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 17:58:58 in HeadlinesOne of Venezuela's main opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, has told a judge in Caracas that his trial on charges of inciting violence will be a test for the country's democracy.
At 17:53:55 in SportSir Bradley Wiggins was denied a first Commonwealth Games gold as Australia beat England in the final of the 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow.
At 17:53:22 in SportJersey's Dan Halksworth finished in 17th place in the Commonwealth Games triathlon, despite impressing on the bike section in Glasgow.
At 17:51:59 in EnglandA list of possible gypsy and traveller sites in Teesside has been rejected by councillors.
At 17:48:27 in SportSecond qualifying round, second leg
At 17:44:39 in HeadlinesSouth Africa's Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found a public school guilty of hate speech towards black and mixed-race pupils.
At 17:44:05 in ScotlandA drugs mule from Ayr has been jailed for three years after he admitted attempting to smuggle heroin worth almost £13,000 into Shetland.
At 17:40:20 in EnglandThe father and brother of one of the Newcastle United fans who died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed have returned from the Netherlands.
At 17:39:09 in EntertainmentThe immersive film-experience company, Secret Cinema, has cancelled the opening night of a special screening of 1980s film Back To The Future.
At 17:32:48 in SportAustralia's Anna Meares won her seventh Commonwealth medal as she took gold in the women's 500m time trial.
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 Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
Taxpayers could be hit with a bill for up to £700m after the government reportedly lost a legal battle with Fujitsu over a failed NHS IT system.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its forecast for global economic growth this year, from 3.7% to 3.4%.
A list of possible gypsy and traveller sites in Teesside has been rejected by councillors.
Part of Aberavon beach has been cordoned following the discovery of a man's body.
As if there isn't enough to organise for the big day.
Twitter has become the latest tech firm to admit that most of its staff members are men.