Thursday, December 13, 2018

Events into the New Year: Listings Update

Thomas Helliker: Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony 
Invitation to annual commemoration

Friday 22 March

The annual Wreath Laying organised by White Horse (Wiltshire) Trades Union Council to commemorate Thomas Helliker will take place on Friday 22 March at 12.00noon at Thomas Helliker's Tomb in St James Churchyard, Trowbridge. 

Thomas Helliker, (sometimes spelt Hilliker or Elliker) is often referred to as the Trowbridge Martyr.  He was a young apprentice shearman working in the woollen industry.  
When Littleton Mill, near Trowbridge was burned down in protest at the introduction of machinery he was apprehended on false accusation despite having an alibi and protesting his innocence. Although he probably knew those who had set the fire, he steadfastly refused to name them. He was charged and sent for trial, in Salisbury where he was subsequently found guilty and was hanged at Fisherton Goal on his 19th birthday on 22 March 1803 despite public outrage. 
It is likely that he had been framed by powerful clothiers determined to make an example.


Housmans regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and always welcome suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances: click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights. Also, you can view video from some special events here.
"Sex Drive: On the Road to a Pleasure Revolution" 
with Stephanie Theobald
Thursday 10th January, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

'The Happiness Fantasy' with Carl Cederstrom

Wednesday 23rd January, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

'Rethinking Racial Capitalism' with Gargi Bhattacharyya
Wednesday 30th January, 7pm
Entry £3 redeemable against any purchase

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473

Programme 2019
At the Epicentre, West St, E11 4LJ
7.30pm Buffet (please bring veggie item if you can)
8.00pm Talk/discussion till 10pm & back to buffet
Travel and Access
Stratford stations & 257 bus
Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk  Disabled access
Car park / bikes can be brought in
Quiet children welcome
Phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
Open to all; no booking, just turn up
Enquiries 0208 555 5248 or

Saturday 12th January 2019

Waltham Forest Animal Protection Warriors!   

Speakers: Rachel Barrett, Mark Dawes, Margaret Winniak, K-Star
K-Star, Margaret, Mark & Rachel, members of Waltham Forest Animal Protection, will speak about their work in helping animals in our borough & beyond. The group was set up in August 2014. Meetings have included speakers from near & far:  from Waltham Forest Cats Protection to Animals Asia. Members have been successful in stopping Aldi from chopping down trees with nesting birds; in removing lethal, bird-trapping netting on buildings; & in encouraging the Council to scan pets killed in road traffic accidents. Along with advice on what to do if you find sick or injured wildlife, topics for debate will include:

  •   Going vegan is the best way to save the planet
  •   It's unethical to experiment on animals
  •   It's wrong to use animals for entertainment or sport!
  •   All fur should be banned. The group is campaigning to get the sale of fur banned in Waltham Forest.
Saturday 9th February 2019
Life, the Universe and Everything Else.     
Speaker: Brian Madican

Have you ever wondered about where the universe comes from or how did it come into being? Ever pondered on the meaning of life, what is the purpose of it all, why do human beings exist & other similar questions that have baffled the philosophers down the centuries? Then come along & listen to Brian as he tackles these questions & more in this shamelessly plagiarised, but modestly entitled, talk.

Ward window on the world:
West  London Dec. 2018
Saturday 9th March 2019
The End of the NHS? Much Closer Than You Think

Speaker: Carol Saunders

In its 70th year, it’s an open secret that the NHS is struggling as never before. We’ve been bombarded with stories about missed targets, bed shortages, staff shortages, A&E & hospital closures & the dire lack of services for mental health patients. But that’s just the headlines. Come & hear the jaw-dropping back-story of how, back in 2013-14, the World Economic Forum drew up a blueprint for dismantling worldwide socialised health services – a blueprint that’s being followed, right now, in the English NHS. Carol is a campaigner with Tower Hamlets Keep our NHS Public / NE London Save our NHS.

Saturday 13th April 2019

George Orwell, the Labour Party and the Left   

Speaker: Professor John Newsinger

George Orwell was a lifelong socialist. As far as he was concerned, socialism was involved in the achievement of a democratic classless society, a society in which the rich had been altogether dispossessed. His experiences in Spain in the 1930s convinced him that this would require a revolution & he held to this belief through the Second World War, even hoping that the Attlee government might go down a revolutionary road. This talk examines the trajectory of his political thinking & his changing attitudes towards the Labour Party. John Newsinger is Professor of Modern History at Bath Spa University & the author of several books, including the graphic novel, 1917: The Red Year. He is co-editor of the journal George Orwell Studies. His book on Orwell, ‘Hope Lies in the Proles’: Orwell & the Left, came out in 2018. John was unable to be with us last year after all, but will be in 2019.

