna get hit by this’…you know, scared like… know what I mean [laughing] so you know, that was a big form game…..and then there was…..the other thing I remember of it….oh and catapults…..the really… know the ones that are illegal now; catapults were big in the early 60s, and zip guns, and pellet guns, but I didn’t come across zip guns or pellet guns until I was older, but all the…..a lot of the older kids had them, but everybody had a catapult; it was just……you know, the….the toy of choice in the 60s, you know, and there was a lot of like, you know Dennis the Menace sort of implements like… know, fire at the…..the copper’s helmet, and, you know, because they had the big copper’s helmet, and it was very like that you know, all that sort of thing you know, and…..and what I remember…a memory that I’ve got from that time of being very young was… snowing and playing out obviously, making snowmen and snowball fights on that street, on that street, on Carlisle Place or Carlisle Terrace whichever it was, and……deep snow and wellies, and what would happen is you know, your feet would get really cold in the wellies and then what would happen is me mam….I’d go back and me mam, she’d get some coal from the fire and she’d put coal, a piece of coal, in the welly, just for a moment or two; it would heat the welly up and then tip it back in you know,

TW: Oh right

MM: right, and then plastic bags on the feet and then the socks you know, so a pair of socks, a plastic bag, a pair of socks and then into the wellies you know, and warm wellies… I remember that. The other one I remember from that time was……me mam was between…..she worked as an industrial nurse for Grattan catalogue; she worked there for thirty years, but she had a break when she had kids - she had two breaks – so she had a break obviously when she had me and then she had a break when… sister… sister’s three years younger than me so that was like ’60 and then ’63, so basically…..when she stopped working at Grattan after me sister, she then did other cleaning jobs and stuff like this you know, and….we used to walk…..down to….Lumb Lane which was nearby, which was a sort of a….a red light area, prostitute area, and all the pubs on there…..and a woman who became an aunty, an adopted aunty, we called her Aunty Imeda, ran this pub called The Flying Dutchman which later in years, in the 70s, turned into The Pink Pub and they painted it pink, and Aunty Imeda, she had two children the same age as me and me sister, you know, there was a few months between us but the same age, so…..Alex was six months older than me and Ann, she was…..six months older than me sister sort of thing you know, so…but the four of us would muck around together you know, but we were confined to the beer garden; there’s a beer garden there walled off high, and that was it and the pub you know, and me man cleaned and sometimes we’d help her, and Aunty Imeda, if you know what….Amy Winehouse looks like, right, that style, yeah, very Italian looking, and then the big black bouffant hair, beehive, that’s what Aunty Imeda looked like, and……she ran this pub on her own, well first of all she had….one husband had died, then she had this fella in……and….basically, I don’t know what happened, he f’d off but she got married again and he died, but she’d wear ‘em out you know, she was tough as nails, and……she was incredibly…..incredibly brutal and violent….right, and she used to beat her children every day with the brush; she’d lose her temper over something and she’d go ballistic, and Alex or Ann, whoever was in the firing line, would get it, and it would be with the brush, with the stick, and whack ‘em around the place; they’d have to run about, and we were just terrified, me and me sister….you know……and…..Aunty Imeda…..she lived on and on and she died some time I think in the early 90s……but during her reign as… a landlord……a pub owner…..she….later on in years she got a pub on the way from….Shipley to Bingley, on the canal side, a big Victorian pub about four or five storey pub, squashed between two mills, in a very sort of little industrial dark bit if that area, you know; a place where there would have been communities but not any more, so she was pretty much there on her own, and during the early 80s there used to be…..these murderers going about in Bradford - the Yorkshire Ripper and the Black Panther. Now…..almost simultaneously, I can’t remember which one came first, but they were round the same time, so anyway this dude, the Black Panther……right…..broke into her house….into her pub knowing she was a woman on her own……and…in the middle of the night, came into her bedroom with an axe, right, this is a famous story, so she’s….she’s an old….well she’s a middle-aged older woman in her sixties or whatever, and she’s in this pub, a big massive Victorian hornet place on its own, and this guy comes in with an axe. She noticed him, the story goes she notices him, and waits until he gets towards the bed and as soon as he got towards the bed with the axe, she jumps out of the bed, got the fucking axe and hit him with the axe, and out he went, out through the fucking window, however many storeys that was…..serious, or legged it, and then, but you know there was blood and this that and the other and, you know, and she’d have died or broke or whatever, but anyway he fucked off; he got away….yeah yeah, but that was…..that was ‘woman fights off……the Panther’ you know, famous story you know…….it served her well, her ferociousness you know

TW: Yes, yeah, so you were till seven?

MM: Yeah I was there in Manningham till seven, yeah.

TW: And then where did you go?

MM: Then we moved to….Bolton Road, about the same latitude across….the same sort of distance, about half a mile out of the…..out of the city centre, but on the other side of the valley; Bradford’s a kind of valley and there’s a valley running…..which is valley road and there’s…..there’s the football ground there, Bradford City, and then the other hill, so we moved there, to a bigger house; we were in a back-to-back, a corner back-to-back, and also, I forgot to mention, all the relatives came to live with us till they got sorted or went back to Ireland, you know. My dad was a ganger on the buildings, so we had a lot of people staying and calling all the time, and at that time Irish weren’t allowed in the Working Men’s Club…or Blacks……no Blacks or Irish were allowed, and it said ‘no Blacks or Irish’ you know……so….and also there was a thing in them days……unions, a lot of unions wouldn’t take black people or Irish people; you really had to be British…..born here you know, so that was the same crack on the Working Men’s Clubs you know so, yeah…….but what happens is….so my dad was a ganger on the buildings and all the relatives are calling of course, and then they’re all wanting, so they do…..some of them get put up, get flats or this and the other, but they all get a start you see because there was loads of work obviously, loads of building, and demolition, and so……so that’s… our house was like a Working Men’s Club every night, it was full of people and there was dominoes and darts and….cards going all the time and I was….in a room about this size and I was….you know, I was the entertainment on the scooter, you know…….so yeah, I grew up very sociably you know, but yeah so then when I was seven we moved…..things had changed by then; them days had passed so this was like 1966; I was six, sorry yeah, so it would have been 1966 or summat like that……and…yeah so we moved across the valley, and we moved into a… know, a through terrace house like this you know, which seemed absolutely massive, you know, on a main road, on Bolton Road….again only about half a mile out of the city centre you know…..and…..yeah, I lived there until I was…..eighteen.

TW: Oh right. So when you moved out, what did you do? When you moved out at eighteen where did you go, what did you do?

MM: Well I went travelling – I went all over – well I worked, and I used to go away; I sued to work, go away, come back, save money, and then go….off again you know….

TW: Right

MM: But you know I kind of officially retired from work at twenty-one…..

TW: Right

MM: Because I’d been working since eleven……in markets

TW: Oh in markets?

MM: Yeah, in John Street Market in Bradford.

TW: Selling what?

MM: Chickens.

TW: Selling chickens?

MM: Yeah, poultry; chopping chickens.

TW: Oh right.

MM: Yeah……twelve…..eleven….twelve, I started……

TW: So where did you used to travel to?

MM: What?

TW: When you started travelling you said.

MM: Oh…..well…….I mean France, Morocco, Scotland…..teaching around Scotland you know, just….yeah….and made friends and stayed places

TW: Did you hitch everywhere then or did you have a van? How did you

MM: No no no; hitched….I was…..I was….from the age of about….fifteen, sixteen….. which was unusual for them days; I was completely opposed to the motor car….

TW: Right

MM: [laughing]….I didn’t mind vans, lorries or buses, because I could see the point of them, but cars I hated; absolutely hated with a vengeance you know, and then, in 1978 when The Buzzcocks brought out their first LP and other music in a different kitchen, they had a song on there ‘Fast Cars, I Hate Fast Cars’… ‘these are the boys for me’ you know [laughing]… I did; I hate them.

TW: Right

MM: You know, because you know I was…..yeah, anyway I just…..yeah, cos I grew up on a main road and I thought ‘this is fucking mental’.

TW: Yeah…..yeah, so……you say you used to go away, work, save money, come back, do all that sort of thing. What kind of work did you do when you went away then?

MM: I worked…..I worked when I was here.

TW: Oh right…….and then you travelled?

MM: Yeah yeah… I worked a long stint; I worked…..I mean I worked from like….what….seventeen I left art college; I went to art college for a year and a bit; two years course you know, and…..and I got accepted for the Fine Art Degree and all this cos I was a self-declared artist.....and I was good, apparently, you know, a good line drawer, I could do a bit, and…..and also I could use cameras and all that because of another story what happened in that place you know….and then basically……I earned my living as an illustrator….I went to work in a printer’s first of all, in a big label makers up Leeds Road, down the back, and I used to cycle to work every day of course, a couple of mile, and…….in this printer’s they made labels; they were label makers, over prints, and basically I used to do all the art work for them

TW: Right.

MM: and….then they got a….block making facility built in the corner, and when it went for the demonstration, there was about six of us; the managers da da da….. and there we are, and then at the end of it, it was like…..the guys go away and they showed us how to use it all, and it’s like……there was only….I was the only one who knew how to do it, and it was like…..fucking great you know, ‘well who else is gonna do it?’ so I’ve not only got to do all my other full-on duties, because sometimes you’re working till nine at night to get orders out you know, it’s one of them things you know; not that you’d get any compensation or whatever, but I used to hassle them for time and a half and all this, but if you didn’t hassle them you wouldn’t get it, you know, it’s just like you know, a normal sweat shop factory like any factory, you know, they’ll get away with what they can, so this was my kind of….my first….well it wasn’t my first introduction to industrial relations but it was one of my first you know….I had had one before that; a tribunal and won…..I got compensation you know, when I worked, because I ended up working at Morrison’s part-time….you know, when I was going through college, and…..long story short, they got…..they cleared out the warehouse, when I was working at Morrison’s they cleared out the warehouse one time and they got all us casuals to then dismantle everything, take everything out, dismantle all the things, take all…..take some shelving down, and then…..and then get it shipped out, and then the floor….we were employed then to scrape the floor so you had like a concrete based floor and then it had like…..up to six inches of shit over the years, of grime and sort of tar, and the only way you could get this off was… they had us scraping the floor for ages, about a week, and…..this….so the only thing you could use was this really heavy industrial effluent stuff, you know, chemical shit yeah; they gave us no protective clothing, they gave us no breathing masks, no nothing; it would be completely illegal nowadays, but you see in them days like… now, kids will wear whatever their best clothes are, or near it, you know, they won’t wear scruffy clothes to do this or that; they’ll wear the item, whatever it is, so all the kids had their best jeans and their shoes and all this sort of stuff and I was no exception you know, and I was a little soul kid so I had my good shoes on, and okay jean trousers you know; not the best, but basically what happened was…this stuff got all over my fucking shoes and all over my jeans, so everybody’s clothes fell apart – everybody’s who did it, you know - our shoes were shagged. Now in them days, exponentially, shoes were much more expensive than they are nowadays; there was a point in the 80s when shoes came right down didn’t they, but shoes were an item man; you know, they were summat your mam saved up for for ages, and, or on the catalogue, and you know, you know, shoes were an item you know, they really were; it was like exponentially more expensive than anything they were, boots and shoes were.

