Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki – British Army mutinies during the First World War

Sat 15th Oct, 2016            2:30 pm to 5:30 pm              

Ringleaders and Reds in Khaki - British Army mutinies during the First World War
Date: , 2016 
Time:  to  
Venue: Friends Meeting House, BS2 9DB 
Price: Donation 
With: Julian PutkowskiLois Bibbings,People’s Histreh 
Series: Resisting the War: Deserters, Conchies and MutineersRemembering the Real WWI

Julian Putkowsk is a college lecturer, broadcaster and writer with an established interest in military discipline and dissent in the British Army. With Julian Sykes he co-authored Shot at Dawn(1989); he actively supported the ensuing campaign to secure exoneration for soldiers executed by the British Army and the Blair government’s response in both Murderous Tommies (2011), co-authored with Mark Dunning and Three Uneasy Pieces (2014). Julian’s research about rebels in khaki was reflected in British Army Mutineers 1914-1922 (1998) and his views about military ‘collective bargaining’ can be accessed online here.

Drawing on forty years research, this talk will air and invite debate about the social interpretation, political significance and leadership of the mutinous outbreaks that convulsed the British Army during the First World War.

"British Military historians and assorted flag-wavers celebrate the enthusiastic rush to the colours; the ensuing blood sacrifice of British Tommies, White Dominion troops and (belatedly) colonial formations and even military labourers. The stereotype of soldiers dutifully marching to their deaths was always a conservative mirage but only a handful of books have drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and military auxiliaries who rebelled, mutinied and challenged their commanders and political masters during the First World War. The ‘Unknown Army’, the pioneering study by Douglas Gill and Gloden Dallas produced in the late 1960’s chronicled the incidence of mutinies in Northern France and the UK; Andrew Rothstein’s brave claim that the mutineers were unconscious or perhaps semi-conscious Marxist Leninists, and David Englander’s promising exploration of khaki collective bargaining all challenge the dominant deferential stereotype.
Though there have been a few TV commemorations referencing indiscipline and dissent, the absence of substantive research has left the field open to sensationalism and fantasy, and for the most part public understanding has long been skewed by ‘The Monocled Mutineer’, book and TV drama. Notwithstanding twaddle about Percy Toplis, the declassification of soldiers’ service records admits identification of ringleaders who were punished for mutiny but the personalities who successfully organised, represented and negotiated deals with generals and politicians remain largely anonymous. The latter escaped being court-martialled, they were intelligent, literate, and politically savvy individuals and their names were certainly unknown to more than a handful of mutineers..."

And there's a walk this weekend:
Sun 2nd Oct, 2016            11:00 am              
Resisting the War: Deserters, Conchies and Mutineers   
Meet at Bristol Temple Meads station forecourt. 
"Well over 50 people turned up when we put on this walk in July. It was so popular we’re doing it again."
 […]               Geoff Woolfe

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Saturday, 29th October, 2016
 Sponsors: Labour Heritage; Essex Labour Campaign Forum
at The Labour Hall, Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex CM8 2EE 
(adjacent to Witham railway station)
  10.30 – 11.00 a.m.      Conference assembles (tea and coffee will be provided) 
11.00 – 11.10 a.m.      Chair’s opening remarks – Charles Cochrane, Chair, Essex Labour Campaign Forum 
11.10 – 12.05 p.m.      The Left in the mid-20th Century and the Role of Aneurin Bevan
                                    Francis Beckett (Labour historian and author) 
12.05 – 1.00 p.m.        Ireland – the 1916 Rising and Social Progress
                                    Ivan Gibbons (former Director of Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University Twickenham, and Director of the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith)
1.00 – 2.00 p.m.          Lunch, arranged by the Essex Labour Campaign Forum. 
2.00 – 2.45 p.m.          George Lansbury and the 1921 Poplar Rates Dispute
                                    Chris Sumner (George Lansbury Memorial Trust) 
2.45 – 3.30 p.m.          A Life in the Labour Movement
                                    Stan Newens
(former MP, MEP and Labour historian)
3.30 – 3.55 p.m.          Discussion and suggestions 
3.55 – 4.00 p.m.          Conclusion of the Conference

