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.


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