Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Online Resources for Radical Historians (1)

1. Appeals Against Conscription in Scotland, First World War

Some Military Service Appeals Tribunal records are now available on ScotlandsPeople, as follows:
"Now available to search are 7,977 index entries relating to the Appeal cases of 5,820 men seeking exemption from military service between 1916 and 1918. Fully searchable by name, address, grounds, and occupation, the index is FREE* to search, offering access to a little-known series of records which are of importance to family and military historians alike. Each record is a full colour facsimile of the Appeal case documents, and for an introductory period, are only 10 credits (2.33GBP) to view. Find out more about the Military Service Appeals Tribunal Records.

*Index for Military Service Appeals Tribunal Records is free to search. Images are chargeable and can be viewed for 10 credits per document until 3 December 2015, and will cost 20 credits per document thereafter. "

[Unlike the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal records, these are unfortunately not free to download. Credits can be purchased on the website in batches of 30 for £7.]

"The Military Service Tribunal system was set up under the Military Service Act 1916, which set down the terms for mandatory military service and came into force on 2 March 1916. The new Military Service Act required all adult males, aged 18-41, to register for military service unless they were married, widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in a reserved occupation. From 1916, volunteers and conscripted men seeking exemption from military service could apply to Tribunals for temporary, conditional or permanent exemption. The Military Service Appeals Tribunal Records cover the Local Tribunal areas of Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders. Other chance survivals exist, including papers from the Ross, Cromarty and Sutherland (Lewis Section) Appeal Tribunal, which are preserved as part of Stornoway Sheriff Court records."

"Each set of case papers should include an appeal form, local tribunal application form and a notice of decision form which confirms the final decision of the Appeal Tribunal. The appeal application form gives the address, age and occupation in most cases. Some appeals papers include additional correspondence in support of the appeal. For some entries the appeal papers themselves do not survive, but related applications for medical re-examination have survived. This will be indicated in the relevant index entries. Applications for medical re-examination include the name of a person, address, occupation, age and the result of the examination."

"A minority of the cases were appeals made by conscientious objectors..."
Among the sample case studies presented on the website, one or two are of particular interest in relation to other material on this blog, on opposition to the war:-

 Robert Logan, a 21 year old coalminer from Tranent, was a conscientious objector. Applications on the ground of Conscientious Objection had to be supported with proof of ‘genuine conscientious conviction’ as set out in an official form. (Robert Logan, HH30/28/1/20)
In support of his appeal, Robert Logan wrote:
“In claiming exemption from Military Service I do so because as an International Socialist I believed it is immoral for man to take from his fellow man that which he cannot replace or return & as this presently applies to all human life I regard all such life as sacred & war immoral in the extreme. I believe in International Brotherhood not as an idle dream but as a social ideal possible of achievement. The workers of the world are bound by all the ties that bind kindred & more. They have the same aspirations & the same ideals & co-operate together with one another to add to the worlds store of happiness. No matter how perfidious Governments or our iniquitous press may disguise these facts & no matter how successful they may be in temporarily for their own material motives (Witness the "Secret Treaties" published by the Russian Bolshevik Government) in persuading certain groups of workers to hate one another & to act viciously towards one another & to act viciously towards one another I will not be a party to their crime against humanity.”
 This passionate expression of his ethics was effective. The Tribunal were unanimous that his convictions were sincere and he was granted exemption from combatant service on 11 May 1918. He died in Tranent in 1943, aged 49. 
[Robert Logan does not show up on the Pearce Register online]

