KEITH ARMSTRONG'S BIRTHDAY BASH - IN HONOUR OF 'JACK THE BLASTER' BATES & THOMAS SPENCE
come along to the marsden grotto in south shields on wednesday 24th june at 7.30pm to celebrate the birthday of 'jingling geordie' keith armstrong.
there will be poetry from paul summers, catherine graham, william martin, dave alton and 'jingle' himself, with songs from
marie little and tony whittle and sea shanties from jim mageean and 'the ancient mariners'.
the event is in honour of newcastle's eighteenth century poet and agitator thomas spence and local hero and miner, jack 'the blaster' bates, who, back in 1780, at the age of 80, excavated his new home in the rocks at marsden which became known as the 'marsden grotto'. in honour of jack, spence wrote above the fireplace in jack's cave, the following:
'ye landlords vile, whose man's peace mar,
come levy rents here if you can;
your stewards and lawyers i defy,
and live with all the RIGHTS OF MAN.'
this was the first use of the phrase 'the rights of man'.