"The Conference is completely open and friends, relatives and acquaintances are welcome, whatever their political allegiances.  Questions and other contributions will be invited from the floor, lunch will be provided by the Essex Labour Campaign Forum and the cost is included in the registration fee (£8 per person)... Those not previously registered can pay at the door, provided there are places, but pre-booking* is advisable – particularly for catering purposes."
*Contact details available from the sponsors or radicalhistorynetwork@gmail.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

Public Meeting on Haringey Solidarity

Saturday October 29th
@ Park View School, West Green Road Tottenham N15
As part of the London Anarchist Bookfair* at the above venue

Haringey Solidarity: Lessons from 4 decades of radical anti-authoritarian community action in Haringey
Organised and introduced by members of Haringey Solidarity Group and the Radical History Network of NE London

A look at some local campaigns and organisations from the late '70s onwards fighting back against capitalism and the State and trying to create a better world. Including strike support, unwaged struggles, anti-poll tax movement, women's struggles, anti-racist action, anti-police campaigns, community/neighbourhood self-organisation, lesbian and gay liberation, libertarian and anarchist activity, housing action groups and campaigns, resistance to property developers, defence of public and community services and facilities, radical community centres and projects... and more. We will also note where local groups and campaigns have linked or federated with similar ones around London and the UK. Followed by general discussion. 

We particularly welcome people who live or work in Haringey, and also others from round the country who may want to be inspired or to share some of their own experiences/successes etc.

*Times and locations (rooms) for bookfair meetings will be given on the final programme in due course.
Other bookfair meetings (with a likely radical-history connection) confirmed so far include:

Anarchist solidarity and anti-war initiatives in the nineties 
A recollection from Croatia
There is no objective history. There are only different interpretations of what has happened and a very clear idea that the “ordinary”, “little” people are the victims of all systems, whether these systems are founded on this or that ideology, nationalism, religion… The wars that took place during the nineties in Europe produced only victims. Victims were caused by the media propaganda, nationalism, the states and their leaders, local thugs, different obeyers, the ones who “carried out the orders”… In a situation like that, of mass war psychosis, there were still pockets of resistance to the conflict, to nationalism, against hate and the war itself, although it was all around us and became the integral part of our lives. It became the new normality. This talk will look at anarchist solidarity, different anti-war initiatives and their influence during the nineties.
Organised by: Antipolitika

What have the anarchists ever done for us?
All the answers to all the questions you have ever had about the world-wide anarchist movement over the past 150 years. Who are the anarchists anyway, and what do they want? How did Marlon Brando get things so badly wrong? Why do Greek anarchists love sausage? How did the long-running anarchist controversy over facial hair finally get resolved? Where in the world do Edelweiss Pirates come from? All this and more, including the all important: What have the anarchists ever done for us?
Organised by: Kevin Eady

Working Class Anger in West London
AngryWorkers give an update about their workers inquiry from the warehouses and factories in west London. We will share our experiences of proletarian existence in all it's most modern, 'hidden', and exploitative forms. We will be talking about: work regimes; housing; gender divisions; migration; our practical efforts (solidarity meetings and newspaper), as well as how we can collaborate with others.
Organised by: AngryWorkers (www.angryworkersworld.wordpress.com)

New Frontlines Against Prisons 
Situating prisons at the base of gender, race, and class, this workshop explores recent anti-prison struggles in England, Wales and Scotland. Introducing the UK Government’s new project for US-influenced mass incarceration with nine new mega prisons on the horizon and large workshops to exploit prison labour. Learn about the growing resistance to prisons as a frontline of anti-state struggle.
Organised by: Empty Cages Collective (www.prisonabolition.org)

Fighting for Free Public Transport with The Traffic Power Structure
Planka.nu was founded in 2001 by a Swedish based activist network to fight for free public transport. Thanks to creative direct action, witty public interventions, and thought-provoking statements, the network has become a leading voice in Scandinavian debates on traffic
Organised by: PM Press and Planka.nu (http://planka.nu/)

Red Rosa: a graphic look at Dr Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg was an economist, lecturer, journalist, poet, painter and uncompromising revolutionary socialist. In a talk illustrated with excepts from the best-selling graphic biography (Verso 2015), cartoonist Kate Evans gives a flavour of Dr Luxemburg’s life and work and explores the contemporary relevance of her legacy. Some gratuitous nudity. Only in cartoon form.
Organised by Kate Evans (www.cartoonkate.co.uk)