Thirty-six year old Malcolm Martin was originally from Stornoway but by 1916 was working as a shepherd in Punta Arenas, South America. A temporary holiday back to the Isle of Lewis led to Malcolm’s appeal submitted 25 February 1916. (Malcolm Martin, SC33/62/1/34) 
“The appellant is a shepherd who came to Lewis on a visit shortly before the outbreak of the present war. He was not therefore ‘ordinarily resident’ in Great Britain on August 15 last and the Military Service Act does not apply to him. Further, he was engaged in his occupation as a Shepherd at Punta Arenas, South America and when making said visit to Lewis his intention was and is to return to Punta Arenas where he has a troop of horses and other property – all his property and interests are situated there and Some are now requiring Appellants personal attention”.
As he was not ordinarily resident and his business remained in Argentina, Malcolm applied for absolute exemption on grounds of serious hardship. His appeal was refused on 31 March 1916 “in respect that applicant doesn’t come within the exceptions specified in the first schedule to the Military Service Act 1916”.
Martin’s appeal was unsuccessful and he subsequently drowned with many other returning soldiers* when HMY Iolaire sank in The Minch, close to its destination, Stornoway, off the north-western coast of Scotland on 1 January 1919.
[*In fact most of the men lost were sailors who had been serving in the Royal Naval Reserve.]

Case studies as above are accompanied by images of extracts from the relevant documents.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Alan Woodward: Research / Archives Catalogue at the Bishopsgate Institute Library

(Alan was one of the Radical History Network convenors, Tottenham resident & activist)  

Now open for visits to view his collection of writings related to local actions, protests and strikes, minutes of local meetings, pamphlets, notes and more. See below and pdf here for more detail of contentsThe contents are stored in boxes, available to view in the library on request. They are not yet fully archived, which is a very extensive and specialist process which the library hope to undertake in the future.

Opening hours Mon - Fri, 10am-5.30pm  - Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH

ALAN WOODWARD Tottenham resident & activist (1939-2012)

Administrative/Biographical History:

Alan Woodward was born in London but was evacuated during the second world war. His extended family eventually settled in Broadstairs, Kent. He began to rebel during his national service, joining the tiny Socialist Review Group (later becoming the International Socialists, and then becoming the Socialist Workers Party) while training to be a teacher and remained a member for 40 years. While living in Tottenham, north London, in 1964, Woodward was the driving force in a campaign which set up tenants' associations across the borough to combat rent increases. He later moved to Coventry, where he took an MA at Warwick University and became a trade-union studies tutor, a role he continued until retirement, training hundreds of shop stewards.In the 1980s he returned to Tottenham and remained there for the rest of his life. In the early 1990s he was involved in protests against the British National Party and in 2002 he stood for Haringey council as a Socialist Alliance candidate.

After leaving the SWP and reconsidering his political outlook, Woodward became a "libertarian socialist", drawing on Marxism and anarchism. He was the industrial organiser of Haringey Trade Union Council, for which he edited news bulletins and three small volumes called Fragments, containing life stories of local militants. He was involved with numerous local organisations, was the convenor of the Radical History Network of North-East London, and wrote a number of self-published pamphlets on working-class history and an autobiography. In 2009, workers at the Visteon car parts factory in Enfield occupied the plant after being summarily dismissed. Woodward was there from the beginning and spent a week in the factory, sleeping on the floor. 

Scope and Content: 

Papers of socialist, writer and activist Alan Woodward (1939-2012), including:
·  minutes, papers, accounts, annual reports and papers of Haringey Trades Council, 1969-2011.
·  engagement diaries, letters, photographs and papers collected for the writing of Woodward's autobiography 'An Actor for Freedom', with drafts of the finished work, 1958-2007. 
·  drafts, research materials and papers gathered for writings on workers' socialism, the International Shop Steward Movement, anarchism, Joe Thomas, workers' councils, Joe Jacobs, 1921-2011. 
·  papers, minutes, ephemera and promotional material of the Radical History Network of NE London (RaHN), 1982-2010. 
·  minutes, papers and other records of Haringey Solidarity Group, 2000-2010. 
·  papers and records of Defend Council Housing and local activities in Haringey, 1995-2008. 
·  papers, minutes and other records concerning Woodward's involvement with the International Socialists, 1967-1971. 
·  papers and ephemera regarding miscellaneous strikes and campaigns, including anti-Poll Tax, the Wapping dispute, rail, postal, fire fighters and dock strikes, anti-terror legisation, anti trade union legislation, the Liverpool Dock Strike, the Arnaouti Bakery Workers' Strike, health and safety at work, LGBT rights, 1948-2011. 
·  papers, records and minutes of Haringey Against Privatisation, 1998-2004. 
·  papers and ephemera of the London Socialist Historians Group, 1996-2009. 
·  papers, minutes and records regarding local and radical history in Haringey, including papers of the Haringey Local History Forum, 2001-2006. 
·  papers and records regarding the Red Readers' Project, 1989-1990. 
·  papers and records of the Socialist Workers' League, 1937-1956.