TW: Yeah

MM: As far as I remember anyway, you know, I mean twenty quid was a lot of money then; a lot; it was nearly a week’s wages for most people in 1970….1975, 74, 75, 76, it was a lot of money….so anyway all the fucking, so then basically, so I’m saying to all the kids, you know, I’m not a radical or anything, I’m just like…. ‘oh fucking hell they’ve got to pay for it…..they’ve got to pay for it’ so….and we had a lovely….what do you call them…..what did you call them then….Liaison Officers….

TW: Not a Shop Steward?

MM: Not a Shop Steward no, but you know, they….they sorted all the problems out you know, in whatever you know, a woman, and she was lovely; she was great, really nice, and you could always get on with her so, you know, I went up and I made a thing like of saying ‘look, the kids want….we want compensation for all the gear because we’re only on a fiver a day, so we want compensation for all the gear that you know, has been trashed’ you know, so bit by bit, right, over the ensuing weeks afterwards, you know and months, not months, but weeks and weeks yeah; we got called into the…the…Personnel Officer, so we got called in….so we got called in, and it was like….. ‘oh well….blah blah blah blah’…..sweet-talked into not getting the thing; sweet-talked into not getting the….the money for the shoes and for the jeans, and I said ‘no’….I says ‘no way’…. I says ‘the shoes were four weeks’ money working here; the jeans were more….you know, you know what I mean, and I’m not having it’ you know, da da da….. ‘no, I’m not doing it’ you know….charming, you know…..and every single kid dropped out, so these are all kids you know, in the mid 70s, who are going into the sixth form, then going on to university, then going on to, you know, Local Government reasonable top jobs or whatever eventually, career boys, yeah, right; they’ll go on and get their A Levels and them A Levels are gonna turn into university qualifications, and qualifications are gonna get them jobs, and there was then, late 70s early 80s, if you had that….if you were going in that strata, you will get summat, you will get a decent wage; there was a lot more going on, right, than there is now, and so them people, all of them, dropped out, fucking, to the man, right, apart from me, and I ended up getting my compensation, forty-five quid of fity quid, sixty quid or whatever it was then, you know, so I got the money for the shoes and I got the money for the jeans, you know, and then, one of the….managers upstairs, cos we…..we worked in the warehouse…..was completely on my case all the time from that point onwards, absolutely, you know, and that’s how they train them; that’s how corporatism works, and that was my fist….and that was a low level Morrison’s supermarket, so they were training young guys in their late teens, early twenties, to be assholes – ‘oh he’s a trouble causer, you need to get rid of him; that’s gonna be good for you our kid’ do you know what I mean, blah blah, so already the corporate shit was there. Now this was my introduction to it you know, so anyway I won, and then, about a month and a half later I was out on me arse….and my parents were disgusted….me dad was like [Irish accent] ‘Jesus Christ I never lost a job in my life’ you know ‘I’ve only ever left on my own accord’ and all this you know, and he was completely disgusted you know, and I explained it to them but you know, anyway….I was at art college you know and I was having a good time.

TW: So why didn’t you finish art school then?

MM: I did.

TW: Oh you did?

MM: I did yeah. It was a two year course, but I couldn’t, you know, I didn’t get a grant and….and by the time I was finishing, I was only eighteen - I wasn’t even eighteen – I was one of the youngest in the year you see, and then basically you couldn’t get a grant of any sort then until you were nineteen, so….what was I gonna fucking do? It was like me dad….and I was living at home with me mum and dad and they were basically saying that, you know, ‘there’s no way…..there’s not way we’re gonna keep you for another year; you can forget it; you need to go out and work’….my dad was fucking livid, you know, so……so that was it, yeah, you know, so that….so that was me, and also, the college itself had come to me and said ‘you should apply for St Martin’s in the Field down in…London’ and this that and the other and all that, ‘because you are the genuine article’….and….and I was like ‘yes, but’….oh and they said ‘oh we’ll take you on…..on the….degree course for the next year’ I says ‘well’ I says ‘can I get a grant?’ and they said ‘no’ they said ‘not until you’re nineteen’ no they said ‘yeah I’m sure we could arrange summat’ and I said ‘but it’s said that you can’t get it until you’re nineteen’…. ‘oh how old are you?’… ‘oh right okay yeah….well not until you’re nineteen but you can start the course; come and do it, it’s no problem’ but I couldn’t do it….because you know, that was it; that was the bottom line.

TW: Yeah

MM: So basically….I went and got a job then…what I did then was, I went and I did Volunteer Community Arts cos I was used to that sort of stuff, down in a building opposite the art college, and did screen printing and all that sort of stuff, which I could do anyway, so I was teaching kids at eighteen, but then I got a job pretty quickly, in a few weeks, at this place, Overprints, and then I started working there

TW: How long were you there?

MM: Eighteen months…..every day.

TW: Yeah. Did you not think about then going back to art school? Or had you kind of off the thread of that?

MM: It didn’t… didn’t occur me….it didn’t occur me….by that time I was twenty and summat you know, and of course these were….these were heavy times for me because basically you’re that young and everything’s going on, but also it was punk rock time, you know, and so loads of things were happening musically, and gigs and everything like this, you know, and okay, I used to get forty-two quid a week but that was a lot of money then….to me it was a lot of money and I used to give my mum a tenner of that, you know, and so….and provide most of my own food…most of it……so there were no complaints, and……and basically I worked there then, and then I left…..again, there was another scenario going on there, similar to that other one….I ended up at an industrial tribunal when I left….because when I left they said they’d sacked me, and I said ‘no we came to an agreement’ right, because I’d got fed up with it, you know, and…my health had suffered; my eyes had gone worse than they’d ever been; I’ve always worn glasses since I was six – stigmatism – and I was in a dark room, you know, eight, nine hours a day, cycling and in there eight or nine hours a day or whatever you know, in… a dark room…..and it was labels and everything was nought point fucking type, so I……I really seriously……strained, trashed my eyes even worse than they were…….mercury lights exposure is a classic in developing you know, so……..and…….also my health… an environment where it’s all chemicals……and… know, industrial thinners, you know, in concentrated forms and paint thinners and all this stuff and the inks, all the ink stuff you see……and a bit of a crappy place as well, but you know, whatever, but all that on your lungs every day, cycling in the freezing fog behind fucking big lorries, you know, in traffic every morning…..and I was fucked….fucking burnt myself out man; I was completely…..fucked. I used to…..I used to go out with two friends, three friends on a Friday night and we’d meet in the……..we’d meet in The Ring O’ Bells at the bottom of the road, which was a…..a plinky-plonk piano pub you know, and it was great crack you know, and we’d be the three…..odd punk rocker types you know; the Asian, the Lithuanian and the Irish you know [laughing]….oh and there were a gay lad, the other Steve, and so we’d be there you know, with our eye liner on and fucking you know, spiky hair and what not and…you know, no-one gave a toss, Teddy boys drank in there….everybody drank in there and no bother, it was a bit like the Working Men’s Club you know, ‘roll out the barrel’ and there was a woman who was under five foot; she was like Pauline at The White Swan, and she used to dress in black lace all the time, lesbian woman, and she used to sit on the stool and her legs didn’t touch the floor, and she was like in her sixties, seventies, and she’d just bash it out like….honky-tonk style you know, any tune, whatever it was you know, and it were just round t’corner from the theatre so you’d get all the theatre people coming in as well, you know, it was a great crack in there you know, and this was like you know, ’77 ’78 you know, ’79 and…..I can remember many’s the time going in there and getting a couple of pints in, and then we’d….we’d meet up and we’d be sat there, and I’d just take a fucking few drinks; I’d have…..I….I’d probably have a pint and then get up to go and get some more, then I’d pass out; I used to get blackouts all the time

TW: That’s cos of the chemicals and all the rest of it?

MM: Yeah….yeah, totally.

TW: Right.

MM: Or I’d have to go into t’bogs and just throw everything….throw up….all me dinner, everything like this, and then….you know, and then after a while I’d feel alright, so it was pretty intense you know…..but it was an intense time as well and I lived in an intense household you know….you know, and like I say you know, and…….you know, I’d be there and they wanted me out you know, really, you know, it was like ‘fuck it this is insane’ [laughing]….

TW: So….so how did

MM: You raise children and you kick ‘em out, that’s the deal then. You don’t look after them for the rest of your life…you know, that’s a modern phenomenon.

TW: Yeah….so what happened then? How did you get out?

MM: Well…..yes I did that job then and that…..that was the printers wasn’t it? No sorry I had a break then, so how old would I be?......Nineteen or summat, and then I started and I….worked at an advertising agency in Leeds, as an illustrator; now I was cycling down the station every day and commuting then cycling…..Leeds but it was the city centre; it was Woodhouse so it wasn’t far from the train station really, about t’same distance you know, so I’d do that every day and….that was a bit more interesting you know, and a small go-ahead advertising agency that used to get all… the middle of all the other advertising agencies, and then they got to be more successful and then they moved on to Guiseley….Menston, Guiseley way, which was a right ball-ache to get to, so I managed to sort of hang on in there for a bit longer and then I fucked off and…..and then I’d saved up fourteen hundred quid by then, which was a fucking lot of money in them days, 1980 it was….1981, and……yeah I was twenty, and……my mate Dalvinda …..who’d been in India when he was sixteen, was then……me and him had planned a trip to go to India…..right, and he’d saved up as well, fourteen hundred quid; he worked in a tyre place, and basically what happened was he used to see….this French woman; she was a lecturer at the university, and you know, he….he was tall, thin, looked a bit like Jimi Hendrix, but wore a suit most of the time, you know, a punk rocker with a suit looks funny [laughing] but yeah, so you know, this French woman fell in love with him and…..she was a lesbian as well - that’s another twist to the tale – so he went to visit her one day and….knocked on the door; she didn’t hear him so he went round… was kind of flats, knocked on the window, looked in and there she was in bed with another woman! [laughing] So he was devastated; well he wasn’t, he kind of wasn’t as well, but anyway they had it out, anyway they split up, and then he met….I think it was Yvonne……and him and Yvonne got it together, and eventually got married and had kids together and whatever and I think they’re still together you know, years later, thirty odd years later, but….so happens is….during this period when he’d just…..met Yvonne……basically what happened, his brother found Dalvinda’s stash of personal knick-knacks; they were a Sheikh family right, and lived in Manningham… Highfield Road, found underneath the floorboards, found his box with his personal photos in which was photos of us being punk rockers and all this sort of stuff, and his girlfriend, you know, he had a girlfriend and then he had this French woman, Maurice or whatever her name was, and then…..and then what’s her name….Yvonne…and basically what happened was…….the brother finds it; the brother was…a you know….60’s Asian, hung out with….he was a Teddy boy Asian, cos you know, they were tough were Asians, you know, so he then went on the hunt with a fucking hacksaw or a shot gun or something, looking for Dalvinda. Some taxi driver warned him so we got him into hiding; eventually we got him…..a house to rent…..under her name or somebody else’s name from this….African landlord….who was an accountant for all the….clubs and pubs and West Indian things in Bradford, and a lot of Asian stuff so he was a major accountant; he had big scars…little bloke, and he had three big scars on his cheek like that - tribal markings – and he was the main accountant, anyway so we got him a….got him a house with him down in Frizinghall, and that was cool but they were in hiding; he couldn’t go to work , couldn’t do fuck all you know, so it was all a bit difficult for him you know, and the brother was out for the blood; he was gonna fucking chop him up….why, we didn’t know…so he’d gone and stayed at his sister’s who lived up Leeds Road, before we got him this place, and the brother….they’d got wind that the brother was away. Dalvinda hid somewhere in the attic and the brother came and fucking started axing down the door… ‘I know he’s in here blah blah blah’ right, so…..this was round the corner from where my mate Steve lived like, so fucking hell, we missed it…he’d fucked off by then, but basically we went round there and you know, t’police had come and then he’d fucked off like, but basically what happened is first of all they took all….cos they was supposed to give the money to the parents; took all the money, the fourteen hundred quid to go to India with, right, and…. ‘who is this?’ you know, and then gave pictures off her and him to all t’taxi drivers in Bradford… ‘if you see him ring me’ you know ‘ring our family’ you know blah blah blah big honour sort of shit……so fucking hell man you know, that….that passed, but anyway they got the money; they got the fourteen hundred quid so he couldn’t go to India, but then we got him somewhere to live, so then I was there like and I got an option then to go with a bunch of guys taking transit vans over, you know, and they were teaching me how to drive and I used to take them down through Afghanistan, down through t’Kyber Pass and some of ‘em were…..Pashtun and all this sort of stuff, so that….you know, so anyway….I think in my better judgment, I dropped out of that; there was a whole bunch of old hippies you know, they were all kind of druggies you know, and these guys you know, these Asian guys, who were mates….. Naz and all and that lot; brilliant, but they all did it, and then all came back, but then all ended up in Dutch jails [laughing]….for smuggling coming back you know

