Robert Owen: Ceremony marks social reformer's work
Published: 12th May 2012 11:23:24
Landmark essays written by the so-called father of the co-operative movement are being remembered in a special ceremony in Powys.
Robert Owen, who was born in Newtown in 1771, started work on his writings, A New View of Society, 200 years ago.
The Robert Owen Museum said they inspired change and improved working conditions for hundreds of people.
The museum is holding the event on Saturday, to mark what would have been his birthday on 14 May.
People, along with a choir and Newtown Silver Band, are gathering at Owen's grave in the Powys town.
Pat Brandwood, the curator of the Robert Owen Museum, described him as the first socialist, who believed in co-operation, sharing and educational reform.
"Two hundred years ago Robert Owen started work on a series of articles and lectures. He is known as the father of the co-operative movement and the first socialist," she said.
Community had always been there, but creating the right community was the basis for a better world, he felt”
"He believed what formed character was the type of community a person was brought up in.
"Community had always been there, but creating the right community was the basis for a better world, he felt."
Owen was born in Newtown on 14 May, 1771.
As an adult he moved to London, Manchester and later Scotland, where he famously transformed the New Lanark mill town for the benefit of the workers.
"A New View of Society was set against a backdrop of aggressive industrialisation, terrible conditions for workers in Britain and the Napoleonic Wars," added Mrs Brandwood.
"Children as young as five also worked in dreadful conditions. Robert Owen wanted to take them out of the workplace. He wanted a better world through education, community, sharing and co-operation.
"Within four years of starting his writings he had created his model community in New Lanark, and it very quickly became famous. He inspired change."
Owen, a partner in the mill business, improved housing conditions, while changes in how the mills were run led to a more motivated work force.
Owen also became a pioneer of nursery or early years education, decades before education became compulsory in Britain.
Mrs Brandwood said Owen was still regarded as an important figure by trade unions, politicians and the co-operative movement, and his ideals had been adopted by people in countries around the world.
At 19:44:20 in EnglandThe lawyer for former N-Dubz singer and X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has asked magistrates for an assault charge against her to be dropped.
At 19:43:34 in PoliticsThe UK Independence Party has suspended a council candidate featured in its latest election broadcast for sharing "repellent" opinions on Twitter.
At 19:30:52 in EnglandTwo men have been jailed for abusing young boys over three decades at two North East residential schools.
At 19:25:46 in WalesA new maternity unit has opened at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth as part of changes to neonatal services.
At 19:21:42 in HeadlinesAn exceptionally bright supernova that baffled scientists has been explained.
At 19:21:07 in SportDavid Pipe has left Newport County after coming to an agreement to end his contract with the League Two club.
At 19:01:51 in BusinessBankers' bonuses are not what they were.
At 19:01:04 in ScotlandPolice are appealing for witnesses after new information came to light over a sexual assault in Polmont.
At 18:57:24 in HeadlinesKenyan MPs are debating a proposal to make it a criminal offence to address an official incorrectly at a state function.
At 18:56:18 in SportChelsea midfielder Ramires will miss the rest of the Premier League season after he accepted a charge of violent conduct.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Robert Owen: Ceremony marks social reformer's work [Online] (Updated 12th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1428140/Robert-Owen-Ceremony-marks-social-reformers-work [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Kenyan MPs are debating a proposal to make it a criminal offence to address an official incorrectly at a state function.
Director Peter Jackson has changed the title of the final film in his Hobbit trilogy from There and Back Again to The Battle of the Five Armies.
A new maternity unit has opened at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth as part of changes to neonatal services.
Skin grown in the laboratory can replace animals in drug and cosmetics testing, UK scientists say.
The UK Independence Party has suspended a council candidate featured in its latest election broadcast for sharing "repellent" opinions on Twitter.
Police are appealing for witnesses after new information came to light over a sexual assault in Polmont.