UPDATE: Another upcoming event: an exhibition of See Red's posters
at The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association,
39 Tottenham Street,
from June 25-28.
On Friday 27th at 7pm, there will be a discussion Radical Silkscreen Printing Collective led by See Red founder members Suzy and Pru.
The exhibition will be open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 June
and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June.
News from WCML
Working Class Movement Library, Salford
51 The Crescent,
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 and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm.
Free events alongside the exhibition:
Wednesday 10 June 2pm
Francis Beckett talk on Clement Attlee
Francis is an author, journalist, broadcaster, playwright and contemporary historian. He will talk about his book Clem Attlee, which has been described as 'an engrossing personal biography'.
Wednesday 24 June 2pm
Film screening of the National Co-operative Film Archive’s Song of the People. Made in 1945, this film stars a young Bill Owen as a factory worker singing about characters and events in British history from the 14th century to recent conflicts, showing how the lesson for the future lies in co-operation.
Introduced by Gillian Lonergan from the National Co-operative Archive.
Wednesday 8 July 2pm
Pat Thane talk on the 1945 welfare reforms
Pat, who is Research Professor in Contemporary British History, Institute of Contemporary British History, King's College, London, will speak about the post-war welfare reforms.
Wednesday 22 July 2pm
Keith Flett talk - 'A History of 1945: beyond Ken Loach'
Keith is a socialist historian and a prolific letter writer in the British press.
No Redemption Songs
Price £10 - tickets to be booked in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book launch, Northern Re-Sisters
Join Bernadette, meet some of her Northern ReSisters and take part in the discussion over refreshments and cake.
RSVP to email@example.com. Further information here.
The Library is open 10am-4pm on 6 June if you want to come along prior to the book launch and browse our Spirit of '45exhibition.
In Zinn’s play Marx returns to Earth to answer his critics but due to a bureaucratic error he is sent to Soho in New York rather than his old stomping ground in London to make his case. The play aims to be a critique of our society’s hypocrisies and injustices and an entertaining portrait of Marx as a voice of humanitarian justice.
Tickets £9 from www.wegottickets.com/event/313990 or contact B Sullivan on 07702 579278.
Former Police Spy, Serial Liar & Exploiter of Women
...instead of laying off 165 other staff...
Join us to demand the removal of Bob Lambert from London Metropolitan University.
End of Year Picket of London Met
Friday June 5th
12.00 – 2.00pm
LMU Tower, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB
Spread the Word – tell others about this campaign, raise the issue in your networks, communities, union, etc. – the more people know about Bob, the more pressure we all put on the university, the more likely it is that he will have to go.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please note our new email address).
Wakefield Socialist History Group
Guided walk round RADICAL BRADFORD is being held on Saturday 13 June.
There will be short speech by Alan Stewart, Convenor of Wakefield Socialist History Group, at the start of the walk.
The guide for the walk itself is John Gill. John is a socialist historian.
The walk will be about two miles and does involve some inclines. It will go via Lister Park and end at Manningham Mills.
(organised in conjunction with Ford Maguire Society)
*By the time of the Domesday Book (1086) the village by the broad ford had grown large -by standards of the time- and had some 300 inhabitants.
*It was turned into a town when villagers were allowed to hold a weekly market; craftsmen then moved in.
*Medieval Bradford grew to a population of several hundred. It had three streets -Kirkgate, Westgate and Ivegate. The word "gate" in this context does not mean gate in a wall. Rather it is derived from the Danish word "gate" meaning street.
*In 1642 with the onset of the Civil War, local people supported Parliament though the surrounding countryside sided with the King. Royalists sacked the town in 1643.
*The town recovered by the 17th century and was then transformed by the Industrial Revolution. The first bank opened in 1771. The Bradford Canal was built in 1774 and in 1777 it was connected to the Leeds-Liverpool canal.
*By 1851 the population was 103,000 making it the seventh largest urban centre in England. The town was notorious also for its' "dreadful urban squalor" (James 1990).
*Houses in particular were built in a haphazard fashion. There were no building regulations until 1854 and most working class housing was overcrowded with neither sewers nor drains. Many families lived in poorly ventilated cellars and in 1848-49 some 420 people perished in a cholera epidemic that hit the town.
*The Bradford Corporation was founded in 1847. It was not until 1862 that the first mile of piping for a new sewage system was completed. The first public park - Peel Park- opened in 1863. The first public library opened in 1872. The first council houses weren't built until 1907.
"As Bradford expanded in the mid 19th century there was talk of the need for additional public parks. Indeed there was a chance to create one in Manningham.
