Edmund Wheatley

Edmund Wheatley is a retired headteacher who came to Speakers’ Corner after attending the Methodist chapel where Donald Soper ministered. Impressed, he set up his own platform in 1960 called the British Association for World Government, arguing for a democratic chamber at the United Nations. He still speaks now. His wife attends out of “marital duty.” He was asked to give lecture tours in Germany and Japan on the strength of his performances at Speakers’ Corner. “When you go to Speakers’ Corner your words are thrown out on the wind. You don’t know what the effects are but you mustn’t assume they’re negligible,” he says. He talks about hangings at Tyburn, the arrival of the Nation of Islam in the 1980s, the “incredible cross-section of people” today, occasional incidents of unrest, the “gentler” nature of modern heckling, debate moving onto the internet, and the “I’m saved, you’re not” mentality of religious speakers.

Audio of Edmund

Argentines

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“Pig-dog was always the last"

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Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

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© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

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© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

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Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

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