Sunday, 25 October 2015

More from the Leicester People's Assault Column, The Leicester Irish

Yes indeed another unit has been added to the Leicester People's Assault Column and this unit is a unique even within the ranks of the Leicester PAC as every member of the unit is Irish or their have Irish heritage, but more of this shortly. But firstly, why Irish? Well the answer for this quite simple, firstly Leicester has a large Irish community and secondly, I'm Irish too.

The Leicester Irish Workers, is the latest unit recruited of the Leicester PAC, being recruited from the Irish workers of Leicester, the steel workers from Corby as well volunteers from both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The one thing is common with all the members of this unit, which is evident from the flag, is that they are all members of either the Independent Labour Party, if living in Britain or the Irish Republican Socialist Party, if from Ireland. Also there is rumours that members of this unit are also members of the IRA, but whether this is true or not is not known.

The commander of the Leicester Irish Workers, is James "Red Paddy" Walsh was an active and some say militant, trade union leader of the Transport and General Workers Union in Leicester before the start of the civil war. He is a very charismatic leader, a great orator and a driven, hard working man who came over to Britain during the mid 20s, shorter after the end of the Irish Civil War. Not a lot is known why Red Paddy came to Britain after the civil war and James Walsh has never stated why, but there is some evidence that maybe he was a member of the IRA during the Irish War of Independence and the civil war.

Walsh since coming to Leicester has worked for workers rights and getting a better deal and standard for all workers which has meant that his has drifted to the left and has also meant that once the Civil War brought in Britain he was very quick to help in the forming of workers militias based around the factories and the branch. Red Paddy was the leader who raised the workers to stop the boots consignment from being delivered to the British Union of Fascists at the start of the war and was instrumental in Leicester aligning with the Socialist League and actively fighting the King's Government and particularly the BUF.

All this meant that Walsh came to attention of the PAC Commander Corbain, who after a private meeting agree to raise an unit for the Irish workers in the area, who are members of the ILP, LP and IRSP. This meant that these soldiers are hard fighters, especially in hand to hand, and have a espirit de corp based on their shared backgrounds and political belief.

The uniforms of the Leicester Irish Workers is based upon the uniforms of the Irish Free State, with the Mauser rifles actually being supplied by the Free State because of the Irish link. The actually uniform and the equipment is made by the city's textile industry in the Socialist Green that Corbain insists all PAC forces in Leicester wear.

The figures that I have used are the Polish, 10th Motorised Brigade from Wargame Lord games, actually this is the unit that I won from Templars Crusade You Tube Channel as these chaps fit the Irish Free State uniform look that I was looking for. By the way I can recommend that you should check Templars Crusade channel, especially if you like Bolt Action or Warhammer 40K.

Have a nice day


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Running a Forum and the fun and "fun" that it is

I'm sure a few of you know besides my many things I do, like painting figures, terrain building, illustrations, helping edit Wargame Bloggers Quarterly, etc, I also run and manage a forum about the interwar period in general and specifically 1938 A Very British Civil War called A Very British Civil Forum, sorry for the shameless plug there.

Now I have been running this forum with the help of a couple of friends for the last four plus years and it has been a lot of fun and I have met some lovely and interesting people, some of which I am happy to call friends. But if you asked me four years ago if you thought that you would be running the forum now I have to admit I didnt. Also if you asked me how much time and effort this forum would take up I think I would of answered "well not a lot of time". Well I am glad to say it is still hear but it dont half take up a lot of my time, by the way I am not moaning about that as I love running it.

Now are forums important for games and players of the games or will players naturally arrange stuff for themselves on various platforms? Now I guess this should of been the question I should of asked myself four years ago when me and friend decided to open the forum. I guess we actually did in a way as A Very British Civil Forum was born as we had a very good forum previously called Gentlemen's Wargames Parlour, which is still about and was the home of VBCW for a number of years but a number of problems with the forum, mainly that the forum was down more often than not, led to us opening up your one. If you like your forums I can recommend GWP3 as a good forum that cover a number of historical topics and periods.

So wide eyed we opened up the new forum and it took about a year to get the format correct and in fact I am always adding new stuff and taking down old stuff to make it better and fresher. Now this is one of the things about running a forum, you might of come up with the idea, you might be the driving force behind it and you might feel that you are the one doing everything for everyone, but the forum is not YOUR forum, it is the users forum and you should listen to what they say. After all the members are the one ones that use it, comment, start discussions, etc, all you have done is provided a place for them to do so.

