Reader Rebecca has sent me this snap of the Gazunder's lovely editor Rebecca Smith [Are they by any chance related? - Ed] giving it some acting welly in a recent performance in Ash. Smiffy, as her fans know her, trained to tread the boards before becoming a journo, and was playing a role in the Ash Heritage Group's Swing Riots walkabout production.
Which got me thinking. What on earth were the 'Swing Riots'? Well, it turns out they were a kind of rural offshoot of the Luddites. Instead of burning factories, the Swing Rioters were more interested in burning the evil threshing machines, and it all started here in Kent. Indeed, given its name, Ash may well have been the epicentre!
Isn't it nice to know that the time-honoured tradition of arson in these parts can be traced back so far? Albeit these days it's more likely to be a fun park, a listed building awaiting development, or both that gets the old Swan Vesta and a can of five star treatment!
Ash Heritage Group's Swing Riots performance
Swing Riots on Wikipedia