The Banner Lady

So we waved our hands as we marched along
And the people smiled as we sang our song
And the world was saved as they listened to the band
And the Banner-Man held the banner high

He was ten feet tall and he touched the sky
And I wish that I could be a Banner-Man

(The Bannerman – Blue Mink 1971)

I have often repeated that the difficulty of trying to acknowledge the contribution of so many people that ultimately led to the GLO and the overturning of so many convictions is that it is too easy to miss out some people.  That is why I usually refer to Alan Bates as the key individual while acknowledging the many others’ contribution collectively.

However, I was recently reminded of what many (including me) might have passed off as a somewhat innocuous contribution by one of the leading lights in the campaign for justice to date.   A world class investigative journalist who is currently scribing a book on the scandal (I forget his name but you can buy a pre-release copy here https://bathpublishing.com/products/the-great-post-office-scandal-first ) pointed out the obvious to me and the unbelievable importance of the banners to the media that appeared outside the courts on the various days of reckoning.    Without them, the images of the happy subpostmasters in the photographs would require an explanation in text.    A brief glimpse of a bannerless photo would not convey any message at all to the public.  

So here is a test for you all just to see how important these banners were:

Google ‘subpostmasters’ and click on the images tab

Then you will see that the majority of the images found contain the aforementioned banners.

Right click on any of those images and select ‘search google for image’ 

Only then you will see not only how relevant the banners are but how far their image has spread around the world.  They have been used thousands and thousands of times.   Their importance cannot be denied, particularly if you search for a subpostmaster image not containing the banner.

So for once let me single out one very special person for praise and such an important contribution to the spreading of the story of the scandal in the media – our very own Eleanor Shaikh who designed and paid for both banners herself (apparently even her own husband is unaware that she did this!)

An absolutely inspired and significant contribution that deserves recognition. 

4 thoughts on “The Banner Lady

  1. Certainly highlighting a very wonderful and very supportive person here Tim. But also you must point out the amazing work El has done in uncovering a large number of documents and information that would have remained hidden without her work. She really is a star.

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  2. Tim, excellent of course to highlight the selfless support from third parties, but maybe this needs fact checking as I believe the turquoise banner and all of the turquoise face masks were made and brought by one of the ex-SPM’s who had already had his conviction quashed last year, he had travelled from Teesside I believe just to stand in support. Someone I am sure will know his name.

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    • My apologies to you Jennifer and to Chris. I think there was a misunderstanding with Eleanor when I asked if she had paid for them. I also missed out Chris Head and his T Shirts so all in all not my best piece but the message about the importance of the banners cannot be underestimated so well done to all. Cheers, Tim

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