Quantity: 62 Boxes

Sample entries, from many more:-

Radical History Network of NE London
Radical History Network of NE London: papers and ephemera regarding events and speakers, promotional material and information on kindred groups, 2006-2009.

Radical History Network of NE London
Radical History Network of NE London: minutes, papers regarding events and speakers, promotional material, research material and information on kindred groups, 1982-2010.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The 2016 London Rebel History Calendar

That Time of Year Again, Again...
Presented by Past Tense
Spanking new and all inky off the press...

The 2016 London Rebel History Calendar

Past Tense's third annual calendar, commemorating our selection of the radical, rebellious, subversive and occasionally downright surreal anniversaries, which inspire us, provoke debate and hopefully spread knowledge and enjoyment. We do it because we love it. If you find it useful, makes you think, leads you to something you didn't know, or just makes you laugh and dance with the joy of defiance - that's what we were aiming for... 
A date from London history for every day of 2016: strikes and riots; rowdy parties and occupations; births (no marriages) and deaths. And much more...

Written and designed by angry amateur hysterians, and printed in several colours by artisans in South London.

Yours for just £5.00... Plus £2.00 Postage & Packing

Available from the publications page on our website:

(payment by paypal)

or by post, from
Past Tense
c/o 56a Infoshop
56 Crampton Street,
SE17 3AE

enclosing a cheque for £7.00, payable to Past Tense Publications.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction

IAs in previous years, submissions are being invited for the Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction. The award is run by Letterbox Library on behalf of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers. 
Little Rebels is now in its 4th year and organisers are "delighted that, even while the award and its administration are entirely unfunded, interest in it just keeps growing." 

To sign up to the posts about this go to the wordpress site. "This is the easiest way to stay up to date about the award. Updates are very modest so your inbox honestly won't get inundated. Meantime do also keep an eye on any #littlerebels twitterings..."

The Little Rebels Award wordpress site has been updated now with the tweaked submissions guidelines  And they have also updated the Judges section to introduce the new addition to the panel author Catherine Johnson
(The news section of the site is to be updated shortly with 1) 'we have a new judge!' and 2) 'submissions now open!' announcements.)

Letterbox Library
a not-for-profit social enterprise
Unit 151 Stratford Workshops
Burford Road
E15 2SP
Tel: 0208 5347502 / Fax: 0208 555 7880

Press Release in full:


Author to Join Judging Panel for Little Rebels Award
for Radical Children’s Fiction

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is thrilled to announce that the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction is back for its 4th year. The Little Rebels Award recognises children’s fiction which promotes social justice and social equality. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library. The closing date for nominations is January 11th 2016.

This year, author Catherine Johnson will be joining the Little Rebels Award judges. Speaking about the award, Catherine said, “I am so looking forward to being on the judging panel. Of course there are more and more awards and more and more books every year but there is something completely different and very important about Little Rebels. The books shortlisted are all incredibly special books that encourage radical ideas as well as fabulous storytelling. Stories that aren’t afraid of topics that might include race and sex and class. Important and wonderful books. I cannot wait”.

