There are two great events in all our lives - birth and death. For writers there is a third - the date their work falls out of copyright and into the public domain. This December sees both the 150th anniversary of James Leatham's birth and the 70th anniversary of his death - which means that his writing is now available for all to read, no longer bound by copyright restrictions.
To commemorate all these events, The Deveron Press is back in business. It's under new ownership (husband and wife team George and Cally Wight) but the spirit of Leatham is still there, informing all activity.
We share Leatham's view not only that 'Publishing is an adventure' but also that: ‘To get your own business into your own hands, this and nothing else and nothing less is the true line of social progress.'
And what's this got to do with you? Well, you're invited to a party to celebrate. It's to be held at
TURRIFF TOWN HALL (formerly the Municipal Building)
DECEMBER 19TH 2015
There will be a chance to find out more about Leatham and his writing, to browse and buy books from our first catalogue, pick up some exclusive free gifts and to partake in some tea and cake to mark the occasion.
All are welcome and we hope to see you there.
Who was James Leatham?
A North East loon who became printer/publisher and social pioneer. He lived in Turriff from 1916 till his death in 1945 and was Provost from 1933.
He published books and many hundreds of pamphlets on matters concerning politics, society and literature. He was an advocate for 'Co-operative Collectivism' a long forgotten brand of Socialism and for the importance of education amongst the working-classes.
'Wherever I have gone then, in city and country, north and south of the Tweed, it has been my aim, by the spoken and written word, to encourage reading habits in the rank and file..'
If you want to find out more about James Leatham - and there is much more to know - you'll find more on the site... feel free to look around. And we hope to see you at the Town House on December 19th!
While the New Gateway doesn't launch officially until December 14th, this was too good an opportunity to pass up, so we thought we'd give you a taster of what's to come. .
The question posed is: What does black Friday mean to you?
The following article was published in Gateway, 1921.
The Lesson of Black Friday
This is the title of a brochure of 39 pages by Gerald Gould (Labour Publishing Co, 1s0 to which adventitious interest will have been given by the libel action by Mr Thomas, M.P.
It is not easy to summarise Mr Gould’s highly technical and detailed argument, and he does not summarise it himself. His conclusion is that ‘all that is needed for a living wage is the redistribution of admittedly existing wealth.’ In view of the conditions of the coal industry, with the world-market largely lost, and the impossibility of paying ‘a living wage’ according to British standards, he would have the coal barons disgorge the profits made in previous years!
Mr Cole appears to think that because of the inability of Commercialism to pay a living wage, the capitalist system is doomed. But it never did pay a living wage, and it has lasted, none the less, for many generations. The fact that a system is illogical and unworkable does not mean that it will end, so long as it suits the influential minority. Chattel slavery lasted during thousands of years, and the worker of today has many of the characteristics of the slave and the serf. It is true that he has political power and that he is slowly learning to use it. But Mr Cole looks to revolution. That is to say, the workers will not use the easy and ready way, and therefore he asks them to use the difficult and unpromising way of putting society into the melting-pot. It is a counsel of despair for which there is no justification, and only the excuse that Mr cole has the impatience of youth.
The difficulty about a successful catastrophic revolution is that the great mass of the people could not earn their living in a sane system. They have no productive skill. We do need a revolution, but it will be the slow, steady revolution involved in a gradual extension of Collectivism.
This country has passed through worse periods than it is now experiencing. In the hungry forties, and earlier, it was not merely the unemployed man who was in want; the man in employment was hungry also. But there was no particular revolution, not even a revolt. And there would have been an excuse for a revolt then that does not exist now. the masses did not then possess political power. Now they do. And they return Mr Bottomley and Sir Walter de Freece and Lady Asttor, and reject the Collectivist candidates. There will probably be turmoil. But it will be suppressed. And one can’t profess to be sorry when for fifty years there has been the open, constitutional, neglected and misued alternative afforded by Household Suffrage.
You can read the original pamphlet referred to in this article online at this link
https://archive.org/details/lessonofblackfri00goul from where you can also download it.
If you liked this you're going to Love THE NEW GATEWAY. And if you don't love it, you're probably out shopping for a bargain anyway!