In a music hall in a remote part of Manchester, 1894, a man named Michael Bradding had called an emergency meeting.
At first glance, he looked like a beggar, his pale features haggard and drawn. His clothes were torn and shabby, his matted hair a giant tangle, yet he had the power to capture these people in his speech - the instant he began to talk, the others in the room were hooked, trapped in his words.
“Just because we will not put up with these conditions does not mean that we are criminals. We are no lower than them, the rich, the righteous. We will fight back! We will not live with this!”
A roar of approval filled the hall.
“And if they think,” Bradding continued, “that we are going to put up with this- this utter stupidity, they are wrong. Who stands with me? Who will be brave and fight with me? Who will come on our journey to find the Ice Island, to start a new life?”
His piercing eyes scanned the audience.
Then, with one last glance around, he added quietly,
Slowly, Bradding's supporters seeped out of the music hall until it was deserted. Last, he himself left. The meeting had been satisfactory.