Thomas Attwood

Thomas Attwood

Thomas Attwood (6 October 1783 – 9 March 1859), was a British economist and strong campaigner for electoral reform.

He was born in Halesowen, and attended Halesowen Grammar School (now Earls High School) before being moved to Wolverhampton Grammar School. Following years of hardship for his home city, he founded the Birmingham Political Union in 1830. This was a political organization campaigning for cities, and large towns such as Birmingham, to be directly represented in Parliament. The Birmingham Political Union was foremost among groups lobbying the government for the passage of the Reform Bill to achieve this aim. After its success he became the first MP for Birmingham on 12 December 1832, a position he held until 1839.

He died in Malvern, Worcestershire. His 1993 bronze statue sits, having left his plinth, and scattered his bronze pages, on the steps of Chamberlain Square in Birmingham.

Attwood Street, a residential street in Halesowen, commemorates his achievements.

Attwood Award

The Attwood Award was created by Barbara Panvel, a resident of Solihull, in 2002.

Inaugural lectures by Sir Adrian Cadbury, who set up the Aston and Birmingham Democracy Commissions and James Robertson, who received the 2003 Pio Manzu International Research Centre’s Gold Award from Mikhail Gorbachev for his “remarkable contribution to the promotion of a new economics grounded in social and spiritual values”

2003One award went to Pauline Hodgetts for her voluntary community work in deprived areas, including the preservation of a swimming baths, the restoration of a Victorian Park and the setting up of a mobile education facility for parents in school grounds which later became a recognised further education college. The other went to Sabine Kurjo McNeill, who started the lecture series Turning Points (continued as Alternatives) At St. James’s Church Piccadilly, the Green Money Network as the first LETS and the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords, which has offered a platform for so many with concerns akin to those of Thomas Attwood.

2004Regional produce and skills, recorded in an Attwood Directory, were celebrated as people gathered to present food, drink or a product, produced in the West Midlands. Local historian, broadcaster, author and active supporter of the region’s economy, Professor Carl Chinn, was introduced by John Johansen-Berg of the Bromsgrove Group. Carl spoke about the social, economic and environmental importance of strengthening local economies everywhere. Thomas Attwood worked long and hard to promote the economic prosperity of the region.

Rev. John Johansen-Berg chaired the annual events at the Birmingham and Midland Institute from 2002-4.

2005On December 12th, Patrick and Sylvia Shaw (a descendant of Thomas Attwood) celebrated the creation or preservation of over 1,700 jobs by the Aston Reinvestment Trust (ART). They presented a brass plaque handcrafted by Harry Eyles, formerly of the Jewellery Quarter. See press release on which Birmingham Post & Mail reports were based.

2006On November 24th Attwood awards Fred Carpenter was given the major award for his design for a development on the former Territorial Army site in Haslucks Green Road which would be of real benefit to the people and shop-keepers of Shirley. The judges were Sir Adrian Cadbury, MP Lorely Burt, George Morran and Alan Clawley.

2007In February and March four Fair Deal Awards were given to buyers who gave food producers a fair price.

Lynda Whitcombe of Plantation Cottage Herbs [growers & processors] nominated Helen Saunders and Capers in Pershore High Street who give a fair price for the firm’s products.

Andrew Hemming of Obelisk Farm, Hockley Heath, nominated Waitrose because it gives 3p more per litre for milk than other supermarkets. However, the middleman passes on a poor price to the farmer.

Charlotte and Ben Hollins of Fordhall Farm, Shropshire, are selling all produce [meat and eggs] through their farm shop, so nominated all these customers.

Brian Swift of Hazel Farm, Bickenhill, is selling beef direct at Rugby Market to get a better return. An award was given to this market which offers the facility for producers to get a fair price.

Austin Mitchell MP received the Award in the House of Commons on April 22, to honour his continued commitment to monetary reform as Chairman of the Forum for Stable Currencies.


* [ Biography]

*Member of Parliament

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