TW: I see

MM: so that was the kind of deal you know; you got….you got transit vans down there, you go the whole trip, you got paid, you spent your money on dope, and then you brought it back, but then if you got caught you ended up, luckily, in a Dutch jail, you know, so that’s….quite a few of them ended up doing a couple of years in Dutch jails like you know [laughing]……so kind of like my better judgment…..and I felt a bit like the cabin boy….you know when I got to know ‘em all for quite a while and you know, hung out with ‘em a bit smoking dope and that, I felt a bit like the cabin boy and I felt….you know, I felt a bit…at a risk really [laughing]……yeah, but yeah fucking……Dalvinda …yeah, so anyway that were that bit in between…..

TW: Okay……so….

MM: Then I went travelling

TW: Then you went travelling

MM: Then I went travelling

TW: Where?

MM: All over, just, you know, first stop France then down to….nipped over then to see….stayed with some friends in France….we moved to Brittany, back again; I was there over a whole….like a month, Christmas time, January and all that, and then I was back and then….then I decided to take a trip round Britain you know, and just hitched around Europe; went to Stonehenge that year for the first time, Stonehenge Free Festival, that was a…that was a life-changing opportunity you know….

TW: Why?

MM: Eh?

TW: Why? Why was that so….such a big thing?

MM: Well I’d….I’d walked into…….[knocking at door]….

TW: Next door neighbour…………….

Now that we’ve done our good turn and helped my neighbour move her car, you wanted to backtrack a bit you said.

MM: Yeah….first of all backtrack a bit to….mid ‘70s…….like I was saying I was…..I was working…….John Street Market chopping up chickens at weekends…..and….and then….these were part-time jobs, and then…and then Morrison’s in the warehouse so I’ve explained a bit about that, but what was really going on, cos where I lived, most of the kids were growing up, teenagers with David Bowie and all this sort of stuff, and I’d discovered Northern Soul as a thing you know, right, soul music, and I got that through me mam’s radiogram, right, and I used to listen to American stations and….get really badly….bad reception funk tunes you know, and then record them with a little hand recorder in front of the speaker ….you know, but I liked these tunes you know, cos you never heard them like you know, and I liked these, and… I started buying and selling and dealing records really young cos I was in the market anyway, so I’d get….I’d kind of…I’d be hitting the stalls first thing in the morning or at the lunch break, I’d have half an hour lunch, and hit the stalls and I’d just be trawling and trawling and digging they call it you know, mining and digging yeah, so I’d be doing that for….for rare tunes and I….I did pretty good at it you know, and I started from the age of fourteen, I started going to Wigan Casino all-nighter, and to…..Manchester Ritz all dayer on a Sunday, and to the Cat’s Whiskers in Leeds all dayers on other Sundays you know, and so on at various places like this throughout the north of England you know, and my parents were okay with that

TW: Was that for…to go dancing or

MM: Yeah dancing, all night dancing

TW: Right

MM: And then all day, followed by all day dancing [laughing] so I mean… know…..Saturday night I’d trot off with me bag and all this you know

TW: Well Brian who lives on….a few streets down there, he’s a few years older than me - he’s in his early sixties – he still does that now

MM: Yeah, wow

TW: Anyway, carry on.

MM: Anyway, so….so that was quite a major influence you know, and has shaped my world….and then the other thing that really shaped my world at that time was…on the end of my street there used to be a big Victorian ex……church; let’s call it a big massive church hall which had been converted by a sea cadets’ organisation into a big hall like a ship, and basically, through a process of…whatever, they left in 1970…..beginning of ’74 and hippies came and squatted in it and took it over, like freaks from all over like, which was fantastic, but community arts freaks - they were all committed to community arts – there was a sort of movement at that time….for people generally from the south of England but not all from the south of England, cos this was happening big in London and Manchester and places like that, to come and help….bring art to the…to the masses, the kids basically, and I was one of them who they brought it to, and what they did was they took over the building and they started showing some films, and…..inviting us to sit in circles and…and discuss what did we want to do with this place that we were gonna turn into an art centre you know, into a….into a community hall like you know, which they did for a good number of years, and through that I made lifelong contacts you know, people who were older than me you know, so that transition of like moving out of your…..the area you grew up in and your friends and everything like that, like I was invited to all their sort of student type parties and hippy type parties you know, so I was kind of like….you know I felt quite sophisticated about that you know, and that was quite nice you know……so did all the kids you know, so from that we….we started a Thursday night….disco, a Northern Soul disco and then the….the…..kind of normal pop disco was on the Friday night, but ours was so popular that we ended up getting the Friday night, and then kids used to come…pre-all-nighter, going to all-nighters on a Friday night…..and… there and exchange records….and drugs…cos the Northern Soul scene introduced me to a lot of dodgy people, but a lot of drugs, so by the time I was like fourteen fifteen and so were all the other kids, not only could you memorise all these artists, labels, you know, songs, you know, everything to do with the whole record collecting thing, you know, but also, drugs….everybody had a MIMS, and MIMS is a booklet you get and they come out periodically; they used to come out very regular, I don’t know how often, but it’s got all the drugs in, and it gives you a description of what the drugs are and what their effects are and what the side effects are, so all the kids would be chatting away, memorising all these you know, and then…and then older kids would be robbing the chemists….and then everybody would meet up down in….in a hotel, in the….in the city centre near the train station, and all these would get exchanged, you know, so you’d have your record box on there and somebody would come and they’d just put a…a brown envelope in the back of your records as well as flicking through, you know, blah blah blah, for free….well of course it was you know, all these things were the stuff they chuck away, they was all for free, so it was primarily… barbiturates and a few uppers…..most of the uppers weren’t there, but it was mainly barbiturates and tranquilisers you know…….yeah, and so…….I always used to have loads of these, but I was….me mum, like I say, she was an industrial nurse so under the stairs at our……our house was a pharmacy [laughing]… know… school we had Benzedrine inhalers, Benzedrine inhalers; they were like a sort of….a little jelly sort of…..thick blob like that, and it’s full of liquid, and it was like a highly menthol type of liquid inside, yeah, if you put it on your tongue it would go numb for instance you know, so….you’d break….the idea was you’d break these into a…..into a hankie, and then you’d just, like glue sniffing, and you’d just do a load of that, and you’d be totally wired and you wouldn’t be able to sleep, which was really handy for…..dancing all night, because I was…..even though…even though I was in that I environment I was still very very very cautious about what I put in my body, because even at that age, there was people injecting….right, and using needles, you know, not through some….like it’s portrayed nowadays you know, some….you know, smack culture or something like this, although I’m sure it….it had that, but it was…it was because…generally drugs weren’t, you know….you know, most of t’population didn’t take drugs, not like now where most of t’population does, in them days they didn’t, and so these were the free hits; these were what….so all the people, you know, teenagers and upwards, were….you know, who were involved in all that sort of scene, you know, the bike scene or the soul scene, or whatever, were….were interested in getting free drugs, you know, so robbing chemists was a big thing in the ‘70s, and then they would get filtered down like that for free… know….I met a few dodgy characters and that but generally it was fairly benign you know, but I was really cautious about what I put in my body; I was really cautious about it, you know, because I was a cyclist, so I was kind of….and I’d you know, like I said I used to get health problems, because fucking….you know, where I worked and all that so I was used to chemicals….chemicals you know…..

TW: You were talking earlier about the…..pre-citizens advice

MM: Oh yeah…….what happened then was, like say….so that was that; that had a big influence you know, that was…..Vicky Hall that was called and there was a place based across in Manningham and this was Bolton Road, so there was Vicky Hall; we used to have fantastic gang shows and all that at Christmas and on high days and holidays you know, really hilarious, you know….so then….later on then, after I’d left the…..advertising world at…..twenty, going on twenty-one, or twenty, I decided I was….what I did then was I started volunteering for the….Claimants Union. Now the Claimants Union was a….nationwide alternative organisation which was pre-CAB…a lot of people who worked in the Claimants Union then went on to form CABs and became big in the…..Citizens Advice Movement, you know, which was still part of the kind of overall ethos of Civil Rights you know, which I was aware of course because being Irish and then Belfast…..and the whole thing, and knowing about the….the….you know, the struggle of black people in America, even as a young kid, that was, you know, Mohammed Ali was our God because my dad was really into boxing cos he had been a boxer, and it was like you know, Mohammed Ali was….and also…..because….because we were Irish we always supported the underdog [laughing]……but Mohammed Ali, he was the dude like you know; whenever he were fighting we’d do that, you know, or…or Joe Frazier even; it was a shame when they fought each other but there you go…..Smokey Joe Frazier……..first round knock-out or summat; he had a single in the ‘60s….a sort of stomper which was a Northern Soul classic, Smokey Joe Frazier; his world ended then; I’ve seen him since, but anyway….yeah, so….the CAB formed out of the Claimants Union, you know, the Claimants Union were going for ages so I used to volunteer there, and of course it was punk rock time, and……so we started putting on benefits… raise money for the…..for the Claimants Union, and raise money for…..political prisoners, for the Anarchist Black Cross….so we started and we did….we did a series of benefits in and around the college area of Bradford, cos that’s where the office was, and…..and basically…..from that, cos there was nowhere for punk bands to play, so from that, and poets and all that sort of thing, the alternative poets, so I was an inner city kid so I was kind of entrenched in that then, and basically what happened was…….from that then we decided to have meetings and form a club….where we would form a club without a building, without even any premises, and we would score premises, you know, and so that’s what we did, and we would then….the first place we got was the……the upstairs room of The Black Swan, on the corner of Thornton Road, in Bradford……and….that was the first punk rock gig place in Bradford, and basically we had a lease, not a lease, but…you know, for however long, six months, a year there, and we formed a club, and it was 30p in and that was your membership as well, so within two months we had over two thousand members, which was pretty good for them days you know, but we ended up with….after a while with the biggest membership of any club, organisation pretty much in Bradford, within, you know, within The….The Working Men’s Club thing you know, and…….and then we got moved from there because of, you know, punks and all this, but of course you see, meeting in the pub had got used to this Thursday night hit….bigger takings than probably a lot of the other nights and so his…..his business was successful so as soon as it was successful, he booted us out you know, saying the punks were doing this and doing that, but there was never any trouble, that’s the thing; all the punks were upstairs, all the….. ‘hey up lads’ were downstairs, you know, with the… them days all the straight guys used to look like Rod Stewart with kind of blonde hair, the pigeon hair style, and the medallion you know….rings and all that, and so yeah….so anyway….we ran that then and……we ran that for years and years and years, and eventually we managed to score some money, but by that time we were an institution because we had a festival every year with this and that, da da da…..and of course some bands had become famous like New Model Army for instance, like….Sudden Death Cult which came on to be The Cult….like Poets, like Seething Wells; Seething Wells, Steven Wells, a mate of mine I grew up with, he became a skinhead poet and he was…even by like ’79 I think it was, ’79 ’80 he was on…..’81 ’82 he was on The Old Grey Whistle Test, but as one of the presenters, you know, he’d do these….he’d do these poems in between stuff you know……lots of things came out of that obviously, because you know, it was a flowering time like, and….so yeah……..that club that we started in April 1981 is still going

