Actor Ricky Tomlinson will appear at Edge Hill University’s Arts Centre in April to talk about his experiences as one of the ‘Shrewsbury 24’.

In the free event Ricky Tomlinson – Political Prisoner, the 76-year-old actor best known for his role as Jim Royle in the Royle Family, will discuss how he was one of the activists arrested and charged with a range of offences following the first national building workers’ strike in 1972 which won a pay rise for the industry.

Following what has been described recently by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham MP as ‘a politically-motivated show-trial’, six men including Ricky Tomlinson were sent to prison. Partially-released documents from the period are leading to fresh examination of state intervention in legal process and media manipulation.

Earlier this year, Ricky visited Creative Edge and delivered an impassioned talk for students about his 40-year struggle to find out why he was imprisoned, the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign and what the future holds as members of the group try to overturn their convictions and sentencing.

Dr Howard Davis, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Edge Hill University, said: “Ricky captivated his audience earlier this year with his passionate portrayal of his struggle to find out the truth about what happened to him and his picketing building colleagues.

“A total of 24 striking workers were arrested and charged with conspiracy to intimidate and affray after their strike tactics angered the construction industry, with six being imprisoned following conviction at Shrewsbury crown court in 1973. The telling of this story, and those of the other men involved, and their struggle to uncover the truth is both powerful and passionate.”

 

The event Ricky Tomlinson – Political Prisoner starts at 7pm on Wednesday 20 April at the Arts Centre. Visit https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/events/2016/04/20/ricky-tomlinson-political-prisoner/book/ to book free tickets.

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