Friday, May 1, 2015


NEW:  The Design Activism Research Hub announces its first exhibition, Radical Attic. 

The exhibition features social and political activist material culture, highlighting the histories and memories associated with the items, from Greece to Greenham, Animal Liberation to ACT UP and the alter-globalisation movements to the recent student occupations.

Private view was Thursday 14 May / 6pm - 9pm [missed it]

Exhibition runs 15-21 May

Lower Street Gallery
London College of Communication,
Elephant & Castle,

UK 2014, Dir. Owen Gower. 112 min. (Speaker TBC)

Some 30 years after the end of the 1984-85 miner's strike Radical Islington are organsing a special May Day screening of Still the Enemy Within in collaboration with Reel Islington.

Date: Fri May 1 2015
Time: Doors open at 6PM, film starts at 6:30PM
Cost: £5 / £2.50 unwaged or low wage concession.
Location: The Rocket Complex, London Metropolitan University, 166-220
Holloway Road, London N7 8DB
The next event organised by the Wakefield Socialist History Group will be a meeting on Saturday 9 May, 1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 (by the rear entrance  to Trinity Walk Shopping Centre).

The topic is "The Story of the Independent Labour Party -and the Lessons for Today!"

There will be two speakers.

The first speaker is Iain Dalton, West Yorkshire Organiser for the Socialist Party. The Socialist Party stands for a "democratic society run for the needs of all and not the profits of a few."  It is part of the Committee for a Workers' International.

The second speaker is Barry Winter, 
author of "The ILP: Past and Present", from Independent Labour Publications which is an "educational trust, publishing house and pressure group committed to democratic socialism."  

Kitty Rees will be in the Chair.

Questions, debate, discussion.
Excellent award winning real ale!

(Admission is free and there will be a free light buffet.)

Update: How It Went...

From Wakefield Socialist History Group: 
Twenty two people attended a meeting on Saturday at the Red Shed to discuss "The Story of the Independent Labour Party -and lessons for today."
The first speaker was Iain Dalton from the Socialist Party.  Iain highlighted how the ILP was founded in Bradford and argued that it was the "product of struggles that took place in West Yorkshire" beforehand such as the strike at Manningham Mills.
The second speaker was Barry Winter from Independent Labour Publications.  Barry spoke in particular about the life and contribution of Keir Hardie.  This year sees the centenary of his death.
The Group's next event is a guided walk around Radical Bradford on Saturday 13th June.  

Newington Green radical history Walk

Sunday 17th May 2015

Feminists and Dissenters, Anarchist printers and Squatters, Radical Clubs,
and much more

Meet 12 midday in Newington Green, London N1.
Bring your own bits of history.
Flyer featuring street art (Mary Wollstonecraft) etc.
Working Class Movement Library, Salford
51 The Crescent,
Salford,, M5 4WX

<< If you head to you can explore the new mobile friendly site. We’ve added a lot of information about library resources you can come here and read, on a vast range of topics.   And there’s a whole mini-site devoted to Ewan MacColl, just in time for the centenary event we are holding at the University of Salford on 10 May*.
We'd love to hear your feedback on the new site so let us know what you think. >>

Our next exhibition, Spirit of ‘45: from warfare to welfare, opens on Friday 1 May. Following the end of the Second World War the people of Britain elected a Labour government. It was a landslide victory. Seventy years later we recall the achievements of that government and explore what remains of its radical reforms.
Open during our drop-in times, Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm.

 There will be a series of free events alongside the exhibition:

Wednesday 10 June 2pm - Francis Beckett talk on Clement Attlee
Wednesday 24 June 2pm - Screening of the National Co-operative Film Archive's 1945 film Song of the People.
Wednesday 8 July 2pm - Pat Thane talk on the 1945 welfare reforms
Wednesday 22 July 2pm - Keith Flett talk, 'A History of 1945: beyond Ken Loach'

 On Friday 8 May at 2pm at the Library, Professor Sharon Ruston (Lancaster University) will give a talk on Mary Wollstonecraft and natural history.  She will discuss the way that Wollstonecraft used natural history knowledge to form her ideas for her feminist treatise, Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Admission free.

