Hyde Park is home to Speaker’s Corner which is on the North-Easter edge of the park. Marble Arch is only a stone’s throw distance from Speakers’ Corner. Hyde Park is a simple premise known for public speaking and debate. People came to the park to lawfully speak about different subjects. Hyde Park’s proximity to Marble Arch tube station meant that speakers would always have an audience. The park was a premise for animated debates and free speech.
Hyde Park has an impressive history as it was born out of a revolution. Hyde Park was and is still a symbol of democracy. In the mid-nineteenth century, a protest broke out over the Sunday Trading Bill. This Bill forbade people from buying or selling on Sunday. There were riots on the North-Easter corner of Hyde Park as people were protesting against this bill.
Chartists were protesting over the rights of workers in Hyde Park. The government banned a rally organised by the Radical Reforms League, but they broke into Hyde Park anyway and questioned the nature and control of public spaces. This was dabbed the Hyde Park Railing Affair, a contribution to Hyde Park’s legacy.
Marble Arch- Used as a Temporary Holding Cell
Protests went on for many days, and the police made several arrests in Hyde Park. Marble Arch was used as a temporary holding cell. The people used Hyde Park as a platform to exercise their freedom of speech and fight for the rights of workers. This was the epicentre for the voice of the public at the time.
Speakers’ Corner- Tradition Born, Accompanied by Legislation
Due to the pressure on the government, people were allowed to have public meetings at Hyde Park. Parks Regulation Act of 1972 backed this permit. Therefore, Speakers’ Corner being a premise for public speaking and debate was tradition born accompanied by legislation. Some of the orators that frequently spoke at Speakers’ corner at the time include;
- Vladimir Lenin
- Karl Marx
- William Morris
People still come to Speakers’ Corner on Sunday mornings to talk about different topics. An audience is always gathered here, to listen to enthusiasts expound their views. Speakers’ Corner is open to speakers and listeners to talk and dissent about topics they are passionate.
Speakers’ Corner is a premise open to the public for public speaking and debates. Different orators come here to talk to a gathered audience. Hyde Park, home to Speakers’ Corner has an impressive history that tells the story of a people who fought for workers’ rights. Marble Arch was used as a temporary holding cell in the mid-nineteenth century as people protested against the Sunday Trading Bill.