TW: Really

MM: with its own building, four storey mill in Bradford, and still a huge, massive international membership……for instance….and of course with it being….and we based our….we based the whole ethos of the 1 in 12 Club on the Anarchist Unions of Civil War Spain, pre-Civil War Spain. We based it on the CNT… Anarchist Union, big Anarchist Union. Barcelona for instance was the capital of the CNT….

TW: What does CNT mean?

MM: Oh….it’s in Spanish; I just can’t remember now

TW: Okay never mind, okay.

MM: Yeah yeah….trabajar; it’s work or summat at the end….nationale or whatever…. but…and liberty, equality and solidarity was our thing and we had membership cards with it on and everything like this, and….you know, so we had a huge….and it was great crack, and of course…it was quite political in its outlook in terms of like… know, that we gain some power over….over our own situation for making music and rehearsal and….you know all this sort of stuff…equipment shares and all the rest of it you know, collectivism you know, and we ran the club as a collective and it still is run as a collective; there is no boss, nobody in charge; it’s…..the collective run it, you know, so I learnt a lot about Circle Politics….about collectivism you know, which is….stands you in great stead if you ever wanna do anything in the world, you know, like in… Holland, Austria, and a few other European countries, that’s what they learn when they go to youth clubs; that’s what they learn; they learn Circle work; they learn everybody gets a say, and you know, and so on and so on; that’s how you do it; you make your own world you know…….and of course the powers that be, meaning the police and the Freemasonry crowd didn’t like it at all, or the politicians you know in the Council, they didn’t like it…..they were threatened by it; they were threatened by a bunch of kids, right, and young adults…..for getting a hold on their own situation you know, I mean, it was insane really, you know, but they was, you know, they were threatened by it, you know, and of course we were extremely anti-fascist, so any time fascism would be coming into Bradford we set up the telephone tree with all the Asians and everything like this, and all the gay….lesbian movements and everything like this, and you know, so within…fifteen minutes we could have like hundreds of people down in the city centre you know, not we, but you know, that’s how the telephone tree worked; you rang three people; you went to t’phone and just rang three people, then every person out of them three people rang three more people, so within a short period of time, you know….pre…….pre anything, you know…. networking…so basically then…….that’s what that was all about and….and of course the Rock Against Racism was just before that and I was part of that as well like you know, and…..yeah, so… then…..they were still going basically…..I’ve forgotten what I was gonna say about it but yeah…..

TW: Well they do arts….they do a lot of art stuff up there now as well don’t they I believe?

MM: Art stuff…oh they do drama, you know, you name it, yeah, all sorts of stuff, yeah, yeah….yeah.

TW: Yeah

MM: It’s still pretty grungy, but I’ll tell you a little…anecdote. This year, 2012, right at the beginning of the year……the….powers that be decided to change the….Fire Regulations, and so they made it so that the fire escape had to be….oh and the roof….had to be altered, something like this, right, so it wasn’t meeting some Regs that they’d just changed of course, so that’s like thirty grand man….a lot of money…not fucking tattle or tittle or anything you know, so a few of the people who…who had been involved over a lot of years since I dropped out, in an age, people have been at it for years, who are now kind of at the end of their phase on it, like people who have moved over here for instance like punk Martin, and stuff like that….they all went back and they….they put the word out, and within……I think it was….two or three weeks, not only did they have all the volunteer labour, I mean a huge amount of people to actually do the work, but, they’d raised more money sent to ‘em by donations from places like San Francisco, from places like fucking Sweden, Norway, Denmark….all the European countries, you know, Germany, anywhere there’s a hardcore thrash punk metal scene, political….they all sent ‘em summat….fucking amazing; that’s the power of the net; that’s great….

TW: Yeah yeah

MM: You know, so they….they had the money to do it….another crisis averted, you know….cos they’ll do owt you know; the powers that be’ll do owt. One of the things we did in the ‘80s was…….we did an expose on….on corruption in Local Government. Now….the one thing nowadays; the juxtaposition between us doing that then and the so-called purges into….expenses and all that sort of stuff that is now the whitewash of nowadays, is they don’t look into the real corruption. Real corruption isn’t about fiddling a few expenses; real corruption is about decisions that are made undemocratically, and all decisions…..all decisions are made undemocratically, because everywhere, not just in Britain, but everywhere…the people who are in them positions of power, even lowly positions of power, have to join a secret organisation, and that secret organisation is the Freemasons

TW: You think so?

MM: Absolutely, and also….I fucking know so. We did an expose into it into the ‘80s and nothing has changed; in fact, it’s got worse; it’s got more entrenched, and they’re more bolshy now. The European Union…eight years ago, abolished….the…the thing where you had to say that you were involved in any….any other organisations, so they…..they said if you were involved in this club, that club, a union, this that and….you know, interests, but they…..they made away with it so you don’t have to say that if you’re a Freemason or not; they’re all fucking Freemasons….the whole lot. Now what happens is, all them….three years’ decision down the line is being made now, and so we did an expose on them to do with, linked in with Paulson and that whole…nonsense, that whole corruption, you know , linked in with all that, and then some contemporary stuff and….cites here and there that were hand-shaked and stuff like that; it was all pretty low fire stuff really, but we went into who they are, what they are, what nonsense they have to garble to be in that club, and what deity do they worship? What is it they’re actually worshipping? And what are their secret words and everything like this. Now we had people on the inside….they gave us all the dirt, they gave us books on it, they gave us everything. They all went, you know, I mean they were only around for a very short period of time, but it was enough time to get all the information, you know what I mean…….and so… know, that……world that….my father’s generation grew up in the Northern Ireland of the Orange bully boys and all decisions being made by them, and no political thing for… know, Catholics, was evidently still going on, and it’s still going on now; it’s not sectarian or anything, it’s….you’re either in or you’re out, and that’s it, that’s how they work it…..everybody in t’police, everybody in ….most Civil Service jobs….any….you know, the army of course, you know, Civil Service, the whole lot…they all….architects…you can’t be an architect if you are….not a Freemason, right, but you can….because there are women architects now, right, but in that time, when we…..when we scored…..I won’t tell you how we scored the money for… buy our building

TW: Yeah

MM: but it is quite an interesting one, but….

TW: Never mind carry on

MM: We sent our own guy basically to Brussels, and got him to get our money and pay it, you know, to us, then the Council tried to stop us….that was in 1985 ’86 or summat ’87 yeah, cos we had started building by ’87, so it was before that; also there was all these…there was a publishing collective, there was lots and lots of different collectives, and one of them was the building collective cos….and that took about five years…of meetings every few weeks, every month, whatever, committed people, and eventually it come off, but how it came off was through a series of fate and a bit of jamminess; we sent our own guy to Brussels, he scored us…..he scored us the money for our own unemployed organisation. They paid it…..we then had to get it paid through an….an officially recognised Council organisation; the Council put that stipulation on so we got it paid through the……… Centre Against Unemployment……and then they handed the cheque back over to us and then we got the building; we bought the building off….off a guy who owed the Council…..a sweat shop owner who owned the Council fuck loads of rent, so we paid his rates, gave him a little bit of money and ended up with half the money to do the building up, and it was cool; everybody was happy. The Council weren’t…..they were really pissed off because what they’d done is….about quarter of the way through the year when we’d been awarded this money and they found out that we’d been awarded this money, oh, and we put out the thing in a fanzine; ‘Knee Deep in Shit’ was the name of the fanzine, the 1 in 12 fanzine came out periodically - a punk thing, political punk thing – we did a ….we did a pull out expose on the history of Freemasons in Bradford…..and the Council got…we only printed a thousand copies but the Council got hold of a few copies and then printed twenty times more [laughing[ you know, for internal distribution; they were all fucking plopping themselves [laughing]….yeah, course they fucking were

TW: Right

MM: you know…….because really if you look at it, like it’s just…you know without my story or whatever, just if you look at it, if you live in a democratic country, why is it allowed that everybody has to belong to a secret organisation that’s all linked to make the decisions? Fuck that, that’s not democracy; that’s dictatorship through secret societies, you know, and sure you’re always gonna get a bit of that, but it’s completely and utterly….utterly to the core corrupt, and then not only that, they have to….they have to implement plans from on high locally, you know….you know, and it’s all about militarism and military structures, and when I was a peace activist I learnt a lot more about that side of things but this was all around the same time you know, in my twenties, you know, peace camps and stuff like that, you know, I went on a peace camp one time and the first one I ever went on….Easingwold…nuclear…secret nuclear training college…..right, so people in Civil Service, in police, in military and this that and the other…..even in, you know….I don’t know, organisations like supermarkets and stuff like that, managers and stuff like that, they won’t get paid to go on these week courses or weekend courses to…what to do in the event of a nuclear…..leak or whatever you know, a nuclear accident, you know, this was big in the ‘80s…so while everybody else was like….this is a nuclear…you know all us on the left were all……this is a…. ‘Sheffield and everywhere, this is a nuclear free zone’ you know, ‘we’re declaring Sheffield a nuclear free zone’ or ‘so-and-so declared a nuclear free zone’…. ‘so-and-so declared a nuclear free zone’…………




TW: Okay, Martin McGarrigle take two……right, where were we?

