On September 10th 1933, The Battle of Stockton erupted in the town’s High Street where two thousand locals were waiting to push back Oswald Mosley’s fascist Blackshirts when they came to recruit in Stockton.
In 2017 a local campaign group, The Battle of Stockton Campaign, was established to remember this significant event in Stockton’s history and the history of anti-fascism in the UK.
This year, The Battle of Stockton will be commemorated in a very different way. On Saturday 28th August, a short film, which brings to life the book written by historians Rosie Serdville and Tony Fox in 2018, will be screened at Stockton’s ARC.
Sharon Bailey, Chair of The Battle of Stockton Campaign, says, “We’ve been working together with local film maker Dan Smith to bring the Battle of Stockton to a wider audience.”
The short film, narrated by actor and Teessider Marlene Sidaway, is an animation of the story. Sharon adds, “This is a real community project featuring work from local artists and actors.”
The screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion with guests including Marlene Sidaway. Afterwards there will be poetry from Harry Gallagher and music from singer/songwriter Frazer Lambert. Marlene who lives in London and is President of the International Brigades Memorial Trust which strives to keep alive the memory and spirit of all who fought fascism during the Spanish Civil War, says, “I have followed The Battle of Stockton Campaign from the beginning, and I am thrilled to be back on Teesside to be part of this event.”
The film is the first of three events hosted by The Battle of Stockton Campaign. A commemoration will be held on Sunday 5th September in Stockton’s Green Dragon Yard and Georgian Theatre. This event will feature speakers Marsha Garratt (All In Youth Project), Amjid Khazir (Media Cultured) and Barry Faulkner from Unite The Union. Afterwards, there will be an afternoon of free entertainment featuring comedian Patrick Monahan and musicians, Frazer Lambert and Joe Solo.
In conjunction with Tees Music Alliance, The Battle of Stockton Campaign are hosting a Rock Against Racism gig on 18th September at The Georgian Theatre featuring some of Teesside’s best musicians.
Sharon adds, “It’s great to finally be able to hold events like this again this year. It’s important to remember The Battle of Stockton. People of the town stood up to fascism and the division that brings in the 1930s. We must continue that today.”