The Bonnot Gang
Over a six month period from December 1911 to May 1912, 35 year old mechanic and thief, Jules Bonnot, and his young anarchist associates in crime, caused panic across France with their audacious robberies, and the shooting of 2 police officers. Four were killed in shoot-outs with the police and 3 executed by guillotine, while several others were sent to Devil’s Island (from where they later escaped). Richard Parry will talk about this notorious gang of French and Belgian anarchists to coincide with the launch of the second edition of his book by PM Press.
Talk by Richard Parry (see PM Press for book details: http://www.pmpress.org)

What is Anarchism? + Wildcat Anarchist Comics with Donald Rooum
Wildcat Anarchist Comics collects the drawings of Donald Rooum, mostly (but by no means entirely) from the long-running “Wildcat” cartoon series that has been published in Freedom newspaper since 1980. Donald will be presenting new editions of What is Anarchism? and Wildcat Anarchist Comics.
Organised by: PM Press (www.pmpress.org)

The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed a Warplane
On 29 January 1996, a small group of women broke into a British Aerospace factory in Warton and disarmed a Hawk warplane bound for use in Indonesia's then-ongoing genocide in East Timor. Charged with committing over £2m of damage, they spent six months on remand before being acquitted of all charges by a jury. On 29 January 2016 Peace published The Hammer Blow Andrea Needham's gripping inside account of this seminal direct action that has inspired countless activists across the globe. Come and hear her talk about this action and its lessons for today.
Organised by: Peace News (www.peacenews.info)

For full list and updates see the website - Meetings tab. http://www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk/

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

About Sylvia Pankhurst: Further to RaHN Meeting

Meeting of the Radical History Network of North East London
Held on Wednesday 29th June 2016 at Wood Green Social Club

The SPEAKERS were:-
SARAH JACKSON, co-author of Voices from History: East London Suffragettes and co-founder of the East End Women's Museum - www.eastendwomensmuseum.org.
See also: www.eastlondonsuffragettes.com/
GEOFFREY BELL, author of Hesitant Comrades - The Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement, He has also written an article in 'History Ireland' on Sylvia Pankhurst and Ireland's 1916 Rising and its aftermath.

There was also, of course, discussion around the talks, with numerous contributions, questions and comments from several people present.

Back cover of The Suffragette Movement, paperback edition
In lieu of a meeting report, one of those who attended has prepared an extended account of the topic as above, in both of its aspects, which can be accessed here (15pp., c8500 words as currently formulated). 
It is largely but not exclusively based on what the two speakers have said and written. -   
Sylvia Pankhurst’s Life and Legacy
"Sylvia Pankhurst was a campaigner for the suffragette movement. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism. This report is in two parts; her movement for equality in the East End of London, and her commitment to the Irish Revolution after the Rising of 1916." 

The main headings are:
Brief Background to the Suffrage Movement

Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation of Suffragettes
(Mainly in the words of Sarah Jackson)

Votes, Wages and Milk:
the East London Federation of Suffragettes on the Home Front, 1914-1916

Sylvia Pankhurst and Ireland’s Easter Rising
A Brief Guide to Ireland’s Easter Rising and its Aftermath 
Geoffrey Bell wrote
Section including
  • support of the workers in the Dublin Lock-Out
  • association with James Connolly
  • eye-witness account of the aftermath of the Rising 
  • what such endeavours had to do with Pankhurst’s broader socialist principles... 
Additional points from the meeting and book

Unwavering support of complete self-determination
Socialism and Nationalism
Religious hatred and class struggle
Call to Action

The subject and date of the next Meeting of the Radical History Network of North East London have yet to be decided.
In the mean time, the group will have a presence at the London Anarchist Bookfair in October, including a meeting:-

Haringey Solidarity
Lessons from 4 decades of radical anti-authoritarian community action in Haringey
A look at local campaigns and organisations from the late '70s onwards fighting back against capitalism and the State and trying to create a better world. Including strike support, unwaged struggles, anti-poll tax movement, women's struggles, anti-racist action, anti-police campaigns, community/neighbourhood self-organisation, lesbian and gay liberation, libertarian and anarchist activity, housing action groups and campaigns, resistance to property developers, defence of public and community services and facilities, radical community centres and projects... and more. We will also note where local groups and campaigns have linked or federated with similar ones around London and the UK. Followed by general discussion. 
Organised by Haringey Solidarity Group (http://www.haringey.org.uk/ ) and the Radical History Network of NE London (http://radicalhistorynetwork.blogspot.co.uk/)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Some Autumn and future events