MM We’re still…..still in the 1 in 12 days

TW: Oh right

MM: the early days of the 1 in 12 club yeah, during this period of course the miners’ strike happened…..and we obviously were very highly involved in…..raising money for the miners, so that got all over the country and all sorts of stuff you know, but mainly in Bradford you know, and local collieries like Kellingley and Fitzwilliam and all the rest of it you know and different places, which was a very….you know, an amazing time – pretty heavy – picket lines were very heavy you know, police were crap you know, and they were also…at that time I became aware of a phenomena called ‘agents provocateurs’ so you’d have……you’d have guys dressed up as punks and then they’d go down and start scrapping with t’coppers so it was coppers trying to kick us head in you know, so that….that was an odd one you know, and there was a lot….there was a lot of anomalies with the miners’ strike but one of….one of the interesting things that came out of that…..our involvement with it, the 1 in 12 involvement, my involvement, was the publishing collective….publishing collective put out a book….two books during the miners’ strike; one by a miner’s wife called Jean Gittins….and that was…..that was poems about the miners’ strike; very very good, and then there was another book that got put out by Sky and Trees; which was The Chumbawumbas…..publishing collective….by….I can’t remember his name now… Dave summat…..and he was a miner, and he put a book called ‘Tell Us Lies About The Miners’ and basically what that was, was taking all the news….news reports and then putting the news reports of what was supposed to have happened on the day, and then of course, what actually happened, but with all the interviews of the people you know, so that was…that was anarchy stuff, that was really interesting, but….. because it was so like…….my… religion at that time was pretty much Revolution, you know, and that meant Social Revolution you know, it didn’t mean violent revolution or anything but I was you know, a community activist, you know, I wanted things to get better for people you know what I mean; I wanted low cost housing and all the rest of it; all the social things that needed to happen you know, still need to happen, even worse now……but, during this time, [laughing] I remember it, something like January 3rd or something when I was, where I lived, there was…there was a paper that came out…. The Star, like a local free paper; not an alternative paper, you know, the local Star…and on the front page was….a story about a West Indian lass from Checkpoint which was the West Indian organisation community place, who’d won a free trip to Cuba…..right, sponsored, so basically what happened then was, I rang up this number and they then sent me the forms; filled in the forms, sent them back…..this was right at the height of the miners’ strike of course, 1984…..and….sent them back and I was one of the three or four, five people who were….you know, chosen for the interview, so during a really busy period…at that point we were running three gigs a week, right, three benefits a week – a week – right, and there’d be three bands on at each benefit, and they weren’t all in the same venue, but we used to store our stuff….above….in the storage place in the top of like The Kirkgate Centre in Bradford, which was….there was a pub there, and we used….that was our pub at the time which we were…..had a lease on to do the 1 in 12 Club; Market Tavern it was called, and so concrete back stairs and everything like this, and right at the top was a storage place and that’s where we stored our PA and equipment, so every….so we’d go there, like five o’clock, take all the equipment down and load it in…..load it into a truck or a van, take it off to the gig, do the gig….put it all back in, bring it back and then at whatever time, dick o’clock in the morning, we’d put it all back in; three times a week… we were pretty run ragged really you know, but I mean I was twenty-three so I was full of it like you know, and then basically….so I was kind of…..full on revolution, so basically I got…I got short-listed for this interview, so I went and it was in a downstairs bar in…..Bradford University….tea-time, that’s six o’clock, around that time…..summer, early summer, or something like that, in spring or whatever, and….so these people, older people, you know, types at that time in their thirties and forties interviewed us, but basically sat with us; chatted, and then they split into….two of them stayed with us and then they went to the other side of the room and they bought us all Guinness and everything you know, and then they sat at the other side of the room, and there was….I think there was three of us being interviewed… woman, she’d….we were all similar ages you know in our early twenties; one woman, she’d grown up completely in an Irish Labour Party full-on left wing teachers and the whole lot…family, you know, so she was very ensconced with it all you know; the other fella, he was….I can’t remember what….he was in a union from whatever…..some job or summat, steel or something like that, I can’t remember, and…..and me, who was like a 1 in 12 you know, and….you know, self-styled community activist you know, and so what happen anyway, is….we do the interview, and they get interviewed da da da……and I was the second I think, or the third, last; maybe I was last, let’s say I was last, so I went over, sat down and I’d been reading the English translations of the….it’s called Granma cos it sounds like grandma….Granma….that’s the paper - Cuban newspaper you know – so I were looking at copies of that, the English version… ‘oh yeah yeah’ this that and the other you know, blah blah blah, the odd mention of a little strike and stuff but not much you know, but of course…..anyway, I’d already got loads of dirt on Cuba by this time because you know, I was involved with the Anarchist Press, well basically like as soon as I mentioned to any friends ‘oh Cuba’ they’re all going ‘yeah but did you hear what they did to them sugar can workers’ and fucking blah blah blah la la la, so I got… head was just full of dirt on Cuba; not the good thing about it, but all the…..all the….state oppression you know, state oppression…….so anyway then… I was doing all this; I’m at the interview, I’m there at the interview, and…they’re basically saying to us… ‘well look, if you don’t’ you know ‘if you don’t support Communism’ you know ‘why…..why are’… know… ‘state Socialism…..why are you here?’ you know ‘what’s the story?’ and I says ‘well it’s obvious isn’t it? It’s a free holiday in the sun’ [laughing]…..well they did as well; we all bust out laughing, and then I qualified as well and went ‘yeah but also’ I said ‘they’re that side of revolution, and right at the moment, with all the strikes and everything that’s going on, it feels like we’re this side of it, so summat’s gonna….summat’s gonna change’ you know ‘even if the miners lose it’s still…..something major’s gonna change’ you know……fucking hell man, so anyway what happens is right, they rang me up the next day and said ‘right you’re going’

TW: Oh right

MM: you’ve won but you have to go for induction weekends down in London; there was about three inductions at different times during that summer - induction weekends – yeah……so I went on the induction weekends down to…and we were staying….. I was staying at a friend’s in squats in Brixton….very nice, very together you know….loved it; summer of ’84 in Brixton, collecting for t’miners while I were down there you know, on t’front line I’d go to all….cos I grew up in that sort of area in Bradford, I’d go to all t’rastas and all t’coke dealers on t’street you know, down Brixton and in Coldharbour Lane…

TW: I lived there then.

MM: and all them. Yeah it was amazing you know, I mean that Brixton dole was really funny man, it was like a fucking….bedlam wasn’t it? And like…..but, you know and I’d go to…. ‘what do you want?....[rasta accent] ‘Them miners, they got more money than me, man,’ and I went ‘oh alright go on then’ [laughing]… know, right, and….but yeah, and…… ‘you’ll only keep the money’…. ‘no I won’t mate, I won’t’ you know, so I had a good time there like you know and that was great, and then these induction weekends you know so, we’d go each day and we’d spend all day in the….in these beautiful attics you know, because they’d done the houses up lovely in London you know, with lovely gardens and everything and nice vegetarian food and all the lot you know; sunny as well, it was a really hot year ’84 wasn’t it?.....And….and I was there…and one of them…them dates, on one of the induction weekends, I think the middle one, was June 9th 1984, and June 9th 1984 was when Ronald Reagan came to London…..and there was a fucking huge protest, I mean massive, you know, like as big as the CND protests you know at the time, and…and lots and lots of chaos, and….my girlfriend at the time, Rachel, Rachel Benson, she was there in amongst it all, and of course, I….any break we got I was listening to the radio you know, about what was going on and I’m….I’m in like left wing heaven, you know, Camberwell Darling or whatever you know, and you know, lefty London – brilliant – loved it, but at the same time I was like, I was really distressed because…you know ‘the police have just charged all these anarchists at Trafalgar Square’ and I’m like ‘oh Rachel what’s happening’ you know…..[laughing] she were alright in the end, but….you know, so all my friends were down doing that as well like you know…….so….yeah…..anyway so basically did the induction thing and….they sponsored me to go and I….I ended up going that September so it was siz weeks I think….September to October during the monsoon season and we went and….went to Cuba, and that was a life-changing….that was a life-changing…..experience, because…..yeah, going to a…so-called third world country which it is, you know, or a developing country, no but actually it’s quite static because of all the embargo and you know, la la la and you know, state control and all this sort of stuff, but fantastic lively, absolutely lively country you know, like Ireland in terms of it like…piss poor but music is king, you know, so everybody knows songs and poems and so the history of the whole people is really really really really strong; the history of all the religions, the history of everything is really strong there you know, so I learnt a lot there you know. I was particularly interested in…….. how religion survived in Cuba, you know, because everywhere there was derelict churches; every village you went to there was derelict churches you know….which had either been done up, turned into sort of like a….a community centre, but quite a lot of them were just taboo - people wouldn’t touch them – there was always that, so there was a lot of…there was a lot of superstition in Cuba; people, instead of…what they….what they had was they had a…..everybody had a little shrine in their house, okay….not many people had crosses but they a little shrine and what they were was……black Madonnas, so they were like….everybody has them in Ireland, but there they have the Sacred Heart on the wall you know, with a glow…..light on it; well they had similar things in Cuba but….but it had little…..little…..a little altar somewhere; everybody had it, and on it would be……you know, Our Lady but made out of wood, just brown wood…..and not painted you know, I mean in some places they were painted but mostly it was just brown carved wood of Our Lady you know, and then you’d have other little statuettes and stuff like this, and then little flowers and beads and money put on and a bit of food and stuff like that; that survived and that was called….I think that was called Shangai (Santeria) and that was voodoo basically, or…..a kind of mixture of the Caribbean religions you know, which was quite interesting you know….and you know, then you’d see……I mean particularly in Havana you’d see different people….I remember seeing….black tattooed people for the first time, cos I never saw tattoos on black people in Britain; that became popular when hip-hop became big, but before that you’d never see black people with tattoos, well I didn’t, even though, you know, I worked in t’markets and everything; there was always the…..there was always the….Ukrainian sailors, the old boys, you know, the battleship Potemkin boys, who’d be covered in tattoos you know; they’d even have a watch on you know, tattooed like you know, all this, but….but anyway going back to that…… they…..they….so people who, you know, so you’d have like……witch doctors as it were you know; they’d have a little drum, they carried a little drum; lots of bells and stuff like this, lots of bones, teeth….necklaces made out of bones, and completely head to foot, completely covered in tattoos. Now these guys were sailors; they were Caribbean sailors basically, that’s what they were you know……yeah, you know, and you’d see quite a few of them; and Cuba was…..Havana was just sort of changing a little bit at that point……..some of it was starting to get done up, but most of it was pretty run down and I think it’s sort of fairly similar to that today, you know, twenty-five, thirty years later or whatever, you know; it’s not changed that much either you know……..we stayed 12 clicks, 12k out, in a camp in an army barracks outside of, you know, in an army barrack type place, and what it was was…….it was an international brigade and we were the European International Brigade, so every other European country was there, represented with twenty to thirty people in each brigade, so there was a huge amount of people, plus all the Cuban translators, so every group, every brigade was designated up to ten, five, ten fifteen translators yeah, young Cubans working with you who want to learn….European language, mostly English but, you know, others as well you know, for international work, you know; learnt a lot about Cuba – fantastic – in schools they do…….half their lessons outdoors…well it’s a hot climate, but….you know, and every school grows a crop or two of something….so they learn their biology and science literally in the field, and it’s a really…….and so the general standard of education, up to pre-university level in a third piss poor country like Cuba, oh and also the National Health Service there was par equal to Britain at the time, but the education was better; there was less dumb downed people, you know, much…..people were educated. When you finished school at whatever age it was there you know, sixteen or seventeen, you then had to do two years’ compulsory……like state service….overseas service sort of thing, so that’s how come…and then people would get a crash course in medics, so everybody was at least basic bottom line paramedic trained – everyone – so you know, and they knew biology and they knew science and they knew basic medicine, and they knew numeracy, you know, these are not….middle class or whatever you know…….so that….the basic bottom things were there; people ate, they were fed….the housing was pretty crap because of overcrowding and you know, waiting lists you know; your kids had grown up by the time you got your flat or whatever, you know; when we were there we were in brigades and we were….we were doing two things; we worked doing fruit picking, which was avocados and the big orange/grapefruit crosses, you know, do you know the one, the sweet grapefruits; they were the first to kind of grow them really, so we were picking them and then the other thing we were doing was building site work, but en masse everything was over-manned there, and we were building three storey…..blocks of flats….you know, and there, what happens is……the flats get built……and all the fixtures and fittings and everything like that, if it’s your flat, say you’ve been designated that flat, you…you go there every weekend and you do it up – you do it – you finish it off; you put the lights in how you want it, da da da, you plaster it even in some cases - not always - but you know, do you know what I mean….you finish it, so it’s yours, cos it’s not gonna get taken off you, you know, it’s yours for life, a council house type of thing you know, so we were building council houses for Cubans yeah, and picking fruit…..and we had a fleet of…..about eighteen buses which were all British Leyland 1960’s big, square, beautiful buses you know….and drivers….and….so the camp operated on that all the brigades….we like….cos it was a European/International brigade, we set our own programme, even of course we were liaising with the Cuban authorities and all our people, our liaison people, so we….we visited prisons .....hospitals, schools, mental hospitals………local CDRs….CRD, Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, Self Policing; they were just bringing in….introducing the thing at that time in the ‘80s of Community Policing right, which was….yeah, okay, let’s not go there about that, but, in Cuba, how it worked was…you see like you’ve got a block of streets like this, like this one here; this block of streets would have one house which would be….set over for….it would be like a tiny community centre for the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution. From that house you would organise all your dustbin collections, your refuse, this that and the other of whatever happens, and in the back of that house there would be a strong room built; breezeblocks, iron door, serious locks on it, and in there is white boiler suits of all different sizes and shapes [laughing]….helmets and automatic weapons, okay…..right and kalashnikov’s but automatic weapons right, and so…..everybody over the age of eighteen, over the age of eighteen, is on a rota system, and you have to do guard duty in your area; that’s how they did….it was called Poda Popolare , Self Policing; it was one of…it was one of Che Guevara’s main things; Che Guevara’s two main things were obviously health care cos he were a doctor….get rid of money [laughing] which they didn’t, and Poda Popolare, they were his main things you know, him and……..Cienfuegos….Camilo Cienfuegos….cos there were three of them; there was Fidel Castro…..Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos; they were…..they were the three boyos, you know…….and…..of course them other two are dead……and basically…so one of the sights you would see normally…oh and Cuba was very gestural; there’s a lot of debate….it was like Czech Republic people years later in the ‘90s when I was there were like that, and Ireland; full of gab, and they’re asking you ‘what do you think about stuff?’ and then having a big argument or a….or a big discussion about it. Cuba was like that… ‘oh what do you think about blah blah blah’ and then off you go….arms would be gesturing and all that, and the rum would be flowing and…Jesus the parties were great man you know [laughing] do you know what I mean, absolutely fantastic, but…and music you know of course all the time you know…… of the things you’d see when we did get the odd time to go out in Havana you know, we’d get taken on buses ‘right we’ll pick you up at midnight’ blah blah blah and that’d be it you see, you know……’d basically go there and you’d change your ten dollars if you had it; I didn’t have any money – I had no money with me – nothing, you know, but you’d change your ten dollars and that’d become a hundred dollars on the….black market, so then you’d use them….a hundred Cuban dollars that is, so you’d use them like and there was all sorts of dodgy things with money, but you know….we didn’t want to risk it because we were official you know because anyway….but on the last night when we were all there we had a huge party in Havana, it were amazing, but anyway…..anyway what happens is… we’re there, and one of the things what you see when you’re wandering round anywhere, even in big housing estates, cos when we were there it was…it was the…it was twenty-five years of the Revolution, right, exactly, like it’s just been fifty-two years ago in two ten, two nine, well it was… was….it was twenty-five years cos it was…1959 so it was 1984, so that was twenty-five years…twenty-five years of Self Policing, so that…the Poda Popolare, so everywhere, there was street parties everywhere so we got taken to these huge big housing schemes, right, you know, with flats and everything like this, here there and everywhere, different places where everyone would be, and there was massive street parties and fucking, you know, it was amazing; it was like…..carnival all the time when we were there, and I’m sure it’s not like that all the time but you know, it was amazing, and….so what you see is….you’ll be going along like, and there’ll be like….say, a couple arguing, or four people….two couples arguing like fuck on the street….you’d have whoever’s doing the guard duty, you know, Doris down the road, and Bruce up the road, you know, the….boiler suit’s too tight for him and it’s too big for her cos she’s only five foot do you know what I mean? And the kalash… and the fucking automatic weapons would be there just propped against the wall, and they’d be there like intervening you know, mediating, and they’d be saying [Martin makes up an improvised argument in Spanish]……do you know what I mean? That was really common…..fucking hilarious [laughing]….you know, it were really hilarious……