In my case, VBCF, is easy to have and do because it is linked to a wargaming period and a niche at that, with no competition from other forums and fully backed for the authors of the game, which helps. I can imagine that a forum about general wargaming would be much harder to do, get members, need more work put in, etc, as the competition with other forums and alike. Just look at Lead Adventure Forum and see just how many different topics there is and the number of moderators too. But all of this is rewarding, knowing that you have helped bring people from around the world together and build a community around it.

But there is a down, darker side to running a forum and that when things are not going so well. Recently VBCF servers went down for a few days, along with the support forums from the hosts. This is a nightmare, no forum and no-one to contact about it. Usually when there is a outage, the support forum as still up and running so you can contact them and also it only last 24 hours at the most. Now this outage lasted a few days, three days and then a couple days after to get it up and running correctly. Now the first time I usually find out that the forum is not want in when I start receiving emails from members asking what is wrong with the forum, and in my case on Facebook on the VBCW page, through Facebook messenger, texts, you name it, I received it, okay I didnt get a carrier pigeon or a brick through the window, but you get the picture. Now you can do is answer the correspondences raised and contact the forum providers for updates. I have to say I with lucky as the forum hosts,, had a Facebook page and had gone to the trouble of setting up a support forum on another hosts so we could find information, report problems and read the updates and progress of the fix. Now this is important so you can them relay this information back to your members so they know what it happening, because it is easy to loose members to a forum not being available, thinking that it is closed for good or I dont care.

But it is all back, running and everything is fine. So what is the point of this post, well it is a bit of information really about running a forum and what fun it is but it is hard work. If you every would to take up a similar challenge and create a forum yourself, my advise is have a long, hard think about it, as it is a lot my work than you think but it is rewarding. Its something that you should find like minded people to give you a hand with the running of it and gosh the internet does half make that part easier, people will offer there help anyway after a while so the help is always there. But go for it and see if it works and if it does fine and if not again it is not a big loss.

I hope you find this of some use.

Have a nice day.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Bert Cockshaw, Leicester Trade Union Leader and Activist

Bert Cockshaw was a miner and active in the General Strike in the North East. Unemployment forced him to move finding work in Birmingham and Coventry before moving to Leicester, where he worked in several different factories, eventually becoming shop steward for the Transport and General Workers Union.

A Communist Party member who was active in the 1930s and 40s. He was expelled from the Trades Council in the 1930s for his party membership. In 1937, he became secretary of the short-lived Unity Campaign, between the C.P., I.L.P. Socialist League and other left organisations. The local Communist Party banner was inscribed with is name.

He was active in the unemployed and anti-fascist movement in Leicester from around 1932. In August 1936, he was arrested and removed from the platform by the police whilst speaking in the Market Place. He was summoned for ‘shouting and behaving in a disorderly way,’ - the case was dismissed.

Not long after, he volunteered to fight with the International Brigade in Spain, but returned to Leicester on the outbreak of the British Civil War where he organised the Leicester Miners into a Militia.

Coming soon Irish Volunteers for the Leicester PAC.

Have a good day


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Bus Stop 1930s style

Now I know this isn't the most exciting post ever posted but actually it is something that has been missing from my tables and terrain collection and it had to be rectified. So looking through warbases excellent range I noticed that they did a wood shed and I thought, light bulb moment , I wonder if that could double for a bus stop so I ordered one. I assembled it rather sharpish and added a bench across the back of it from the leftover MDF and set to painting it and I think it has come up rather well. Simply adding a bus stop sign, thats why there is one of the roads signs I have recently done and jobs done. What you you think?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A bit of Road Signage

Now I should of been working on a couple of commissions but what with work taking up my time at the moment, I'm deputising for my manager for the last ten weeks, which has been fun but stressful, the rugby world cup, Come on Ireland and other personal things happening in my life, I am feeling the need to get things done getting all a little to much. So sorry to those who are waiting on commissions I will be getting around to them shortly. Anyway enough of that and what I have been doing.

So I have been creating road signs by using some very interesting and useful websites, chiefly this one Petra's RSI Pages, which is totally amazing and the sheet that a freind did some time ago. This is the results and I am totally chuffed with them. The places are local to me and my game. What do you think?

Have a nice day.

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