Catherine Johnson is the author of 14 novels for children and young adults. In 2013, she won the Young Quills Best Historical Fiction prize for Sawbones (Walker 2013) and her latest novel, The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo (Corgi Books/Random House UK 2015), has been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Catherine also writes for screen and TV, including the drama Bullet Boy (2004) and Holby City.

Catherine Johnson was one of the speakers on The Diversity Manifesto panel at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June this year. Nor is she new to the world of radical children’s literature. Attending a panel at the London Radical Bookfair back in 2014, she said, “I think the best children’s literature always has a bit of radical about it- from Dr Seuss and Philip Pullman to Malorie Blackman- the best stories are always pushing at the boundaries”.

Catherine Johnson will be joined by last year’s Little Rebels Award judges: award-winning children’s author, Elizabeth Laird, who is also one of IBBY’s current nominations for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award; Bookstart co-founder, editor and Eleanor Farjeon Award recipient (2006), Wendy Cooling; Professor of Children’s Literature at Newcastle University and author of Radical Children’s Literature (Palgrave MacMillan: 2010), Kim Reynolds.

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is a sister award to the Bread & Roses Award, which recognises radical adult non-fiction published in the UK. Both awards are the inspiration of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, a network of radical booksellers in the UK. Both prizes will be presented at the 4th London Radical Bookfair on Saturday May 7th 2016.

Publishers are being invited to submit children’s fiction for readers aged 0-12 which promote social justice and which were first published in 2015. Full submission guidelines can be found at


Fen Coles
Letterbox Library
Unit 151 Stratford Workshops
Burford Road
Stratford E15 2SP
Tel: 020 8534 7502

Further Information
About Letterbox Library
Letterbox Library is a 32-year-old, not-for-profit, children’s booksellers and social enterprise. They specialise in children’s books which celebrate diversity, equality & inclusion. Further information can be found at

About the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB)
The ARB is a supportive community for the UK’s radical booksellers; Members of the ARB include Housmans Bookshop, Gay’s The Word, News from Nowhere, Freedom Bookshop and Letterbox Library. The ARB runs the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing, administered by Housmans Bookshop. This independent prize for adult non-fiction ran for the first time in 2011. For more information go to .

About the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award
Full details of the award, including the shortlist and prize giving ceremony for previous years, can be found at: .

About the London Radical Bookfair
Hosted by the ARB, this fair was run for the first time on May 11th  2013. The fair is now run in partnership with the Alternative Press Takeover 2014; full details at: .

Significant dates
The closing date for nominations for the Little Rebels Award is Jan 11th 2016; the shortlist will be announced in April 2016; the winner will be announced at the ARB’s London Radical Bookfair on Saturday May 7th 2016.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Later Autumn Listings

Some reminders, some new...

Opposing WW1: exhibition & talk in London

If you're in London next week, don't miss the opportunity to visit this exhibition of Emily Johns' posters for PN, celebrating the people and movements that opposed the First World War:
When: Monday 9 November – Friday 13 November, 11am - 4pm
Where: Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, NW5 2RX (tube: Kentish Town)
Emily and Gabriel will also be running a talk and workshop on the same topic, at the same venue, 7 – 9pm, Thursday 12 November. 
Please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested (the 12 November talk is on Facebook here)!

 Not forgetting: No Glory in War Day school
on Saturday November 14th 2015. 
Please enrol via Eventbrite -although we are happy to take money on the day. The venue is accessible, we will be on the second floor. The building can be reached by public transport- bus 86, 250 or 141.Car parking is tricky - brave new university world- but there is carpark nearby which can be accessed on the day and which will charge.
There will be a cafe on-site for lunch, we will provide light refreshments.
"The day looks really varied and interesting so please come along. 
There will be a book stall and some refreshments! "

pdf available for use as leaflet or poster.   