More to follow monthly throughout the year.

Bishopsgate Institute 230 Bishopsgate London EC2M 4QH Archives Tour -

Women's and Feminist History
28 March | 18.30 | £7 / £5 conc.
Join our Library and Digital Archives Manager to hear the fascinating stories of the

Suffragettes and activists that lie within our women’s and feminist history collections.

Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
SalfordM5 4WX
Library opening hours over the festive periodChristmas 2018 - NB that the Library will close at 5pm on Friday 21 December 
until Tuesday 2 January at 10am
If you're not one already and would like to become a Friend of the Library, or to buy someone else a Friend's subscri for Christmas, head here

Our current exhibition Votes for women . . . or votes for ladies? runs until 24 January, and is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm.  It celebrates the first step that parliament took, one hundred years ago, towards all adult women finally gaining the right to vote.
The exhibition is part of our Heritage Lottery Fund project Voting for change and features various items acquired as part of this project.  A summary of recent news about our Voting for Change project can be found here.
Pankhurst Centre exhibition
The Pankhurst Centre [Manchester] is holding an exhibition about Manchester's response to the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote.  Centenary City runs until 10 March, Thursdays 10am-4pm and on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month 1-4pm.  
It features a selection of objects from some of the city's key #Vote100 moments including banners, artwork, leaflets and badges; these have been collected to become part of an archive to record how Manchester has commemorated this landmark year.

2019 events update
Our early 2019 events listing is now available at  

A guest exhibition, Guernica Remakings, will open on 31 January exploring the ongoing power of Pablo Picasso’s iconic 1937 painting Guernica through a display of 21st century reworkings from across the globe.  The exhibition, which marks the 80th anniversary of the extraordinary story of the showing of Picasso’s Guernica in a car showroom in Manchester, runs until 20 March and is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm.  It is part of an international tour echoing the spirit in which Picasso’s Guernica toured, and functions as both an anti-fascist statement and a call to action.
All are welcome to attend the exhibition launch evening – Thursday 31 January 6pm.
The curator of the exhibition, Nicola Ashmore, Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton, will also give an illustrated talk on Wednesday 13 March at 2pm that explores Guernica and its remakings as a call to action, pushing back at those in power who choose to act to the detriment of civilians.
There is a press release about the exhibition here.

Spring series of free Wednesday 2pm Invisible Histories talks
Our spring series of free Wednesday 2pm Invisible Histories talks starts up again on 13 March with Nicola Ashmore, curator of our current Guernica Remakings exhibition, and artist Claire Hignett speaking about aspects of the exhibition. (See above)

27 March Tom Woodin  Working class writing and publishing in the late 20th century: literature, culture and community

10 April  Sally Groves  Out on the Costa del Trico!

24 April  Rob Hargreaves  Beyond Peterloo: Elijah Dixon and Manchester’s forgotten reformers.

LGBT History Month - Glyn Salton-Cox, 'Queer Communism'
We are delighted to welcome Glyn Salton-Cox, Assistant Professor of English and Affiliate of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to mark LGBT History Month with us on Saturday 9 February at 2pm
Glyn states: ‘It is well known that many of the best-known queer writers of the 1930s were involved with Communist politics. Why, then, has there been no extended examination of this striking juncture of dissident sex and socialism?’ His talk to us explores this question, among others, aiming to transform current narratives of 20th century literary, cultural, and intellectual history from a queer Marxist perspective. It will also explore the contemporary problem of populism, arguing we can learn important lessons from the queer radicalism of the 1930s that can help formulate strategies of resistance to today’s multi-layered oppressions in both Britain and the US.
Admission free; light refreshments available; all welcome. 

International Women's Day 
We mark International Women's Day on Saturday 2 March with an afternoon (2pm start) focussed on a project bringing to life the last 100 years of women’s protest, discussing the changing nature of women’s activism and some of the more significant protest sites in the North.
Remembering Resistance: a Century of Women’s Protest in the North of England is a Heritage Lottery Funded project that aims to catalogue, celebrate, and engage the public in women's efforts to bring about political change. There will be talks plus the opportunity to get involved with the project by recalling your own memories of women’s campaigning.
Admission free; light refreshments available; all welcome.

