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Jul 17, 2019

In the first episode of an occasional series entitled 'The Ballad of Bedfordshire' Jon Bickley tells the story of the Luton Peace Day riots in words and music.

At the end of the First World War in November 1918 Prime Minister Lloyd George promised his government would 'make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in.' Sadly this failed to materialise.

By Summer 1919 Luton ex-servicemen were unhappy with unemployment and other grievances, in particular the high handed attitude of Henry Impey the Mayor of Luton. A single incident lit the fuse and the disenfranchised men took matters into their own hands. In the ensuing riots Luton Town Hall was burned down in a fervour of protest.

A century later Jon Bickley performs his own original songs about the events that occurred in the town centre between 19th - 21st July 1919. He is joined by a number of other musicians regularly heard on the Invisible Folk Club Radio Show.

The songs:
John McCormack - Keep the Home Fires Burning
Jon Bickley - Keep Your Heads Down
Jon Bickley - Shiny Buttons and Badges
Jon Bickley - We Will March
Jon Bickley - Treat Him Like a Dog
Jon Bickley - Mayor Henry Impey
Jon Bickley - Luton Town
Jon Bickley - If Justice Had Wings

The musicians:
Jon Bickley - lead vocal, guitar
Neil Stanton - violin
John Maw - cigar box slide guitar & mandolin
Bob Templeman - guitar
Annette Burrows - backing vocals
Lizzy Hardingham - backing vocals
Mandy Hardingham - backing vocals