RELATED French Film – missed it, but it may be of interest and/or turn up somewhere else...
 14-18 Refuser la guerre – Refusing War, 1914-1918 n French TV
Jeudi 5 novembre 2015
France 3
 Fraternisations, grèves, émeutes parsèment le déroulement de la Grande Guerre. Calomniées et réprimées, la désobéissance militaire et la mutinerie s'apparentent à un mythe silencieux. Pourtant, de toute l’Europe, à jamais marquée par ces quatre années de guerre, se sont élevées les voix de ces Français, Allemands, Anglais, Russes qui ont dit non. Ce film, intégralement composé d’archives, relie et décrypte les mots et les actes de ceux qui refusèrent cette « guerre européenne, cette mêlée sacrilège qui offre le spectacle d’une Europe démente montant sur le bûcher et se déchirant de ses mains », selon les termes mêmes que Romain Rolland, fervent pacifiste, clame dès septembre 1914. Ce film, réalisé par Georgette Cuvelier, sera diffusé le jeudi 5 novembre 2015 à 23h35 sur France 3.

Fraternisation, strikes, and disturbances crop up throughout the Great War. Misrepresented and repressed, military disobedience and mutiny during the First World War seem like a kind of silent myth. Nevertheless, throughout Europe, French, German, English and Russian voices were being raised to say No. This film, composed entirely from archive material, recovers and decodes the words and actions of those who refused [... quotation from Romain RollandAu-dessus de la mêlée, 1914].


Event around Vietnam War GIs and resistance to war

Virtual archives and the democritization of access; The Vietnam War GI

Host: Dr James Lewes

Venue: Common House, 
Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens, 
Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG

Date: Fri 20 November
Time: 5.30pm

"Between 1966 and 1973, the United States military experienced widespread dissent and disaffection as an increasing number of GIs openly challenged their involvement in the Vietnam War.
In the 40 years since that war ended, this movement has been effaced from public memory and exiled from official histories of the war."


Seminar in the LSHG autumn term 2015 series:

UPDATE: next seminar in the autumn term series at the Institute of Historical Research (5.30pm, Room 304, 3rd floor) is Sue Jones on the long awaited subject of pirates:

'My longing desire to go to sea': wanderlust and wayward youth in early modern England

Advance notice: 
On Saturday 30th April 2016 at the IHR LSHG will be running an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising

on Monday November 9th at 5.30pm
in Room 304, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1.
Chris Jury will speak on politics, theatre and history. Chris is a well known actor and director (including over 40 episodes of Eastenders.)
You may also be interested to know that the two most recent LSHG seminars are now available as podcasts here:
Still to come:
23rd Nov:  Sue Jones: 'My longing desire to go to sea': wanderlust and wayward youth in early modern England
7th Dec: Roundtable, Keith Flett & others:  'How to remember the 1926 General Strike, 90 years on'.

Launch Meeting: Wednesday, 11 November 2015
at 6.30pm Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE
Clara Zetkin played a prominent role within the left wing of the German Social-Democratic Party and subsequently within the Communist Party of Germany and the Communist International, with a strong interest in the rights of working-class women. The latest edition of Revolutionary History, edited by Mike Jones and Ben Lewis, brings together articles and letters by Zetkin on such subjects as revisionism within the SPD, women’s rights and feminism, the fight against fascism, and the bureaucratisation of the Communist International, together with scholarly articles focusing upon specific aspects of Zetkin’s political life. This edition of Revolutionary History will bring the life and work of Clara Zetkin to the notice of today’s left-wing activists and historians, and help to restore her name to its rightful position within the pantheon of twentieth-century revolutionary Marxists. Articles by Clara Zetkin
« The Servant Girls’ Movement
« Against the Theory and Tactics of Social Democracy
« Guidelines for the Communist Women’s Movement
« Letters to Lenin
« The Struggle Against Fascism
« The Bourgeois Women’s Movement
« Letter to the Politbureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU
« Speech to the ECCI
« Letters to Fanny Jezierska
« Letter to Wilhelm Pieck
« Opening Speech of the Reichstag as its Oldest Member, 30 August 1932 Articles about Clara Zetkin
« Gisela Notz, Clara Zetkin and the International Socialist Women’s Movement
« Ottokar Luban, Clara Zetkin’s Influence on the Spartacus Group, 1918-1919
« Günter Wernicke, Clara Zetkin’s Opposition to Sidelining of Comrades in the Comintern and KPD in the Mid-1920s
« Horst Helas, Clara Zetkin’s ‘Filthy Letter’

