WSO: Mission Accomplished


We Shall Overcome’s beating heart, The Station in Ashton-under-Lyne, is a pub again after supporting thousands of people through Covid. A full 26 months of being a community hub kept alive by volunteers, donations and love finally resulted in a return for live music and a night I will never forget.

It was RAMMED. The pub itself was fuller than I’ve ever seen it, but there were as many again in the beer garden and out front. So great to see the levels of support for Pauline Town from the local community, and the MASSIVE travelling contingent who arrived from miles around.

Fantastic music and poetry from Monologue John Bartley Matt Johnson Lytisha Tunbridge Daniel Lucas and Jess Silk and I had an absolute blast closing the night with a ‘No Pasaran’ sung by Matt and Jess, and an acoustic ‘We Shall Overcome’ sung by the whole pub.

So good to see so many happy faces sharing hugs and handshakes, and even better to see the smile on Pauline’s face to have all that life back in her pub.

The Station is going to continue as a PubHub, distributing meals and food parcels Monday to Wednesday then continuing with that but opening as a pub and live music venue Thursday to Sunday. You will still see me banging the drum for help with buying in the food and housing the homeless, but the important bit is this, we made it to the other side.

So to everyone who supported Isolation Festival, We Shall Overrun, Lockdown Solidarity, the ‘Coronaverses’ book compiled by Janine Booth, the collaboration songs by Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds and Johnny Campbell, the live streams from John Baine, the WSO merch from Billy Blagg, the jewellery from Kevin Pearson, the Poetry On The Picket Line bundle from Chip Hamer, or who stopped by the pub with food or cash for Big Sis, this was your achievement, OUR achievement, the finest example of collective action I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of, and We Shall Overcome’s greatest victory.

We did it.

Just mint x

Pics by Kate Clark Neil Terry Matt Hill Pete Yen and apologies if I missed a credit x

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