" />
Web Hosting
Based on Contemporary Accounts 
Written by distinguished Huddersfield Author Ronnie Bray
Author's rough early notes viewable HERE
Luddite Spring is now being completed and edited


“I continue to think that
not only will this book be important
but will also make a great, epic movie.”
Dr Sharron Goldman-Walker







Round about the imprisoning mill, row on row on row of exceptionally unpretentious houses crowd together as if trying to hold off the dampness and cold of the fading winter night as another cold dawn breaks in 1811 as the old year struggles towards its close. Shadows cast by weak dawn sunshine sweep the mean streets before intensifying when the sun is fully grown in the sky on days when it breaks through the almost constant grey clouds. Daylight, grey at best, brings little cheer to the drab souls that wrap their scanty clothing around them to fend off the winter’s biting wind. They hope against hope that it neither snows nor rains before they scuttle back into their cheerless homes when their errands are done. 

Nine out of ten beds in the town had been abandoned hours earlier when the night sky was still as black as Hell’s nightcap and the occupants rose to face the labours of the day, impelled by the fear that if they failed to work they would starve at a faster rate than they already did. Hastily throwing on their ragged garments, they ate a dry crust and drank water or the turning dregs of yesterday’s milk before stepping into the darkness carrying the smallest of their sleepy children as older ones plodded along behind as if newly risen from the dead and not yet accustomed to walking. Those still abed are unfit for labour because they are either babes in arms, broken in mind or body, elderly frail, or incapable of raising their limbs to the demands of the mechanised mill that broke them. 

Few of the bedraggled souls that trudge the mean streets towards their workplaces speak to their fellows because sleep-seized limbs and minds are not yet fully operational. They are doomed to repeat the dreary pantomime from Monday to Saturday: poor lifeless creatures whose prospects grow not fairer with the passing of time. 

As we behold the actors whose lives we follow, it is anticipated that our sympathy will not fail us as we observe their condition, mark their cynical exploitation, note their beggarly rewards, recognise their crushed hopes, sense their despair, and grieve at their unchanging failure to be blessed except by Death’s welcome summons. 

Each event described in this story has been experienced at one time or another during the time frame of the story. Many of them have been the common experiences of innumerable souls. There is nothing in the sum and substance of their experiences that owes anything to misunderstanding or romanticism. It is told in the same humour as it was lived. It is hoped that by our empathy with the men, women, and children whose lives we follow we will become the guarantors that nothing like it ever happens again, but, if it does, that we will not allow it to continue one moment longer than it takes us to move into action and cause its demise. We can do not less. 


It would be folly to suggest that the Huddersfield Luddite story begins where I begin it, or that it ends where I have written ‘The End,’ because nothing could be further from the truth. Its beginnings lie too far back for us to do more than darkly hint at them, and its end is as far away as its beginning is. I have painted a picture of the time, a slice of history that is personalised and localised with broad strokes of my brush on a dynamic canvas that has captured events, personalities, currents, and real lives in the brief period in which my novel is drawn.  


An early, unedited copy of the original manuscript is serialised in weekly instalments at:



Ronnie Bray

Huddersfield born Luddite







Ronnie Bray was born in Huddersfield in January 1935

He attended Spring Grove Elementary School, that is  when he condescended to attend. The School marked him as one of their signal failures.

After holding down - or holding up - a whole lot of different jobs, including two terms of service in the British Armed Forces, he entered Leeds University as a mature student, read Theology and Religious Studies, and was awarded an honours degree.

He also holds:


  • Certificate of IT [Cantab.]
  • Certificate of Matriculation [Northern Universities]
  • British Army Certificates of Education Classes III, II, and I
  • Diploma in Social Sciences 
  • Several speeding tickets [all of which have been satisfied]

Upon his retirement from NMA Ltd in January 2000 he began writing.

He has had hundreds of stories and articles published in a  variety of e-zines, not all of which sought his permission to reproduce them!, and has a world-wide following.

[See 'LINKS' ]


He began writing "Luddite Spring" about two years ago and has almost exhausted all scholarly and contemporary accounts of Luddites and Luddism and continues to add to the novel that now stands at 169,000 words. It should be completed soon [sigh], but he said that a year ago and it remains a work in progress and a sacred challenge to be the voice of the voiceless who suffered economic and social slavery in the name of progress and profit.

Ronnie expects to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he has been disappointed in his hopes before, so no sadness or tears if he isn't short listed. Shakespeare didn't manage to pull a Nobel Prize either!


Having said that, it is an extremely serious work, a piece of long overdue social comment in the voices of those at the bottom of the economic heap during the early phases of England's Industrial Revolution. It is painful to even read about their plight, but now it is time to tell their stories. Luddite Spring does that with elan and realism. 


Former Member/Officer of:~

Transport & General Workers Union [Organiser, Works Convenor, Branch Secretary]

Confederation of Health Service Employees

Royal College off Nursing [St Clement's Hospital, Ipswich Organiser, Student Section Leader, Branch Chairman, Newsletter Editor]

The Boy Scouts 

The Boy's Brigade

Huddersfield Corporation Youth Club

Alfie Cleaving's Health & Strength Club

Herbert Sykes' Huddersfield Wrestling Club

Frank [Big Bruno] Elrington's Wrestling Gymnasium Pompey


The British Red Cross Youth Section

The Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers [Active Service in Egypt & Cyprus]

Royal Armoured Corps - Royal Tank Regiment

Royal Army Medical Corps

Leeds University Society of Theologians

Mr Pickles Weekly Payments Club

Ravensthorpe Auctions Fan Club [Oscar & Bill Crowe]

Peter West's Gang of Two

The Automibile Association [AA]

Kirklees Inter Faith Council [Hon. Sec.] 

Equity - as -  Ray Buck - Country Singer Extraordinaire

Winner Butlin's Filey Talent Competition

Winner Black Bull Birkby Talent Competition

Winner Mirfield WMC Talent Competition

Runner Up Filey Holiday Camp Talent Competition

Etc. ............................................





"Enoch makes them, and     Enoch Shall break them!"