SHS: Campaigns for Decent Housing Past and Present 

Socialist History Society Meeting

Campaigns for Decent Housing Past and Present

Speaker Duncan Bowie
2pm, 21st November 2015
 Venue Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green
Duncan Bowie will give a talk on radical and socialist campaigns for decent housing, land nationalisation and town planning in the 19th century and seek to relate them to the current housing crisis and contemporary struggles.
Duncan's book, The Radical and Socialist Tradition in British Planning: From Puritan Colonies to Garden Cities is to be published by Ashgate later this year.
Duncan is a member of the Socialist History Society committee and of the committee of the London Labour Housing Group. He is a lecturer at the University of Westminster. He is the author of SHS OP No 34, Roots of the British Socialist Movement.
SSLH autumn conference

The Society for the Study of Labour History autumn conference takes place on Saturday 28 November at the University of Huddersfield, West Building, WG17. It explores the History of Adult Worker Education from its nineteenth century origins to the demise of adult education in an age of austerity.  The provisional programme includes topics such as the Fenwick Weavers, the foundation of the London Mechanics' Institution, the Leeds Arts Club and the origins of Guild Socialism, and 'healing the fault line in the age of austerity'.

The conference is free but it is necessary to register in advance. Reserve a place at or find out more details by emailing or


From WCML: Working Class Movement Library

51 The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX

Salford Stories and Radical Readings II Following last year's sell-out success we are pleased to announce another fundraising event for the Library, hosted at the University of Salford on Sunday 22 November at 2pm.  We will be announcing the line-up of actors and booking details in a future e-bulletin, or keep an eye or our Web site at

Final Invisible Histories talk of the year  Wednesday 11 November 2 p.m.  Michael Herbert: Doctor Who and the Communist: the writing career and politics of Malcolm Hulke

Malcolm Hulke was a successful writer for radio, television and the cinema from the 1950s to the late 1970s.  His work included episodes for  Armchair Theatre and The Avengers - and 54 episodes for Doctor Who, for which he is best remembered. Malcolm was also socialist, belonging for a time to the Communist Party of Great Britain, and was very involved with Unity Theatre.
The talk will be given by Michael Herbert who has been watching Doctor Who since 1963, aged 8, and is the author of a pamphlet about Malcolm Hulke, Doctor Who and the Communist,  published earlier this year by Five Leaves Press.
Admission free with light refreshments after.  All welcome.

Digital Women's Archive North pop-up event On Thursday 12 November from 11am to 3pm the Library will be hosting a pop-up by [DWAN] Digital Women's Archive North, who will be showcasing some of our women-focused archives, particularly self-published material, women's writings, zines and periodicals. The event is drop-in, any time between 11 and 3 in our meeting room. There will also be opportunity to take part in the living archive project #NorthernWomen.
This event is being run as part of a series of pop-up events produced by [DWAN] Digital Women's Archive North, for Being Human: a Festival of the Humanities 2015.  [DWAN] is an educational arts and heritage enterprise unlocking the women's histories in archives – delivering training & skills development; arts & heritage projects; and research.

