St Michael's Road


Hannen Swaffer - Visit to Northampton

Hannen Swaffer was a famous journalist who variously worked on the Daily Mail; Weekly Despatch; Daily Sketch; Daily Graphic; The People; Daily Express and Daily Herald from 1903 until the 1950's.  He was a socialist, but resigned from the Labour Party in 1957. five years before he passed.  He became a Spiritualist and wrote a number of books on the subject beginning with Northcliffe's Return in 1925.  Because of his interest he was known as "the Pope of Fleet Street".  Imagine what it would be like to have such a figure working for us today!

The photograph below was taken when he visited Northampton on 22nd September 1929  to give a talk at the Exchange Cinema, later the Gaumont Cinema, now Moon on the Square in the Market Square.   This followed a service at the old Manchester Unity Hall, Newland to a packed house, no doubt involving Miss Potts as medium.  
Swaffer was accompanied by his friend and fellow journalist, Maurice Barbanell, the trance medium of his Home Circle, through whom the Spirit guide, Silver Birch, spoke for many years.

Standing:  L to R - Councillor EJ Wright (Chairman); Maurice Barbanell; Hannen Swaffer; Mr AC Ives (Church President); Mr H Reed (Church Vice-President)
Sitting:  Mrs Swaffer; Miss Potts (Medium)

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