THE MANCHESTER RAMBLER
Led by Kate Griffin and Ford Collier of Mishra, a group of musicians and filmmakers from Sheffield have collaborated on a music video that celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Scout mass trespass by performing a new version of Ewan MacColl’s ‘The Manchester Rambler’, captured on the side of the historic mountain. The song was inspired by the 1932 mass trespass, an act of civil disobedience that is often cited as having paved the way for the creation of England’s national parks.
Kate and Ford had the idea of creating a music video to celebrate the occasion and contacted various organisations to ask for support, including the National Trust who are the landowners of Kinder Scout. The organisers were surprised that although the National Trust were open to supporting the project, they did not grant permission, instead suggesting they use another location that was “less sensitive”.
“It was frustrating” says Kate, “if anything though, the irony of the situation made us more determined to do it on Kinder Scout”.
Ford says “It’s a good example of how the laws of the U.K allow for only a very narrow use of open countryside; anything beyond just walking the footpath, from swimming, camping, or apparently playing musical instruments can be considered trespassing. We are still very far from having the true right to roam”.
The video was recorded entirely on location, featuring members of the bands Mishra, Auka, Shivelights, and Owen Spafford and Louis Campbell. It will be released on the 21st April, which is three days before the date of the anniversary. The creators are not seeking to profit from the video and want to use it to raise awareness of both the history of the struggle for countryside access in England and the continued lack of rights for ordinary citizens over green open spaces.
"The delicate fretted instruments, the weaving of the two female voices and the contrasting low whistle touches all contribute to one of the best interpretations of the song ever." - Michele Mele, Bright Young Folk Magazine
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