TW: How long were you there for?

MM: It was…..I think it was…by the time I came back it was nearly six weeks. Tell you a funny story about….I’ll stop now on that one. When we came back, we flew into Britain and of course we landed in Heathrow…..and you know, you’re on a downer by this stage you know, cos you’ve been in the sun and everything like this and you’re a bit knackered and all that, and I was starting to feel on a bit of a downer, and I was also feeling a bit sad like you get…..sort of when you do travelling and stuff; I was feeling a bit emotional because everybody else had people coming to meet ‘em, but I didn’t cos I live in the north of England you know, but a lot of people had London connections and stuff and people could meet them or whatever…….and I didn’t and I thought ‘this fucking bus, all the way up’….it’s that Easy bus all the way up to Leeds you know…. fuck’s sake…..anyway, so……no worries… basically…..I’m there and we get off the plane…….and…..we got all delayed before we went through customs and I thought ‘well we’re all gonna get turned over completely’ because we’d been in, you know, a Communist country or whatever you know, but anyway we went through customs no problem; they didn’t go over the top, it was alright; we walked into the fucking terminus and there was no people….only police, in couples… was like…. ‘what the fuck’s happened here? Has Britain turned into a fucking police set and everyone’s got to wear a fucking police uniform now?’ there was no people; there was only police…right, but hundreds, even thousands of ‘em…it was like…and we were all there like….completely in shock….. ‘what the…..frig has happened here?’….you know….it was the day….it was the morning after….the Brighton bombing, and they didn’t know whether the Cabinet had been killed or not, at this point….so everything just went… we’re there….you know, the paranoia just went….I just….I just…..I was completely and utterly paranoid; I don’t know why but I was, you know; I was in shock and I was paranoid……and…..the whole place is full of police, and then….and then people came over then to meet…..Alison, my friend, who, you know, from Bradford, and da da da but she was staying in….about another week in London, so….and Joe who I knew from Bradford, they came over with…you know, a bunch of ‘em… ‘oh hiya, hiya’….. ‘what the fuck’s happened man? What’s happening?’ and they’re going ‘oh didn’t you hear?....The Tory Party Conference last night, the hotel got blown up and it looks like….they’ve all been killed’….and we all went [laughing]… ‘what?.....what?’….you know…..but as it happened only Tebbit’s wife got killed didn’t she? I don’t think anybody else got killed which was a shame, but you know…….but……yeah, so….anyway…..yeah, so that was…..that was….you know, it was like….fucking hell, it was like the Revolution had started you know, it were like… know, but anyway it hadn’t [laughing]…..and once I came back I had an incredible come down and depression after that, you know, it was quite….you know, back on the dole in Bradford and…..da da da you know, took right off, but yeah, you know…..I was alright…you know…….so that was Cuba; that was in the middle of the miners’ strike…yeah, right in the middle of it, you know, and of course I’d been to Stonehenge that year and there was a lot of…there was a lot of that….that year, you know, a lot of….clashing….one of the things that was good about them years was….Stop The Cities demonstrations. They were what became the Anti-globalist Movement….Stop The Cities were…..where we would go to London on the two days of the year where they have to physically take paper bonds out of every bank, top up what they’ve got in reserves – assets and everything like this – and bring it to selective clearing banks, they’re called clearing banks you know…like I used to remember the names of them all but I can’t remember anymore…..and take a….take these….so we used to…..the first few months we had in ’83 and then ’84, like that were in ’84….did it; they actually….they ground it to a halt you know; there was…it was a bit like the Poll Tax Riots, except without as much…as much smashing; there was just more like grinding the place to a halt so that would delay the thing and that would make a massive….influence on the Stock Exchange you know, and it did, and it got the point across, you know, to all the inner city London workers you know. Ninety-nine per cent of them were going ‘look we support you’….you know…. ‘we know’ …..because they worked for all these big banks, stuff like that, and they knew it was all a con you know, funding wars and the whole lot…you know, and worse you know, funding major polluters you know…so none of that’s changed actually, so all that…what we were protesting about then… now actually…. you know, it’s completely at its head, all this money collapse and everything like that is…. you know, it’s a con; it’s a script that they’ve been working on for a lot of years, and they’re bringing it in now; that’s where they are at the moment you know.

TW: Right……well it’s interesting you say that cos……if you’re talking about…..all that sort of thing was going on in the ‘80s…..and you….you relate that to kind of like what’s been going on here for the last few years

BB: Yeah

TW: and you see that as a kind of master plan of

MM: Oh yeah definitely, yeah

TW: Of how we’re controlled really. Well if you believe that then, how do you view your life then of… know, you being a real activist then [phone ringing]….hang on

MM: Yeah just put it on pause

TW: Oh it’s stopped, okay. You’ve been a big activist [phone ringing]….oh let me stop…………

Right, I’ll start again. You did all that activist work back in the ‘80s and then you see it like, really like nothing’s changed really. So how do you feel about that? I mean the stuff that you do now shall we say, cos you’re still…..quite active in doing things aren’t you?

MM: Yeah yeah.

TW: So are you still fighting that same battle or do you see it in a different kind of way?

MM: Oh I see it in a much different way yeah yeah

TW: Yeah. Well how….