St Giles history / mystery walk

  • home to the 'dangerous classes' 
  • their removal for Google and their ilk, 
  • squats and occupations from 1946 to the 12 Bar, 
  • the strange remains of Little Compton Street, 
  • and other things, not all gin-related.
Thursday September 29th 2016
6-8ish pm

meet in 
St Giles Churchyard.
60 St Giles High Street. London, WC2H 8LG 
It's on facebook: 

Keep Space for Peace week 1-8 Oct.
Actions are planned across the UK to protest against the role British military bases play in the US missile defence system. The system contributes to global tension and is an obstacle to further bilateral nuclear disarmament between Russia and the United States.
Keep Space for Peace week is an annual international week of action against the militarisation of space. 
On the 1 October a co-ordinated demonstration will take place at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire and RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. The contribution to war made by these bases is still largely unknown to the general public, so please do support these crucial protests.
Up North
12 noon - 3pm, 1 October 2016
RAF Fylingdales
Down South
12 noon - 3pm, 1 October 2016
RAF Croughton
Menwith Hill
The role US operations at Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire play in targeted killings was highlighted in a shocking exposé by investigative journalist Ryan Gallagher earlier this month. A demonstration will take place at the NSA controlled site on the 4 October at 6pm. Contact info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk for more info. 
Somers Town History Club 
Next session on squats in Somers Town in 1970s and 1980s

"Our object of study is very specifically Somers Town, NW1... looking for people who could talk about what it was like, what happened and so on - and also artefacts - the newspapers that were produced in the early 1970s. for example." 

[Messages and offers of help re. ideas, links etc. can be passed on via RaHN, radicalhistorynetwork@gmail.com]

"Our meeting is in Somers Town on 5 October at 6pm."

Saturday evening September 17 – 5pm-8pm

The Empire Remains Shop
Level 2,
91-93 Baker Street
, London, W1U6QQ
(Entrance on Crawford Street)

Public discussion and screening as part of the New Landscapes Institute's new project  “The Right of Way”.  The project explores the past, present and future of public rights of way and open spaces in the contemporary British landscape. The project was developed during a residency at the Delfina Foundation and with the support of the Kier Foundation.

So please join us for some food, drinks and a lively discussion!

The Contemporary British Countryside contains a labyrinth of Public Rights of Way, Bridlepaths, Byways, Ancient Highways and Footpaths, which over the centuries have been re-configured by an array of laws and rural interventions that dictate their use. In this urbanised time, the age-old battle for the commons continues to be an ever-expanding field.
In 2000, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act was introduced in England and Wales. Section 53 of the Act provides for a cut-off date for the Definitive ‘Right of Way’ map of 2026. This means that many
historic routes and trails will be lost if they are not formally recorded in the next ten years.
This evening, join a range of speakers as they present different views on this transforming landscape and where the battles for public and private space are still being waged.

Speakers include
·         Kate Ashbrook (Open Spaces Society  / The Ramblers)
·         Mario Costa-Sa (British Horse Society / Trail Riders Fellowship),
·         Alex Hodson (independent publisher) and other public space advocates.

Find out how you can contribute to identifying and recording any unlisted or forgotten Rights of Way before the cut-off date of 2026.

There will also be a screening of /Along the Bridleway/  – documenting the New Landscapes Institute’s recent fieldwork  – horse riding along London’s Green belt with the Bromley Bridleways Access Group.

THE RIGHT OF WAY is a continuation of the New Landscapes Institute’s investigations into the transformation of stock routes and rural trails.

More Event and booking Information:

It is free but please book for catering purposes.

[Update to earlier notification:]
"We need crowds/supporters/hecklers  for the filming of Crusading Women! on Friday September 30, Saturday October 1st and Sunday October 2nd. At various sites and times...."
[Leaflet text] - Calling all pacifists!
Please come to a filming by Clapham Film Unit of a re-enactment of the 1917 Women’s Peace Crusade in Manchester and East Lancashire
Friday September 30th Blackburn, outside St George’s Hall on Northgate 10.30am
Tuesday 13th Sept. - free film about Wally Hope, SE1

Saturday October 1st Alexandra Park, Manchester (near the Lodge) 12 noon.

