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Christoper Eccleston and Maxine Peake lead 196th Peterloo celebrations

Over 600 people gathered at St Peter’s Square in Manchester on Sunday 16 August to to mark 196 years since the Peterloo massacre in Manchester.

Speaking at the event were actors Christopher Eccleston, Maxine Peake and John Thompson, alongside DJ Dave Haslam and broadcaster CP Lee.

Many of the crowd dressed in period costume to mark the annual commemoration.

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On 16 August 1819 15 people were killed and hundreds injured at St Peter’s Field in Manchester when troops charged crowds demanding political reform.

Among those killed were several people from Salford and Eccles, including mother of seven Sarah Jones, of Sik Street, Salford who was fatally injured by a police truncheon blow.

James Crompton, of Barton upon Irwell, Eccles, was trampled to death by the cavalry, while compatriot Martha Partington of Eccles was thrown into a cellar and killed on the spot.

The final Salford victim was Robert Campbell of Miller Street, he was a special constable and was killed later on in the day by an angry mob at New Cross, Manchester.

Peake, a vocal supporter of working-class history, memorably performed Percy Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy at the Manchester International Festival in 2013, the poet’s outraged response to the massacre in the heart of Manchester.

Campaigners are seeking to have a permanent memorial installed near Peter Street to remember the dead and wounded.

Artist Jeremy Deller is in talks to take on the work.

The Peterloo Massacre Campaign said it would expand the protest and event in the years leading up the the 200th anniversary of Peterloo in 2019.

Pictures by Alastair Price

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.