Flying home today from the annual TUC rally at Tolpuddle in Dorset, where we were displaying a banner for one of the big unions, we saw something interesting but before that, a little reminder of what the rally celebrates.
The six Tolpuddle Martyrs were all farm labourers, paid 9 shillings a week and lived in dreadful poverty. Their leader George Loveless, decided to set up a Union in Tolpuddle to give the labourers bargaining strength.
In 1834 James Frampton, a local landowner, wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, to complain about the union, invoking an obscure law from 1797 prohibiting people from swearing oaths to each other, which the Friendly Society had done. James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, George's brother James Loveless, George's brother in-law Thomas Standfield, and Thomas' son John Standfield were arrested, found guilty, and transported to Australia.
Avoiding a similar fate, on the way home, I commented to my colleague that I hadn’t seen any crop circles this year. “Neither have I”, he said. Not more than five minutes later we spotted two of them just south of Rochester. One a large and highly elaborate triangle and circle design and the other, a series of interlocking circles of larger sizes in an adjacent field.
The alien authors had, I assume had landed at Rochester during the night and were leaving a message or perhaps coded directions to the Kent Show at Detling.