Some friends are showing their film about Wally Hope (one of the key people behind the Stonehenge free festivals) this Tuesday. 

The film features Penny Rimbaud (Crass) and Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions). 

The showing is in the garden of the Rose and Crown pub, Colombo Street SE1 at sunset (7pm?) and is free. 

Full details and trailer in these links:


3-4 September: Celebrating the best of local communities at #MoreInCommon events this weekend.
17 September:  Refugees Welcome march in Solidarity with Refugees.
'Lancashire and the Spanish Civil War' conference: Saturday 20 August from 11am to 4pm at Pendle Leisure Trust, ACE Centre, Cross Street, Nelson BB9 7NH a conference is being organised by the Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils. Papers on the theme of Lancashire and the Spanish Civil War include one from Stuart Walsh, on behalf of WCML, on the Aid for Spain movement.  Price £5 including lunch, payable on the day.  Further details from Peter Billington, email latuc@gmx.co.uk, tel 07709 622405.
TWO (special) News from Nowhere Club events in September
Saturday September 10th 2016  7.30 p.m.
 **** GALA Evening****!!
21st birthday of the News from Nowhere Club
All past speakers invited. Food & drink in plenty. Exhibition of 21 years of the Club. Screening of ‘Alfred Hitchcock in East London’ film by Bill Hodgson. Update on setting up local Hitchcock Museum. Readings from ‘News from Nowhere’ utopia by William Morris. Singing of Leon Rosselson’s song ‘Bringing the News from Nowhere.’
Epicentre, West Street E11 4LJ
FREE entry  - raffle – enquiries 0208 555 5248 – all welcome

               *Special EXTRA event to commemorate our 21st birthday*
!! Monday!! September 12th 2016
An evening with Iain Sinclair:
                                             ‘I take a walk every morning…’
Speaker: Iain Sinclair: Hackney resident, poet, film maker, essayist, award winning novelist, psychogeographer, ‘avant gardeist’ influenced by the Beat generation… Iain’s prolific, unusual life as a writer, observer and social critic will be the subject of tonight’s special event. You might like to read one or two of his works before the meeting to get the measure of his style. He will tell us what his life is like and answer your questions! The Newham Bookshop will be with us with copies of Iain’s books.
  7.30 for 8pm
FREE entry – raffle – all welcome
 at Epicentre, West Street E11

Enquiries 0208 555 5248
Barnsley Festival of Labour History - Friday 14th-Sunday 16th October 2016

The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ
Talks, discussion, music film - weekend ticket £10
Organised by Barnsley Trades Council to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our founding
Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Labour History

Highlights include
Friday 14 October - opening with gig by David Rovics (£5 entry) at The Old No. 7 Market Hill Barnsley
Saturday 15 October - Sunday 16 October
Speakers include Malcolm Chase, Dave Burland, Jill Liddington, Keith Laybourn, Louise Raw, John Newsinger, Donny Gluckstein, John Field, Anandi Ramamurthy, Ralph Darlington
On Saturday night there will be a screening of Ken Loach's film The Price of Coal.

Tickets / more info from Barnsley Trades Council c/o 33 Western Street, Barnsley, S70 2BT
Cheques payable to Barnsley Trades Council.  Tel 07594857960 for more info.

Peace History Conference 2016

This year's exciting and informative Conference will take place in Leeds, Yorkshire on 14th and 15th October .

The linked programme & booking leaflet give all the details for the two days of events entitled 'Conscience and Conscription: Resistance to War 1916-2016'.

To book please print the booking form from the pdf or go to the Movement for the Abolition of War website http://www.abolishwar.org.uk/ to book online.

Independent Working Class Education Network invites you to:
Sheffield Day School
October 16th 2016 12pm- 5.30pm
Venue: Philadelphia WMC, Upperthorpe, Sheffield
"It's The Economy Stupid- A Day of Economic Thought & Discussion"
Sessions including:
  •     What is Neo-Liberalism? Is there such a thing as Corbynomics?
  •     Free Trade - Freedom or race to the bottom?
  •     Everything you wanted to know about economics, but were frightened to ask - panel discussion
Tickets: £5, book through iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk - Pay on the day.