Exhibition closing soon:  Guernica in Manchester Re-Representation: Guernica in Manchester Re-Representation is our new exhibition, opening on Friday 2 October. Tim Dunbar's drawing project is based on an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the exhibition of Picasso’s Guernica in a car showroom in Manchester that is reported to have occurred during the first two weeks of February in 1939. The project includes a quarter scale “mapping” study of Guernica and a number of text-based drawings based on written descriptions of direct encounters with the painting. Drawings have been informed by reference to the ‘Manchester Foodship for Spain’ archive material in the Working Class Movement Library, and eyewitness commentaries of the Manchester Guernica exhibition, including two previously unknown accounts from students who studied at Manchester School of Art in the late 1930s. The project is underpinned by the notion of a ‘conspiracy of Guernica’ implicated by Herbert J. Southworth in his classic text “Guernica! Guernica! A study of journalism, diplomacy, propaganda and history”.

The exhibition is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm until 13 November (also Saturdays 3 October and 7 November, 10am-4pm).

Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities

To End All Wars - an exhibition to mark the centenary of the introduction of conscription
A new exhibition opens at the [WCML] Library on Friday 20 November

To End All Wars will examine how local men opposed military conscription, introduced into Britain for the first time in 1916, and how local women developed organisations to agitate for peace.

The exhibition is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and will run until Easter 2016.  In the New Year we will announce details of a specially-written 'Living History' performance, No Power on Earth, which will accompany it. The exhibition and Living History performance are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Manchester volunteers who joined the Easter Rising - book launch
On Friday 20 November at 7.30pm at the Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Manchester M8 0AE, Robin Stocks will be launching his book Hidden Heroes of Easter Week, the story of the part played by Manchester volunteers in the events of 1916 in Ireland.  Admission free, all welcome.
Note for your 2016 diaries: Robin will be speaking about his research at the Library on 13 April, to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

We Were Born in the '80s - LGBT history walk
A one-hour walking tour on Friday 27 November will tell the story of how Manchester became the first place to build an entirely publicly-funded, purpose-designed centre for the gay community, just as the government were enacting Section 28.  It starts at 2pm in Albert Square, by the rainbow flag in the pavement outside the Town Hall entrance. It is free to attend, but please sign up in advance via eventbrite here. Everyone attending will receive a free zine about the history of the centre.
You can also download the itinerary text and follow the tour yourself here.

'People Make Their Own History' WEA course  A ten-week Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) course, People Make Their Own History, starts 11 January between 1 and 3pm at the People's History Museum, Manchester.  The course will cover Peterloo and the Chartists; the struggles over jobs, against Fascism, and for access to the countryside in the1930s; fighting Section 28 and for LGBT rights in the 1980s; to Stop the War, and the protests against the Bedroom Tax, and at the Conservative Party Conference in 2015.  More details hereBooking required by contacting WEA on 0151 243 5340 or booking online via WEA’s Web site.  Please quote course ref C3838091. Cost: £65.10 or free (please enquire).

Britain-China people's links in World War Two
You can now register for this free 25 November event here.

Wakefield Socialist History Group
On Saturday 21 November, the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be holding an event, EUROPE AND THE LEFT: How should socialists vote in the referendum?
The event will be held from 1-4pm at Wakefield Labour Club ("Red Shed"), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Admission is free.  There will be a free light buffet.  And there is a bar with excellent real ale.
The speakers cover a range of positions on the question and are:
*Paul Feldman (author of "Unmasking the State"; active in "Assemblies for Democracy")
*John Westmoreland (Counterfire)
*Paul Bennett (Socialist Party of Great Britain)
*Kevin Feintuck/Kevin Taylor (Communist Workers' Organisation)
*John Tummon (member of Republican Socialist Alliance)
Opening contributions will be followed by questions/discussion.
Trace and Explore Convicts’ Lives
[Well, there could be something interesting there]
The Digital Panopticon follows the stories of the 100,000 people sentenced at The Old Bailey between 1780 and 1875. You can help us trace them through historical records, determining what impact crime and punishment had on their lives.
Ealing Central Library Saturday 21 November 11.00am - 12.30pm
Northolt Library Saturday 21 November 2.30 - 3.30pm
Admission: £1.00 library members/££2.00 non library members. Advance booking essential, book through Ealing Central or Northolt Library.
Three Acres and a Cow
Wednesday 25 November, 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Cecil Sharp House, London

A history of land rights and protest in folk song and story featuring Robin grey, Rachel Rose Reid and special guests.

