Hydra Books in Bristol's Old Market got off to a stirring start yesterday. We arrived for the opening just before three; the shop was packed with people squinting at the shelves of books and slim red pamphlets through the November afternoon gloom- the power was down while someone busily connected up the light cables- then all was bright and noisy with electric drills and the setting out of chairs, coffee and lemon drizzle cake, and we were up and running!
Ian Bone talked about some of the lesser-known people who were involved in the revolutions of 1919. It was stirring stuff, people largely forgotten by history who dedicated and often lost their lives for an ideal. Ian is a lively and charismatic speaker, and the audience seemed disposed to like him anyway. Me, certainly.
It'll be interesting to see how the shop develops. It has the makings of something good. Reminds me a bit of the lost lamented Greenleaf, or Compendium.
Afterwards, Mal introduced me to Ian. (Mal, as I'm sure I've remarked before, knows everyone in Brizzle). And I remembered when I'd first seen Ian. It was at Ashton Court Festival, the year of the Hartcliffe riots, and he was wandering around the festival site distributing Class War leaflets. But he'd ignored me because I was wearing a Barbour jacket *cough cough* ...and I felt a bit nettled because I always fancied myself as a bit of a revolutionary. Though not as much as the SWSO types who lived upstairs from me in Portsmouth and got drunk on Fridays nights and had long and noisy arguments which went along the lines of "I'm a better socialist than you are!"
I forgive you, though, Ian.