And, following the IWCE Day School "It's the Economy, Stupid":
Songs of Social Significance
David Rovics: Letter to my Landlord - World Tour

Sheffield 16th October 2016

Venue: Philadelphia WMC, Sheffield


Plus Politics, Poetry and Dancing

In association with:

Independent Working Class Education Network

Momentum Sheffield
Sheffield Trades Council
Tickets: £10waged £5 unwaged
Pay on the door

Courses in Manchester this autumn on the history of Radical Women

Michael Herbert will be teaching two courses on the history of Radical Women 1790 – 1980 this autumn, one in the evening and one during the day.
The first course will be in the evening and will take place at Aquinas College, Nangreave Road, Stockport.  It will begin on Monday 12 September, 6.30pm to 8.30pm.  The course will last 10 weeks and finish on 21 November.  (Half-term will be 24th October).
The course will explore the history of radical women in Britain, highlighting their struggle for civil, political and legal rights over two centuries. It will include the important  contribution made by many women from Greater Manchester.
We begin with Mary Wollstonecraft’s  book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and then go on to the  radical movement of the 1790s, the risings of the Luddites, the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, the Owenite Feminists,  Chartism, Socialism, trade unions and the long campaign for Votes for Women which started in 1866 and ended in 1918 [in a way].

The second part of the course at Aquinas will start in January 2017 and covers the years 1918-1980.

For information about the course fees and how to book, please contact Sheila Lahan at the Adult Education Unit at Aquinas College, email sheila@aquinas.college.ac.uk.  Telephone:  0161 419 9163.

Michael will also be teaching this course during the day at the Working Class Movement Library, starting on Tuesday 27th September, 11am to 1pm. It will cover the same topics as the course at Aquinas.  The course will last 10 weeks. Half-term will be 25 October and the course will finish on Tuesday 6 December. As part of the course there will be an opportunity to look at original documents and items in the collection at the WCML.
The cost of the course at the WCML will be £60, payable in advance. For more information about the course and how to book, please contact Michael Herbert: redflagwalks@gmail.com
More about and from the Working Class Movement Library:
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX

Conference - Radical women, 1880-1914
There are just a few tickets remaining for our 17 September conference at the Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford. 
The decades spanning the turn of the twentieth century saw an upsurge in female activism as women began to organise themselves into trade unions, take part in the socialist debates on social and economic change, and demand the vote. This conference celebrates the battles and achievements of working-class women in the drive to achieve a fairer and more balanced society. 
Keynote speakers: Professor Sheila Rowbotham and Professor Karen Hunt.  Full speaker lineup at 
Price £20 waged, £7.50 unwaged including lunch. Places must be reserved and paid for in advance. Please email Royston Futter, trustees@wcml.org.uk

UPDATE (13/9/16): "We are delighted that our conference this Saturday has proved so popular. It is, however, fully booked, with a long waiting list. It won't be possible to accommodate anyone turning up on the day who hasn't already got a place - sorry."

Heritage Open Days
On Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September at 2pm we mark 
Heritage Open Days 2016 with behind the scenes tours of the Library. Pre-booking advised via enquiries@wcml.org.uk.
Museums at Night
On Thursday 27 October we open in the evening (6.30pm-8pm) to mark the nationwide Museums at Night celebration. Broadside ballads from the Manchester region from the ‘Middleton Linnet’ Jennifer Reid form a counterpoint to Battle for the Ballot, in which singer-songwriter Quiet Loner uses original songs to tell the story of how working people came to have a vote.  The story will take in events like the Peterloo Massacre and introduce the people – Chartists, politicians and suffragettes – who fought for the ideal of universal suffrage.
Admission free.

New series of Invisible Histories talks
Our popular series of free Wednesday 2pm tours begins again in September:

14 Sept Granville Williams Pit props: music, international solidarity and the 1984/85 miners' strike.28 Sept Ray Physick The Olimpiada Popular of 1936 and the worker sport movement in the inter-war years.
12 Oct Katrina Navickas Protests and public space in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the age of radicals and the Chartists, 1789-1848. 
26 Oct Nicole Robertson “Organise, educate and agitate”: trade unionism and office workers in Britain, 1914-39. 
 9 Nov Mervyn Busteed Engels, the Burns Family and the Manchester Irish.
 23 Nov Malcolm Pittock Albert Evans, Bolton WW1 conscientious objector.

