‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970) Anti-enclosure comic strip for junior school children to teenagers

Jumping Jack Manson comes across a land-grabbing squire…
…who gets his minions to burn hay-ricks and blame it on the plucky peasants…
…but wicked Myers’ didn’t plan on Jumping Jack and his amazing spring-heeled boots!

Taken from comic The Hotspur (1970) this six-page strip is available below as single image files 3×2 or 6×1 and as a printable PDF [right click or touch and hold to download]

7MB PDF – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)

Jumping Jack Manson enclosures (1970).pdf

2MB 3×2 JPG – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)

2MB 6×1 JPG – ‘Jumping Jack’ Manson vs. land-grabbing Squire Myers (1970)




Hull City Council allow “right to grow” on unused council land [Source: The Guardian]

Hull City Council’s ‘right to grow’ motion on unused council land is a UK first

Taken from The Guardian:
Hull set to allow ‘right to grow’ on unused council land in UK first
City councillors pass motion to let community groups, charities and neighbours cultivate fruit and veg
by Patrick Barkham, The Guardian
Monday 16th October 2023
Ref: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/oct/16/hull-allow-right-to-grow-unused-council-land-uk-first
Hull is set to become the first city in Britain to give people a “right to grow” on unused council land. Community groups, charities and even small groups of neighbours would be able to cultivate fruit and vegetables on suitable council land in what campaigners say will provide healthy local food, boost mental health and revive neglected spaces. Hull councillors unanimously passed the “right to grow” motion that means the council will produce a map of suitable land it owns and help those who want to grow food on it overcome practical obstacles such as insurance or provision of water for the plants. The motion, which will first go before the council scrutiny committee, follows a burgeoning local and national campaign for a “right to grow” on neglected urban land.

The waiting list for allotments in England has risen by 81% over the past 12 years as more than 150,000 people seek a place to grow fresh food.

“It will benefit Hull in many ways,” said Gill Kennett, a local councillor who backed the motion, which received cross-party support. “We are a deprived city and we do need cheap food. In terms of mental health benefits, growing food gives people something to do, it gives them confidence, it ticks so many boxes.”

Incredible Edible, a grassroots network of more than 150 community growing groups, is calling for a national “right to grow” law obliging all local authorities to keep a register of land that could be used for growing, and which people could apply to.

Campaigners say councils can meet the growing demand for places to grow in urban areas by stripping away bureaucratic obstacles such as growers requiring public liability insurance, which could be provided under councils’ existing insurance. Even land earmarked for development that sometimes lies unused for years could be cultivated for one or two harvests.

Pru Elliott of Incredible Edible said: “We need to see a change of rules and a change in the way land is used. If communities are given a right to grow they will use it. We just need to get rid of the red tape. If Hull can bring this to life I hope it will be an example for councils around the country that it’s something really tangible that they can run with. It’s about letting go of control a bit and trusting communities.

“It’s producing healthy food, it’s benefiting mental health, it’s reducing crime and antisocial behaviour – we’re seeing that councillors in more deprived areas get it. They recognise all these extra benefits that come with something as simple as people growing food in the local community.”

The Create Streets thinktank, whose chair is an adviser to the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, recently produced a report calling for a “right to grow” as part of a greening up of British cities.

In Hull, the motion came about after Hull Food Partnership – a collaboration between local people, businesses, charities and the council – devised “food hustings” at the local elections, where councillors discussed how Hull could address local food issues from food banks to “food deserts”. Anna Route of Hull Food Partnership said: “Everyone should have the ability to access good quality locally produced food regardless of their background or income, and we want to remove as many barriers to feeding people well as possible.”

Darren Squires of Rooted in Hull, a social enterprise that grows food on former industrial land in Hull, said the benefits of growing food in urban spaces included providing fresh, healthy produce for food banks, boosting mental health, growing low-carbon food, and also providing wildlife-friendly green corridors in the city.

“People do want to grow but we don’t have the opportunity to unlock that land normally,” he said.

Squires said he hoped the motion would result in the council providing groups with public liability insurance under its own umbrella as well as practical help such as connecting up growers with sources of water for dry spells, whether harvested from nearby roofs or via mains pipes.

“I grow in a small yard and I can eat salad all summer and it costs me a few pounds rather than a few pounds every couple of days from the supermarket,” he added.

“There are some veg that no amount of money will get you the same quality as something you get when you pick and eat it the same day. You’ve not eaten French beans until you’ve eaten some you’ve grown.”

Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’

Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’


Empty mansions in abandoned HS2 ghost village ‘taken over by squatters, dealers and religious cults’

The homes in Whitmore Heath were purchased by the government for the line that will now never be built

A HS2 ghost village in the West Midlands is full of abandoned mansions that locals say have been taken over by squatters. Whitmore Heath’s beautiful and pricey homes once made it a thriving community – but now squatters, drug dealers and even religious cults have allegedly moved in.

HS2 purchased 35 properties in the rural hamlet. The average property price was £600,000, but houses were compulsorily purchased by the government because the train line was set to pass under several multi million-pound mansions in the area.

Now that plan is in tatters – even though other parts of the line are still being built, some near Coventry, amid much local anger. PM Rishi Sunak announced at the Tory Party conference that the West Midlands to Manchester line would be scrapped.

Yet because people have moved out, remaining residents say the the empty homes are now trouble-spots with squatters living in the houses.

Edward Cavenagh-Mainwairing, 61, is the 33rd generation of his family to live in the Staffordshire village. He said three properties are now used as cannabis farms – and warned there is no longer a sense of community in the area.

Mr Cavenagh-Mainwairing said: “When you walk around the area, it’s a bit sad to see it all locked up and three houses are now used for cannabis. There was a sense of community, but now there isn’t.

“HS2 has strengthened us all together in a way – because we are all suffering from it. But hearing the news about it being scrapped made me feel numb, it’s still not a victory because it’s confirmation that it was a really bad decision.

“It should have been stopped earlier. A lot of people’s lives should have not been upset to the degree they have been.”

One security guard, who asked not to be named, said they had been hired to guard the home as squatters have previously lived there. They said they had even seen cults ‘trying to break in’ to the house.

What’s more, they said a religious group had even tried to arrest security guards. They said: “We’ve had cults trying to break in.

“They would even try and arrest you.” However, some residents actually like living in the village – and they are confident more people will return to the area.

Chris Shemilt, 65, moved there around five years ago with his wife, although he is in the process of moving away. Yet he has said he ‘doesn’t see anything wrong’ with the area.

He believes the homes bought by the government will go back on the market. Chris said: “I don’t see anything wrong with it myself.

“I think people will move back to the area, I think a lot of them were bought by the government – who bribed people to sell them.

“I suspect they will go back on the market.” Chris said the costs of HS2 were ‘way too high’ for it to have ever been completed as planned.

The financial advisor said: “As far as I’m concerned, the costs were way too high for them to do it. Quite simply – all they’ve got to do is run the train to Birmingham on the same line they’ve already got – which is quite a good line anyway.

“If they slightly improve that line, then they can go straight through to Manchester.”

Rishi Sunak has defended scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester line. He said: “We’re going to take every penny of that £36 billion and we’re going to spend it on transport across the country – on bus, on road, on rail, on all the forms of transport that you use every day.

“We’re going to deliver it far quicker so that you can see the benefits faster. We’re going to see it across more parts of our country.

“I think that is the right thing to do for the long term.”