Mosleyites, Manchester 1932

Oswald Mosley’s  Public Meeting.          Extract from Memoir, L.Ó Nualláin 

Manchester Meeting, Oswald Mosely

Manchester Meeting, Oswald Mosely

The Mosleyites announced a public meeting to be held in Manchester, in the Belle Vue Hall.   Hugh (Delargy) and I decided to go to the meeting, to which entry was free and we were fortunate to find ourselves seated in what turned out to be a safe haven from what was to take place very early on as the meeting proceeded. The platform from which the introductory speeches were made, was in fact, the actual boxing ring where professional boxing matches took place during the winter season. It was flood-lit, placed in the centre of the large hall with seating accomodation for a few thousand people, I would think. Martial music was being played through loudspeakers which festooned the hall. When Mosely came through the hall he was flanked by an accompanying posse of black-shirted, tough looking young men,
As he entered on to the ring there was a great burst of applause from his supporters, and jeers and whistling from a large section of the audience that were seated on an opposite wing of the amphitheatre.  Then the martial music was turned up, this time to the tune of the British National Anthem, “God save the King”. Mosely stood to attention with his arm outstretched in the fascist salute, while in close proximity to the ring, were row after row of blackshirts who, standing to attention and facing Mosely, threw up their arms in the same fascist salute.  We remained seated as did many hundreds more in some of the rows of seats in our vicinity. Immediately, groups of blackshirts ran up the gangways and attempted to force people to their feet, resulting in much pushing and shoving, culminating in fist fights between the stewards and members of the spectators who obviously disagreed with Mosely and his associates. Very soon we could see that people were being thrown to the ground and, in some instances, being flung down the gangways.  It was time for us to go.
© L.O’Nuallain

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