ThreeAcres and a Cow connects the Norman Conquest and Peasants' Revolt with current issues of fracking and the housing crisis via the Enclosures, English Civil War, Irish League and Industrial Revolution, drawing a compelling narrative through the radical people's history of Britain in folk song, stories and poems.

Part TED* talk, part history lecture, part folk club sing-a-long, part poetry slam, part storytelling session... Come and share in these tales as they have been shared for generations.

* <Technology, Entertainment and Design — features "ideas worth spreading." The speaker series launched in 1984, and there are now more than 1,400 TED talks available online.>>
John Maclean Commemoration in Glasgow
"I am not here, then, as the accused: I am here as the accuser of capitalism, dripping with blood from head to foot." - John MacleanThe Annual John Maclean Commemoration will be held this year on Sunday 29 November.

Meet 1 p.m. at Eastwood New Cemetery, 271 Thornliebank Road, Glasgow G46 7RJ (by Thornliebank Railway Station) for graveside orations from Alan Stewart and Gerry Cairns.

There will then be a march setting off from opposite the cemetery gates at 1.30pm to the Maclean Cairn at the Shawbridge Arcade.

That will be followed by a rally/social at the Shawbridge Tavern (G43 1QN) with speakers and live music.

From: Press and International Officer
Scottish Republican Socialist Movement

Why Labour history still matters 
 Marx Memorial Library, London, United Kingdom
 Tuesday, 1 December 2015 from 18:30 to 20:00 
 Marx Memorial Library - 37A Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DU GB
"Labour history was central to many constructions of radical history in Britain in the twentieth century. Since the 1980s, however, the decline in the strength of the British trade union movement alongside intellectual trends away from the centrality of class have coincided with an apparent 'crisis' of labour history. Yet trade unions still have 6 million members in this country, work is still a central experience of everyday life, and antagonism at the point of production must still have a role in radical politics. But what place does recounting the experience of labour in the past have to play in this process? This session will bring together people who have engaged with the history of labour and trade unions from a variety of approaches to engage with this question."

Speakers: Sarah Boston (Film maker and author of Women Workers and the Trade Unions Mary Davis (Professor of Labour History) Owen Gower (director of Still the Enemy Within) Jeff Howarth (TUC Library Collections, Librarian)

Book here:


Uncovering London's Radical History - David Rosenberg

In this illustrated talk David will tell some of these stories of trail-blazing chartists and suffragettes, pacifists and anti-fascists that he collected for his book Rebel Footprints: a guide to uncovering London's radical history (Pluto, March 2015).

Writer and educator David Rosenberg began leading walks of London's radical history in 2007, unearthing stories of ordinary people who fought for better lives, from the beginning of the 1830s to the end of the 1930s, especially in London's first manufacturing area - the East End.

Thursday 10th December

6.00pm Refreshments

6.30pm Talk

Friends of Hackney Archives Talk,
Education Room,
Dalston CLR James Library and Hackney Archives,
 Dalston Square, London E8 3BQ

 If you would like to attend this event, please book your place with Hackney Archives Department (020 8356 8925 or email

The Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2015

Raphael Samuel (1934-1996)

 Thursday 10 December 2015, 6.30
                                                               wine reception to follow
 Professor Sally Alexander
(Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Goldsmiths University of London; founding editor,History Workshop Journal)

 ‘Social democracy’s super-ego? The politics of motherhood in mid-20thc Britain

Clore Lecture Theatre
Birkbeck, University of London 
Torrington Square London WC1E 7JL


For more information email