DEVILS LET LOOSE
I still have a few copies of my local history book for sale which is a must for anyone with an interest in nostalgia and drama.
It tells the story of the Lincoln Riots of August 1911 when hundreds of people were injured and thousands of pounds damage was caused.
Poor leadership of the ill-equipped City Police Force and a Corporation out of touch with what was going on meant that a mob of 5000 people was allowed to run around at will for three nights like Devils Let Loose - burning, beating, looting and causing absolute terror.
The cause, although excused as honest working men with a grievance, was similar to the riots in London in August 2011. Genuine strikers had reason to be unhappy but much of the mob went wild because it could and there was no one to stop it. The hooligans hijacked the event and honest men were held to blame.
Nine men were eventually singled out as ring leaders and the City was ridiculed nationally for its incompetence in failing to bring a swift end to the disorder. When scapegoats were found the matter was laid to rest and forgotten for almost 100 years. But who was really responsible has never been determined.
Lack of historical documentation prevented the story from being told until papers, which should have been stored, fell into the hands of local historian Tony Gadd who bought them for the price of a beer from an old character called Rabbits. He used to pick up items from the city rubbish tip and sell or barter them for his meagre living and met Tony in his local pub. Tony later approached me and asked if I would write the story.
It's a great tale with original documents - including telegrams sent by the then Home Secretary Winston Churchill - and photos of the trouble in action. It is one of the most shameful events in the City's history but in fairness to those who shouldered the blame at the time meant that when the chance came to tell it, the story was one that had to be told.
To order a copy at £4.50 (£6 inc P&P) Email Pat Nurse with details of where to send it if you want to pay by cheque, or click on the Paypal button to the right to pay by direct debit.