* On Sunday 10 May at 2pm in Peel Hall at the University of Salford, the Library and the University present a centenary tribute to Ewan MacColl. In Ewan MacColl, his life, his words, his music the man will be brought to life by former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce and singer-songwriter John Conolly:  [Update] A slight change in personnel for our Ewan MacColl event.  David Crellin (The Cops, Emmerdale) will now be participating alongside Mike Joyce and John Conolly – and Library Trustee Maxine Peake will be making guest appearances as both Joan Littlewood and Peggy Seeger! 

Tickets £12 (£8 students) are available from the University online shop. All proceeds to the Library.

Tickets £12 (£8 students) available only from the University online shop. All proceeds to the Library.

On Thursday 14 May the Library is again taking part in Manchester After Hours with a free Museums at Night event, Songs from Cottonpolis.  Come and enjoy the fine acoustic of the Library's hall - drop in any time 5-7.30pm to hear singing from the Bailey Sisters, browse exhibits and enjoy refreshments.

Sixth annual Frow Lecture
On Saturday 16 May at 2pm Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary, will give the sixth annual Frow Lecture at the Old Fire Station on the Crescent, just down the road from the Library (WCML as above). Her topic is 'The future of the left - where next for Labour, trade unions and the working class?'.  Frances will be talking about the need to build a new left-wing politics in Britain bringing together all progressive forces, including emerging campaign movements that energise young people.
Admission free.  This is not a ticketed event - please arrive in good time to ensure a seat.

Newsflash - change of venue for Frow Lecture

This Saturday's Frow Lecture by TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will now take place at Manchester Mechanics’ Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD (entrance on Major Street), starting at 2.15pm rather than 2pm.  Directions here

Len Johnson 'Fighter'
The play Len Johnson 'Fighter', about the boxer and activist, returns to Salford's King's Arms tonight (11 May) until Wednesday 13 May at 7.30pm - tickets price £8 (£6 concessions) can be booked here. And a reminder that the play is also on at Bolton Octagon Theatre on 20-21 May - further details and tickets (price £10, concessions £8), here.  The play tells the story of a man who has been called 'the greatest British middleweight never to be champion', denied the opportunity to compete because of his colour. Len continued his fight against discrimination after his retirement from the ring, campaigning for many causes at home and abroad.
Stand Up for Peace
On Friday 15 May between 5 and 6pm there will be an event outside the Friends' Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS, Stand Up for Peace, remembering the conscientious objectors of 1915 with poems, songs and stories.  All welcome.
'Prisoners of war' at the Hall o'th'Hill Camp
There will be an exhibition at Adlington Library, Railway Road, Adlington, Chorley  PR6 9RG from 15 May to 12 June, Heath Charnock's Green Men.  This tells the story of the 'prisoners of war' at the Hall o'th'Hill Camp, when over 220 Spanish anti-fascists and Republicans were interned in Adlington during World War Two.
Opening hours here
Raymond Williams Now
A one-day conference at Manchester's Friends Meeting House on Saturday 30 May, Raymond Williams Now, assesses Williams’s work and legacy. The event will feature a keynote lecture from Professor Tony Crowley and a wide range of papers. Artist Ruth Beale will present a film, ‘Performing Keywords’, first performed at the Turner Contemporary 2013. The day will conclude with a round table panel discussion on Williams and the contemporary Left. Further information here.

Registration price £30 waged, £15 concessions here (closing date Friday 15 May). 
Talks on ‘People’s History’ at Manchester Metropolitan University, part of the our Humanities in Public Festival, continue...

 The ‘Future Histories’ strand will see talks from Prof Sally Alexander from Goldsmiths, Prof Alun Howkins from University of Sussex/ University of East Anglia; Peter Box and Roger Ball of the International History From Below Network; and Andrew Flinn from University College London. The talks will explore the histories, practices and ideals of ‘People’s History’:
 • Monday 11 May 2015- “History is the new punk”: The International History From Below Network
 • Monday 18 May 2015- Creating and curating community histories – independent community-led archives and the ‘use-able past’

 The events are free and open to all! Further details on-line at
Public History Discussion Group
 Saturday 16th May 2015
Room 612
Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY
 Come along for tea/coffee at 11am which will be served in the Staff Common Room
Room on the 6th floor- lift and stairs to all floors
Talk starts promptly at 11.30am

The River Severn: Alternative Journeys
Speaker: Linda Shapiro
"Following a river from source to estuary is the obvious way to do it, isn’t it?  My photographic study of the River Severn suggests that this linear view of the landscape has an impact upon how it is viewed by those familiar with it.  This in turn determines what is and what is not deemed to be important in the past."

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