All welcome, admission free, light refreshments after. 

And on Tuesday 4 October at 2pm there will be a talk to mark Black History Month: Race, racism and the working class struggle by Lou Kushnick, founder of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.  All welcome, admission free, light refreshments after.

Last chance to see our Trades Council exhibition
Our exhibition To Make That Future Now! - 150 years of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council closes on Friday 16 September.
For 150 years the Trades Council has fought, not only for socialism and trade union rights, but also against injustices such as poverty, discrimination and unemployment - and, as two separate institutions since 1975, it still carries on the struggle.

Open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm and this coming Saturday, 3 September 10am-4pm.
Admission free.. More details at http://www.wcml.org.uk/events.
On Wednesday 28 September our new exhibitionWe Only Want the Earth, opens and runs until the end of the year. On the centenary of the Easter rising we explore the life of one of its leaders, James Connolly, socialist, trade unionist, nationalist and revolutionary.  We Only Want the Earth reveals the life and prolific works of this enigmatic man.
Exhibitions are open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.

"And the above only gets us to the end of October... To find out more about the first UK reading of a new piece by Charlotte Delaney, playwright and daughter of Salford writer Shelagh Delaney, on 3 November, and other events before the end of the year, head to http://www.wcml.org.uk/events."

Sheila Rowbotham at the London Review Bookshop
19 October 2016 at 7 p.m.

"Sheila Rowbotham was one of the leading figures behind the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain and one of the best-loved feminists of our times. In conversation with Melissa Benn, Rowbotham will discuss her latest book Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States and its transatlantic story of six radical pioneers, showing how rebellious ideas were formed and travelled across the Atlantic.
They will discuss the fascinating perspectives offered by Rebel Crossings: on the historical interaction of feminism, socialism, anarchism and on the incipient consciousness of a new sense of self, so vital for women seeking emancipation. In differing ways they sought to combine the creation of a co-operative society with personal freedom, engaging with ideas and experiments that speak to our times today."


LSHG Seminar series Autumn 2016

London Socialist Historians Group seminar series Autumn 2016
All in Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm. 
Free without ticket - no need to book in advance. 

Monday October 10th 2016 - Steve Cushion: 'A Working Class Heroine Is Also Something To Be: Where women workers fit into "A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution, How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrilla Victory"'

Monday October 24th 2016 - Ian Birchall: 'Lenin’s Moscow by Alfred Rosmer'  (book launch)

Monday November 7th 2016 - Simon Hall: '1956: The World in Revolt'

Monday November 21st - tba
Monday December 5th - Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'
For more information please contact LSHG convenor Keith Flett at keith1917@btinternet.com


A year-long series of monthly discussion meetings, timed to take place during the run-up to the centenary of Russia’s revolutions of 1917.
Venue: Birkbeck, University of London

Full programme and further information:  https://socialhistories1917.wordpress.com/

Each discussion will be opened by historians, scholars working in academia who have spent many years studying the revolution in the Russian archives. But these are not academic seminars - they are open to all who share our interest in the history of the Russian revolution as a landmark struggle for social liberation. At each discussion there will be an opening talk of about 30 minutes, followed by open debate.
The emphasis in the discussion meetings will be on the social histories of the revolution - that is, how it was experienced by the mass of working people who participated.
By taking this approach we aim not to brush aside the role of political leaders, and their disputes and decisions, but rather to move beyond these well-known debates and reach a deeper understanding of the revolution as the active participation of millions of people in changing history.
We hope that by developing our theme over a year of meetings, we will be able collectively to engage in serious thinking and re-thinking about the revolution and its significance for our past and present.