MM: Yeah. In your twenties you…..whatever you do…’s part of your persona; it’s part of your armour. You become that……that becomes your…..your whole…who you are; that’s who you see yourself as, but then there comes a point where that becomes very insignificant, you know, for instance when children come along and stuff like this you know…..but….I mean the basic thing is the same you know…….and I don’t….I just see it all in a kind of long long long term historical context, I mean……..power….. you know……is periodically……in the hands of the masses, but mostly it’s in the hands of the leaders, who oppress the masses. That’s political speak but… you know, society is…. you know, whatever way you look at it is the government, one way or another, you know, by oppression, you know, cohersion and slavery, you know, so you know, you kind of find your place in all that don’t you really, so….and I always thought that even in the ‘80s, you know, even with all the nuclear threat when that was the big…..overarching thing that people were quite concerned about, it’s only like….the end of the world and God is gonna smite you, you know, it’s the same thing, I mean you know like they say you can walk out and get knocked over by a bus or whatever, it’s the same thing; you’re only gonna live as long as you live, you know, so the….the fear….is particularly a Western thing you know because we don’t believe in reincarnation, the fear of death… paramount you know, in the psyche of the Western mind, you know…..and I don’t have that, I mean I’ve got a bit of it obviously cos I survive, you know, but……. you know basically it’s like your live until you die, and that’s it, you know, and……what you can do in your life is, you know, you can….you can do good work and I even had it then, cos I ….you know I studied Herbalism and the history of witchcraft and homosexuality, you know, throughout the ages, so basically it’s always been the same…….absolutely always been the same…. you know…..the only difference now is that there’s a lot more power concentrated in a lot fewer hands….globally, I mean there are regional, factional differences but they’re all global super powers, and they are competing and…..they don’t like each other, and the global elites who run all that, they’re the same, these various big……organisations, you know, families, you know, the names of them all….Rothschilds and this that and the other, the fucking Bilderberg and all the rest of them, they…..they’re not all happy with each other either; they’re all vying for their own fucking strategic interests as well, you know, controlling media all over the world and all the rest of it you know….the only difference is that……..the consciousness of the mass of people on the planet is much greater than it was then… terms of like how everybody’s been shafted, conned, lied to….killed, you know, and….and have to swallow this, but people don’t people know, you know what I mean; people know what’s going on but whether they choose to accept it or not; a lot of people don’t accept it because it’s too scary for them, but it’s still true, you know, the all benign king is actually killing them people… ‘oh wasn’t that terrible, you know, that whole village got wiped out man, you know, the whole town; they’ve put them all to the fucking sword’ you know, this is the Middle Ages like you know, , ‘oh God Save The King’ that’s your king mate, you know, you know what I mean, it’s your cousin what’s gonna do it and all your fucking brothers died doing it as well, you know, it’s the same bollocks now, so that’s all I think you know, I just put it in a long term historical context; I don’t see it as winners or losers; it’s the kind of vying like that you know, you know what I mean, species…. you know, working for different….resources you know.

TW: Now when I met you a few years back now, you were……..into kind of land management or you had land

MM: Yeah……yeah.

TW: and that sort of thing. How did you get into all that then?

MM: …..pretty much by…..when I went to Ireland, to live in Ireland, in 1980……we were in Ireland then we came back, and then me and my partner split up, and then I could….I was so paranoid here; I mean I was seriously with mental health problems, you know… I went back to live in Ireland cos it was….it was safe and it was…..there weren’t hardly any people….and just nature

TW: Yeah

MM: and I….I had a vehicle that I could live in; by then I’d learnt to drive, and I had somewhere to stay as well….so you know….from that then I….went on the road from Donegal, went on the road, I mean I brought some people over with us you know, in various trucks so we travelled around a bit together and explored Ireland….in 1988, and then, very quickly, met up with some people and formed a circus. The circus went all round Ireland….sixteen act circus….street circus…okay, The Ozone Art Street Circus, and we took that around and that was pretty amazing a lot of the time and pretty…..crap some of the time you know…..but….we did it, and….and it was great for a lot of rural Ireland cos they were right pleased to see us and they accommodated us amazingly. From that then…….I settled in Galway for that winter……or was that the year later….no I can’t remember, anyway basically yeah I settled in Galway or summat like that….and then….for a year on the edge of Lough Corrib, and then….of course illness has played a part in my life quite a lot, you know, different severe illnesses, anyway so, I had a recurrence of a kind of bronchial thing which turned into a kind of rheumatic fever and I managed to scrape through it, you know, living in damp conditions and also that was my first year away from my daughter who was… heart was broken……but I was too paranoid to live in England……… you know, scratching….bureaucracy, dole, fuck all, you know, the interviews, you know…..anyway, so there it was much simpler you know, anyway so then….and I managed to get healthy again you know, and basically I did this job where I took a teepee down; I used to do….I had a lorry by that time, you know, the van and then a lorry, and so the first year I took the circus round Ireland and then basically……ended up settling then in Galway for a year, and then in West Cork on land with other travellers you know, settled kind of travellers, and then…..basically started working with a…..a crowd called Future Forests in Bantry…..which was a saw mill and a garden centre, and winding down the saw mill at the start of it, part of it, and building with all the materials, and……you know, big turf roof, Saxon barn da da da da… you know, you name it, and so I did….I started contracting with Mike Pollard and Louise of….of Future Forests

TW: Right.

MM: and…..I did that for years; twelve years, thirteen years. I still have contact with them you know, so I learnt forestry basically; all about trees and the planting side of things, and a bit of…..and woodland management, but I was never a chainsaw freak; I never got in there doing chainsaw – I did a bit of it but that’s not my main thing – my main thing was planting for farmers, creating hedgerows and wildlife corridors…that sort of thing you know, fencing and creating wildlife corridors….raking the big fuck off fields up that were flooding all the time, after they’d done the whole ‘80s grants and…..fucking it up, making fields too big in inappropriate places, and reinstating a lot of…..a lot of smaller fields

TW: Was all that in Ireland or was that over here as well?

MM: Ireland, but that was…..that was in West Cork, primarily in the south west, it … you know and a bit in Kerry and a bit over….maybe a bit of East Cork but that was it you know, learnt thatching, learnt everything you know…. everything to do with you know, materials….woodland materials and all that, and right as we speak my friends run a whole summer school camp there at the moment, but they’re running it in Clare at the moment; they have a woodland contract there, open to the public, all people can come on courses, yurt making da da da, staying in yurts, teepees, all this sort of thing, and it goes on all summer; it will go right through into the….right into the autumn, and then there’ll be courses in the autumn then as well, with an organisation we formed a lot of years ago called Celt East Clare Coppice Association, basically it’s in Irish you know, so it’s East Clare Coppice Association… of the things that we did….so that’s how I got into all that, right, and one of the things that we did there during them years in the ‘90s was…… formed the Irish Rainbow Network after the Rainbow people came in, The National Rainbow people came to make a Rainbow gallery in Ireland, stuck around West Cork, didn’t get it together and then did the following year, but in the meantime we formed the Irish Rainbow… network alliance type of thing you know……and started to have gatherings, regional gatherings…..every…..on key points, key power points, key fire points, on tops of mountains, specific places by…. you know, ancient, you know, ancient

TW: So there was a spirituality aspect of this?

MM: Yeah…..yeah, kind of pagan spirituality you know; I’ve always had that though, you know…..and so that….that was pretty successful you know, the Irish Rainbow Network you know, so for two years we did a double spiral around Ireland, creating this double spiral ending up at Uisneach on a certain date…..and the day it got to the mountain on the border was….and it was just coincidence, it was the day, I mean it was in the ‘90s and it was the day that the first cease fire happened.

TW: Oh really

MM: Fucking amazing, so we had like eight people up there with a bit of paraffin and some sticks and windy weather and fog and rain, and they got the fire together and lit a fire and did the thing, you know, and that was the day that they announced the first ever cease fire you know, but they were great days in Ireland because………Mo Mowlam was the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland…..and……she became President…….Mary Robinson…..Mary Robinson the lawyer, she became President of Ireland, so we had two women in key positions, and that actually, in the psyche of the people, gave enough power to……the women of Ireland shall we say, to put enough pressure to say ‘well fuck this, you can’t be playing these ‘60s ‘70s games of like…..bad mouthing the…..the single mum in the village’…..all that changed, you know; one week it was ‘she’s a whore’ the next week ‘she’s a saint’ literally overnight; I’m not joking, in a two week period, and that all coincided around the cease fire cos you see, the fucking war was a lie, and even people who supported it in principle….the sentiment of it, you know, civil rights and all the rest of it, never supported the war, because it was a big Mafia game; it suited the fucking Mafiosis, you know, d’you know what I mean?.....That’s all they did, you know, it was big farms, big gold rings, big four wheel drives, big fuck off….by the way, you know, on both sides; that’s the thing what people…you never hear; it’s like when the…Balkan Conflict kicked off; you never heard about the massive peace protests….you never heard…..massive….no no, we’re just gonna bomb ‘em….it’s all….it’s all choreographed…..Tony, you know, when you live in Ireland, when you…when you’ve got an Irish psyche, you don’t believe….you don’t believe the hype. When a bomb goes off and they say it’s so and so you don’t believe it; all you’ve got to look at is whose interest right now does that serve?.....You know, like all the ones like Warrington and Omar and all this sort of shit that happened…. The Real IRA, the Old IRA, it’s all bollocks; who does it suit?.....Okay….Who does it fucking suit and I’ll tell you one thing that happened during the ‘90s when all these bombs went off in Britain and elsewhere, was when the fucking intrangient…..intransigent …..crowd – Paisley’s mob – wouldn’t play ball; they were playing….what’s his name….. Shaftio or whatever his name was, the General, the fella who came in and he was saying this you know, right, Oh, I’m saying this ‘oh it’s not enough, oh it’s not enough’…. ‘no, you do summat now….you make some leeway….you are the ones who benefitted from this when there was no vote for anyone….so now, you move an inch or two and we’ll see what happens’ you know….. you know… they don’t mind because….the warring hand did its job for the British state you know; it kept armed in this fucking…… you know, disharmonic…. you know……..state…..for years, so the north gets resources….military resources, military infrastructure, surveillance infrastructure, as a nice little twenty, thirty year experiment for the rest of England - everybody knows that – all the kind of…..bridges of civil liberties that….that….that were brought in; emergency powers, this that and the other; did they go away?....Did they fuck…. you know, so internment now is your basic law isn’t it? You’ve got a basic law saying… oh anybody can be accused of anything and detained for what….oh it’s so many days or whatever; no, not if they say you’re a terrorist…. you know, that blanket fucking cover all, you see what I mean, all that stuff, so….I’m interested in civil rights and I am….still….so, if I’m fighting owt, I’m still fighting for civil rights; social justice, civil rights, environmentalism….environmentalism, not carbon counting; I’m not into head tax for the world, you know, at all; completely opposed to it, you know, I’m into people like organisations in the world that are the mass polluters…..getting called to….called to book as crimes against humanity… know; can’t see that happening in my lifetime, not with the current state of things, you know, but sooner or later, you know, history will….will show, no matter how they write it, it will still show the truth of it you know….when a terrorist act happens, going back to my original point about what you learn, what happened during that period in the ‘90s where it was…you know, you had two women in power, you know, suddenly, it was like ‘yeah’ and then suddenly everybody was going ‘yeah, oh fucking rah this, rah that’ you know, ‘fuck ‘em’ like you know, ‘they never did any favours for us’ you know, ‘they just extracted money and they did this and they were a Mafia organisation’ you know, similar on the Protestant side you know, what did the fucking UDF do anything for us apart from being, you know, bully boy teaching all the young guys to hit…. you know, so….and of course with the ecstasy boom at the time as well, that also fluffed it as well, so that kind of helped… you know…..but going back to….going back to that, when you see an act of terrorism, you don’t go… ‘oh an act of terrorism’ you go, you know, whoever’s supposed to have done it, you know, whoever the media tells you has done it, but you go ‘who does it suit?’ so when nine eleven happened, right, everybody was going ‘fucking they’ve done it to themselves; CIA bastards have done it to themselves; they’re killing their own people’….why? Because they wanted to launch the war on terror…the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on fucking anything….that’s what they do, and the war on…..means destructuralisation it’s part of the script; the destructuralisation of society, right, so they can impose their….new world order, a different set of paradigms, never mind Human Rights Act, never mind civil rights, never mind any of that….this fucking blanket kind of…..what they had in Germany, the Nazis, what they created, same kind of thing; it’s tyranny; it’s oppression and you know and it’s state…..tyranny, and it’s…it’s corporate….corporate state tyranny, you know; we’re split between corporate and governments. All governments now are glove puppets…..for bigger organisations, okay, they always have been, but now they really are…..they’re all in turns, they’ve all been programmed, they’re all that’s it – bang - even if they’ve worked their way up from the Council, you know, and got in a position of power…. you know, because…..they’re working for a bigger….bigger agenda now, you know, and they’re working together for that, you know, and everything they touch they destroy, and that’s the whole point of it; the more successful they get at destroying something like the NHS or whatever, the…..the bigger the bonus; the better they’ve done; that’s how they work it. Why would they be wanting to do that?......Because… the world……they’re, sad to say, this is what politics does to you; you learn far too much which is not really particularly good to know. They have what’s called a world depopulation programme…..okay. Now you can argue the pros and cons of all that, but basically they set this programme way before the end of the Second World War but the Second World War was when they instituted it with…..with the UN……I read it…..and they want to stabilise the world population……world population growth, so they fuck about with the figures making it seem like there’s far more people than there is; there’s a lot of people but the planet can support far more people than this, but if you want a world of feudalist elites……the more people there are, the more potential there is for fucking overthrowing them elites, so they have to keep it down always to certain levels; that’s what wars are about. They’re not about resources anymore; they’re not even about anything…same with…climate change; climate change is a real thing; climate chaos is even realer…..okay…..meaning that….with the toxification of the planet through….mass industrial pollution processes…..this is having and has had affected quite a long time, since about…..18th Century onwards when the chimneys started really pumping the shit, you know, so yes, it’s….it’s created climatic effects….and toxic effects with water and everything like this; now….they’re doing it on purpose……because there’s more….if you’re a big corporation there’s more kudos, there’s more money, there’s more power in the fuck up than there is in the actual production… oil for instance…. you know……. money…..nowadays, the money….the money is in disaster capitalism….okay, disaster capitalism is where the books are; that’s what they do. War, restructuring, da da da…..problem, create the problem….off with the… with the solution….and come in with the fucking…..create the problem, get a reaction, and then come in with the solution; problem reaction solution, that’s what….that’s what’s going on at the moment. Dark times; dark times for the world; dark times for the people of the world; dark times for the species, all sentient beings on the world; dark times for the planet because the power in concentrated into very very few massive corporate….corporate hands; that’s the problem….that needs to change; but it will…….it will; there’s a lot….there’s a lot of stuff you know, that’ll change. The….the power bases and compliance that that….that you need for that to enable you can only achieve through mass…..oppression; mass oppression creates many many many many many many small reactions all the time everywhere….you can’t keep all the people down all the time everywhere [laughing]….so that’s how I….I….find my way through that sort of mess.

