"New Lanark: monument to "Visionary Socialism"" Lanark by NiceLife

Lanark Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 85 photos

No trouble 't mill

Robert Owen, visionary socialist mill manager 1800-1825 provided his mill workers with a community of decent homes, a school for their children, free health care, and affordable food. In return, they worked their socks off turning flax into wool, so that, generations later, visiting American tourists could buy chunky knit sweaters to keep out the perishing cold and Scottish rain.

In remote Dumfries and Galloway sits this theme park dedicated to "benevolent and caring capitalism", distanced in time and space from overseas competition, the low-wage economies of the far east, soaring oil prices, and other troubles of the modern world. "Visionary Socialism" - words like a dog whistle to todays European socialists - you can see their ears prick up, as they rushed to contribute regional funds for conservation and restoration of this beacon to their ideals.

A world class heritage centre - twin to New Harmony, Indiana.

New Buildings, 1798

Isn't it great when you come across something over 200 years old describing itself as "new"? Of course, in its time it was "new", so its accurate, in a relative sort of way. Trouble is it looks new, as in "restored to remove the reality of age"

Forever young. Sponsored by L'Oreal

Community

Collectivism, community, communalism, whatever you call it, I could not convince myself of theauthenticity of this presentation. Happy respectul and most important grateful workers. Cheery bosses.

Mornin' Mr Owen, sir".
"Ah Duncan, morning. Hows' the wife - and the new baby"?
"Both doing fine sir, thank you sir"
"Well, be along with you Duncan. I can't be chatting all day. Got to get that new health care plan for the millworkers organised."
"Thank you very much, Mr Owen, sir."

Its just not gritty enough for me. I want to see hardship, suffering, life as brutal nasty and short. This is "Disney does Industrialisation". You need bosses to be bad (which fortunately today, many are).

Take Two; Quentin Tarrentino in the Directors Chair.

Mrs Owen (Sharon Stone) : "Bobby honey, at Gradgrind Mills down the road, that Hetty Snodgrass, the millowner's wife, she's sporting a new fur coat. And them back from their second holiday this year. You're too good to those workers, Bobby. Sometimes, I think you care more about them than us! "

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:World Heritage site - perfect restoration.
  • Cons:Slick
  • In a nutshell:Worth the effort if you are in the region
  • Last visit to Lanark: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 4, 2006
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Comments (1)

  • kathymof's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2006 at 9:08 PM

    Glad you enjoyed Lanark - it really is truly historic and has had an impact on so many lives clear up to the present day. He was truly ahead of his time. Kathy

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