We welcome Alan Fowler, a social and economic expert on the history of the cotton mills for a fascinating insight into the highly successful ‘The Cotton Factory Times‘ and celebrating the centenary of its’ famous cartoonist Sam Fitton.
Alan will talk about the success of the newspaper between 1885 and 1914 and how, in 1907, Sam Fitton, a former cotton operative became the newspaper’s first cartoonist.
Sam Fitton drew 400 cartoons for the Cotton Factory Times, and the talk will examine his cartoons in the key year 1914. Fitton was an unusual cartoonist in that he was a working man and the subject of his cartoons was the cotton industry and the lives of the operatives who worked in the industry. The newspaper he drew his cartoons for was a paper that served the workers who worked in the industry and who supported the associated trade unions.
The cartoons were also unusual in that each one also contained a dialect poem. This year, 2023, is the centenary of Sam Fitton’s death and his life was celebrated by a recent exhibition at Gallery Oldham.
Alan Fowler taught economic and social history at the Manchester Polytechnic and Manchester Metropolitan University for 40 years and has written about the history of cotton operatives . He recently wrote with Terry Wyke an essay that was published as a pamphlet, about Sam Fitton for the exhibition at Gallery Oldham described above.
Heptonstall Museum is open Thursday to Sunday 11am till 4:30pm.