William Dixon, Brendan McGeever, Simon Pirani (Organisers)  

Oct 27 – Steve Smith (University of Oxford): The Social History of the Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921
Nov 24 – Brendan McGeever (Birkbeck, University of London): Antisemitism and Revolutionary Politics in the Russian Revolution, 1917-1919
Dec 15 – Andy Willimott (Reading University): Living the Revolution: Urban Communes in 1920s Russia and the Invention of a Socialist Lifestyle

Jan 26 – Sarah Badcock (Nottingham University): The 1917 Revolutions at Local Level
Feb 23 – Katy Turton (Queens University, Belfast): Women in Revolt: the Female Experience of the 1917 Revolutions
March 16 – George Gilbert (Southampton University): The Radical Right and the Russian Revolution
March 30 –Dimitri Tolkatsch (University of Freiburg, Germany): The Ukrainian Peasant Insurgency in the Revolutionary Period
April 27 – Chris Read (Warwick University): The Social History of the Revolutionary Period
May 25 – Barbara Allen (La Salle University, USA): Alexander Shlyapnikov and the Russian Metalworkers in 1917
June 29 – Don Filtzer (University of East London): The Working Class and the First Five-year Plan, 1928-32
Sep 28 – Wendy Goldman (Carnegie Mellon University, USA): Taking Power: Remaking the Family, Levelling Wages, Planning the Economy
Oct 12 – Lara Cook (University of York): Local Soviets in 1917-18 and their Relations with the Central Executive Committee
Oct 26 – 1917 A Century On: A Debate (Speakers TBC, including Simon Pirani (author of The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920-1924)
Nov 23 – Gleb Albert (University of Zurich): Early Soviet Society and World Revolution, 1917-27

From: History and Policy e-newsletter

Brexit and food prices: the legacy of the Hungry Forties

"Plenty of attention is being paid to the political and constitutional effects of Brexit, but what will its economic impact be on life’s most basic commodities? How did food prices inform the debate in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum, and how have they informed debate in the past? How have the spectres of want and hunger been invoked over the last century and a half in political contexts, and are we paying them enough attention now?
Debating these questions will be five historians and policy makers with combined expertise covering the period since the 1840s, the “Hungry Forties,” which live in political memory as the UK’s last serious sustained period of food poverty. The discussion is aimed at policy makers and practitioners working in the area of food poverty and food security, and aims to show how lessons from the past can inform decision-making today.
This roundtable will consist of four papers delivered by experts. There will be ample time for questions and discussion following each paper, and at the close of the afternoon."
Places are limited and RSVP is essential. Please book your place here.
CHAIR/COMMENTATOR: Professor Jim Tomlinson (Glasgow)
PANELISTS (all paper titles tbc)
Professor Anthony Howe (East Anglia) - The Hungry Forties and the Rise of Free Trade England
Dr Sarah Richardson (Warwick) - The Legacy of the Hungry Forties (Late 19th-early 20th century)
Lindsay Aqui (Queen Mary) - The Hungry Forties and the 1975 Referendum
Geoff Tansey (Curator, Food Systems Academy; Chair, Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty) - Food Prices and Brexit
The Global Economics and History Forum is run by Dr Marc-William Palen (Exeter), Dr David Thackeray (Exeter) and Dr Andrew Dilley (Aberdeen). The forum aims to bring together academics, business groups, policy makers and the public interested in how understandings of historical trade relations can inform current policy debates.

Call for Papers: Revolutionary Pasts

Revolutionary Pasts
Revolutionary Pasts: Representing the Long Nineteenth Century’s Radical Heritage’, 4 and 5 November, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
How did activists remember, represent and reassess the revolutionary heritage of the ‘long nineteenth century’? On 4–5 November, Northumbria University’s ‘Histories of Activism’ research group will examine this question in association with the Society for the Study of Labour History (SSLH) and with the support of Durham’s Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies.

We will explore how movements, groups and organisations evoked the memory of particular events (e.g. the revolutions of 1789 and 1848, the Paris Commune, the Haymarket Affair) and how they cast or recast the legacy of particular movements (e.g. utopian socialism, Chartism, feminism). In doing so, the event explores narratives about radical and revolutionary legacies in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

We are currently accepting paper proposals for this event. Please send us a brief abstract (c. 200 words) and a biographical note or CV by 12 September. You can contact the organisers (Daniel Laqua, Charlotte Alston, Laura O’Brien) via historiesofactivism@gmail.com.

Members of the SSLH may wish to note that the Society’s AGM will take place during the conference. A full programme and registration details will be available in late September.
n.b. This page will be updated from time to time as new notifications come in.