There Samuel Lister owned the land. His estate consisted of a hall and 54 acres of parkland. He'd allowed the public into the grounds for the annual gala and also at weekends and public holidays.
But now he'd moved away to live at Fairfield Hall near Addingham. So Lister had plans to sell it off for a development of large villas. Adverts appeared in the Bradford Observer from 22 April 1869.
Yet there had been a trade depression in the town. Now was "not the time for property speculation." Alvin (2013) says the scheme was dropped five months later.
Instead Lister offered in the spring of 1870 to sell the estate to the Corporation for £60,000. Radical liberals on the council smelt a rat and accused him of profiteering. Others asked why a park was being provided in relatively affluent Manningham -where many houses have gardens and outdoor space as it was- rather than more crowded working class districts such as Horton and Bowling. However after much debate the Council accepted Lister's offer. The park opened that October.
But why on earth does the ruling class bother with public parks at all? Alvin (2013) notes that in mid 19th century Bradford the lack of open spaces for recreation was said to be responsible for increasing numbers resorting to public houses and gambling for amusement. It was felt parks would have a calming, civilising influence. There the common man could mix in the open air with the "better educated" and be "influenced by their example." Their health and behaviour would be improved.
Parks helped, in other words, with social control and with the reproduction of labour power. There was method, after all, in ruling class madness!"
How it went
(from Wakefield Socialist History Group)
eight people took part in a guided walk round "Radical Bradford"
which the Group organised (with the support of the Leeds Ford Maguire Society)
last Saturday (13 June).
walk started at the Independent Labour Party mural on Leeds Road and went
through Little Germany and along Manningham Lane to Lister Park before
finishing at Manningham Mills (site of a famous strike in 1881).
informative guide was John Gill. At the end of the walk an excellent
short talk was also given by Iain Dalton, who has written widely about
industrial struggles in West Yorkshire.
group's next event is a meeting on the "The Chartists" at the Red
Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield on Saturday 18 July at 1 p.m.
All seminars are held in Room 102, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St WC1 and start at 5.30pm
Monday June 15th - 'History of Riots' launch; Keith Flett and others
Monday June 30th tbc
A launch event for A History of Riots is planned for Monday 15th June Room 102 at the Institute of Historical Research at 5.30pm. Details of the book here
Many historians had thought that riots were a method of protest and revolt which had given way to more organised forms of expression, from trade unions to political parties, during the course of the nineteenth century. Events have proven this idea to be incorrect. Riots still take place around the world on a regular basis.
The contributors to A History of Riots probe various aspects of riots in order to examine the historical issues and concerns that motivate them and dictate their course and to better understand why they take place in the current day.
Sean Creighton looks at the Trafalgar Square riots in London in 1887, referred to as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Ian Birchall analyses how riots have been represented in fiction, while Neil Davidson reviews riotous activity around the Scottish Act of Union in 1707. Keith Flett looks at what is sometimes held to be the peak of British riot history, the Chartist period of the 1840s, while John Newsinger offers a different perspective: not a riot inspired by the crowd or the ‘mob’, as media commentators persist in naming protesters, but one driven by authority, a police riot in the US in the 1930s.
There are editorial introductions and conclusions that place these specific historical studies of aspects of the history of riots in a wider methodological and theoretical framework, looking at the work of some of the foremost historians of riots, including George Rude, and more recent material by Adrian Randall, Andrew Charlesworth and others.
The perspective of the book is clear. Riots are something which is an important part of history, but they also remain part of the present too. In this sense, understanding their history is an important task for historians and all those interested in how, and in what forms, protest develops.
This book represents a contribution to, and promotes, a discussion of both the history of riots and how an examination of this can help provide a better understanding of riots today.
AND (SEE ALSO LSHG BLOG)
Food & drink available for purchase
Exhibition Runs 2-26 July
The Anarchist Free School in Fitzrovia:
A guided walk and talk —
12 noon Saturday 20 June 2015
Author Lydia Syson will lead a 60-minute guided walk and talk about the life of her great-great grandmother Nannie Dryhurst, a teacher at the International School — an anarchist free school — set up in Fitzroy Square
in the late nineteenth century by French anarchist and Communard Louise Michel.
“My great-great grandmother Nannie Dryhurst volunteered there with her lover, the war correspondent Henry Nevinson. Discovering this, and the fact that Louise Michel spent her last years in my own neighbourhood of
East Dulwich, led me to write my new novel Liberty’s Fire, which is coming out on 7 May. The book is set during the Paris Commune but the final scene takes place in Fitzrovia,” says author Lydia Syson.
The walk will also take in other sites of radicalism in Tottenham Street and Charlotte Street, with contributions from Fitzrovia News editors.