TW: ……well one last thing really……how did you end up here then?

MM: How did I end up here?

TW: In Hebden Bridge.

MM: My girlfriend was pregnant and I always said I won’t….if I have kids I don’t want them to grow up in the inner city…..that’s just….that was one of my things so we….we looked for anywhere outside of Bradford that was rural or semi-rural and we tried to get a place to rent and do all that so we did…..1986….and then my daughter was born here in….1987 in June, 1987…….number one Unity Street.

TW: Oh……number one?

MM: Number one…….yeah. We were renting it.

TW: I know who lives in that house now.

MM: Yeah, Penny.

TW: Penny and Jerome

MM: Yeah yeah, I know.

TW: Oh right. Is that right? I didn’t know.

MM: She was away travelling the world; she was on her world travels.

TW: Yes yes, I knew Penny back then yeah….oh right I didn’t know her from there yeah……so are you gonna stay here do you think?

MM: Yeah yeah yeah

TW: Yeah, okay

MM: Yeah definitely; it’s a great base…..I mean….it’s…..its’ as equal to go anywhere in t’British Isles, so it’s…. you know, it’s handy like that you know, and…..and I wouldn’t live….if I hadn’t lived in Hebden Bridge I wouldn’t…or anywhere like it, sort of, but in the north of England…. you know, with the…..industrial bit, the rural….lots of different diverse people…..working class…..down to earth….then no matter what people make up about Hebden Bridge it’s still very down to earth…..and this whole area…….I…..I couldn’t live in England if I didn’t live here….I’d find it impossible, because it’s just….it’s like Ireland…..

TW: Yeah

MM: people……people communicate and they’re not all…..they’re not all bitter…. you know; you got to a lot of places and people are really bitter and they have a bitter way of talking…..and a bitter outlook on life, and they believe whatever’s on that fecking screen - that’s the problem – that is a problem; brainwashing is a major massive problem….certain places, certain pockets, people don’t have that massive brainwashing. They just don’t switch the fecking telly on; they don’t bother, you know, so….. you know, and…..and generally……but no matter where you go people are sound; it doesn’t matter; you know, and no matter where you go……..if you’re useful…. you know, if you’re handy and you do stuff with people and you help out, you know, cos like I say, I worked in markets when I was quite young; that was a great training….obviously numeracy, maths, sociability, the whole lot, you know what I mean…….it was a really good training…. you know, so you learn how to be useful….you learn…don’t fucking sit there….do it… you know, the cup needs moving, you know, so whenever I…..I was always….when I was young and I had shared houses, you know, rent the house and get all my mates in type of thing you know, I was the one who’d do it; I was the one who’d the agent or landlord, get the house, get the drums and all the recording stuff down in the cellar, fucking make sure everybody paid the rent, you know, try and keep the phone going as long as we could until somebody fucked up on the bill you know, and so on and so on you know; I was the one….I was the one who did all that.

TW: Do you think you’ll ever move back to Ireland?

MM: …..yeah…..yeah I can see it….but how and what I don’t know…..I mean because……when I….when you say move back to Ireland, when I…..what I equate Ireland is… I equate it with living on the land you know, in a big caravan….. you know, with a…..with a greenhouse stuck on it or whatever you know, that….that’s what I….if I was to….you know, when I’m old…..if I was to retire….if I had any money to live on……or I could get money to live on, then I would go back to that life, because, you know…….I used to be very scared of the anonymity of populated places…..especially when people get old….but if you’re anonymous and you’re in t’middle of nowhere, and you’re just with nature, and you’re going out there and you’re just doing your shit pit and your fire pit and your fire’s lit and you might be doing some……doing the washing up outside or something like that, you know, and you’ve had your porridge and whatever, and you sit down and it’s a beautiful morning and then you have the stroke…..I don’t mind

TW: Right


MM: You know…..

TW: Okay

MM: Do you know what I mean?

TW: Yeah yeah

MM: It’s like…. you know, that one’s okay; I can handle that one, but you’re in some shit flat stuck in the middle of… you see, cos you know, I mean…cos my dad being on t’building and all that….you see most of my dad’s….all his friends were like….most of t’Irish had fucked off you know; they were either dead, only in their fifties you know, they were either dead….so all his mates were like Italian, Ukrainian, they….they only ever went to Ukrainian clubs; they never went to Irish clubs; my dad wouldn’t associate with Irish, because……he was a ganger… you know, and he hired and fired… he would have made a lot of friends but he would have made a lot of enemies as well, you know, people would hold grudges for years so we never….we didn’t associate with the Irish community… all, so when the Birmingham bombings happened in 1974, my grandma in Ireland, my dad’s mum, was dying at the time, and we were ringing Donegal… aunty in Belfast and….my aunty in……in Walsall in the Midlands all the time; we had a phone, so we were ringing them all the time, so from then our phone got tapped, and then we had…..fucking….two guys, for like three years, sat outside in a fucking Escort cars; three years man….from 1974 to 1976…..but you know you’d talk to other people when you’d be on holiday about the click whirr and all the rest of it, or they could hear you and you couldn’t hear them….or you could hear them but they couldn’t hear you…it’s cos whatever the…. you know, the sophisticated technology there was at the time didn’t work right well so everybody knew, and they used to sometimes….cos one of the things they used to have as well was….. you know, cos when I grew up and I met more Irish people, you know, at universities and all this type of thing and different camps and all that, you know, we’d talk about these things and we’d go ‘oh yeah sure that’s just bypass’…..they used to flick people on bypass just for the crack…. you know, so one of you could hear each other, but it would be like ‘hello hello’ you know and they couldn’t hear you, or they’d…..they’d fuck about with it you know…yeah, bypass they used to call it, so you’d only get so long to speak because whatever their programmes were at the time and their unsophisticated…..computers, they could only record so much at a time so they’d have to… you know, so what you’d do is you’d put the phone down and start again….yeah, so there was all that you know…, when they say…..when they say infrastructure with Cameron, you know, local….when the local…..when the……when the…….current crop of glove puppets….Cameron, the whole lot of them, they’re all the same, the glove puppets, right, when they turn round and say ‘infrastructure, infrastructure’ what they mean is mass surveillance infrastructure and a complete and utter disregard for anything to do with privacy – absolutely – complete and utter surveillance all the time and monitoring. That sounds like too far fetched; it’s not. That technology was available by the mid ‘90s….right, and a guy who’s one of the major military developers of it wrote a whole book and a whole load of stuff about it, and then he got himself put in jail on purpose because he was being attempted to be assassinated; I read the whole fucking thing, you know. That was developed then; it was called remote viewing in them days. Nowadays remote viewing is Wi-Fi….okay, and I’ve explained loads of times to you about….about the whole cable business and all that…..and….and it’s true, because one of the stated aims of glove puppet Cameron is…they don’t like the privacy area over the Human Rights Act, oh and another thing that they’ve done with the Human Rights Act is you’ve got various organisations that process your Human Rights Act, you know, so if you’ve got a human rights case, so what they did…..they diminished that down to how many staff, right, to deal with it, and so you’ve got a fucking years backload now….that was one way of doing it….. you know, one of the things they did in America today, in the last month, is… certain areas, in certain states where the Republicans are…..more powerful shall we say, more…..more local power….they introduced….. ‘let’s stop fraud in the electoral process’ so everybody’s got to get their original birth certificates with the particular kind of seal and stamp on it and watermark, and of course in Pittsburgh and places like this, and these have been coming back, it was on t’radio today, coming back to black and Hispanic areas which will be Obamah….supporters……so they can’t vote because…it’s….it’s not gonna come back; they’re gonna have to send it back in time; the guy laughed when he was telling him about it; when he was being interviewed, some little…. you know, [incomp], right, he turned round and he said….they said to him…..they said to him ‘well don’t you think that this is blatant….interfering in the political process?’ and he said [American accent] ‘well if people can get down to the welfare office then surely they can get down to the equivalent of the DVLA to get their blah blah blah’ and he’s laughing while he’s saying it…. you know, some young twat, guy in his thirties….I mean that’s where you’re at; that’s what I mean about there’s so…… that Republican who went the other day, last week, when he said something about… know, rape….same sort of thing; they’re so entrenched in…..Freemasonry, their corporate Freemasonry, that they don’t realise that…. you know, we’ll get ‘em [laughing]……….

TW: Okay….well I think….I think we’ll end it there then.

MM: Yeah yeah that’s fine, yeah.

TW: Well thanks very much Martin.

MM: Okay, thanks very much Tony, yeah….cheers


About Us

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

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Pennine Heritage Ltd.
The Birchcliffe Centre
Hebden Bridge

Phone: 01422 844450
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