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Chopwell Soviet

Friday 3 November 2006 11:00-11:30 (Radio 4 FM)


Alexei Sayle journeys to the North East village of Chopwell, 80 years after it became known as Little Moscow.

In the aftermath of the 1926 General Strike, the small mining village became notorious for its association with communism. Portraits of Marx and Lenin appeared on the miners' banner, streets were named after communists, and its militant mineworkers were on strike for over 17 months.

The press ran a series of sensational reports with headlines such as Spectre of a Miniature Russia and Precocious Lenins Who Live in Marx Avenue. Alexei Sayle trawls the oral history archives to find the true story behind the headlines.

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