Townsend Productions - Rouse, ye women
We are delighted to welcome back Townsend Productions on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 March (7.30pm start) with their new musical drama Rouse, ye women. Through traditional songs and ballads we will learn the story of the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath in the West Midlands.  In 1910 they began a successful ten-week strike, led by charismatic union campaigner Mary Macarthur, to more than double their earnings and establish the principle of a national minimum wage. 
The strike was a prelude to the ‘Great Unrest’ of industrial action that swept Britain in 1911, and led to a landmark victory for a fair wage, changing the lives of thousands of workers, whilst proving their economic power.
The evening features original songs and music composed by folk musician John Kirkpatrick (Steeleye Span, Home Service, Richard Thompson Band, etc.).
Tickets price £12.75 (£10.75 concession, £6.75 student) available here.

No country for women 
In an Irish Mancunian event marking the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary first Dáil Éireann, No country for women, on Sunday 20 January 2pm at Chorlton Irish Club, Sonja Tiernan will examine how women played a central role in establishing the Irish Free State but were then relegated to the margins of political and public life. There will also be a screening of an RTE documentary examining Irish women's lives over the past 100 years.
Full details & tickets at  

Radical Readings fundraiser  update - tickets on sale 
The Working Class Movement Library is proud to present another in its series of Radical Readings fundraising events - 'Those who were there - the people at Peterloo have their say'.  It will take place in Maxwell Hall at the University of Salford on Sunday 14 April at 2pm, and tickets price £15 plus booking fee are on sale online via

Christopher Eccleston, Sheila Hancock, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Mike Joyce, Nico Mirallegro and Maxine Peake, who are all strong supporters of the Library, are booked to appear.  They will be reading accounts of the dreadful event of Peterloo - concentrating on the reports of those people who were actually there rather than on later comments.  There will also be poetry from Oliver James Lomax, and ballads from Jennifer Reid.  The event is devised and introduced by Royston Futter, Working Class Movement Library trustee.
Everyone at the Library is delighted that these tremendous performers have agreed so willingly to contribute their time and their talent to boost its fundraising appeal.  
All proceeds will go to support the Working Class Movement Library
Also notified by WCML: 
War and an Irish Town 
On Sunday 10 February from 2 to 4pm Irish Mancunian will be welcoming Derry civil rights leader Eamonn McCann to Chorlton Irish Club, 17 High Lane, Manchester M21 9DJ to discuss his republished book War and an Irish Town. First published in 1974, it provides a vivid account of the development of the civil rights movement and the transformation of peaceful protest - driven off the streets - into armed conflict.  Eamonn will be discussing the book and reflecting on more recent developments in conversation with Dr Paddy Hoey of Edge Hill University.

Before the speaker there will also be a screening of the documentary 'The Day the Troubles Began', which puts the marches in the context of the international influences that drove people to take to the streets in protest in Chicago, Paris and elsewhere.

Tickets price £4 in advance, and more information, at
Co-operative University Information Day
An information event about the planned Co-operative University will take place 
on Tuesday 5 March 2019 at The Federation, Manchester.

The free event, running from 12.15 to 4.30 p.m., will highlight what’s different about a Co-operative University, offer more information about the degree programmes that are planned, and highlight how you can get involved.
Undergraduate programmes will include: 
  • International Development and Co-operation
  • Social Movements
  • Co-operative Leadership, Culture and Management.
Also planned are accredited higher education programmes in Democratic PracticeSocial and Community OrganisingCommunity History and CultureHuman EcologyArt and Community, Alternative Forms of Social and Economic Organisation and The Nature and Future of Work.

More details, including how to book a free place at the event, here.

London CND's 2019 conference
on the theme 'Trump's finger on the nuclear button' - 
speakers including Catherine West MP and Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley.
12 noon - 5pm on Saturday 12th January,
Tickets are free!

Future Wars videos

Videos from the conference on new technology and the future of warfare are now up on our website - including this clip of Nobel Peace Prize winner Arielle Denis. 

Trump Trashes INF Treaty

Read our analysis of Trump's withdrawal from the INF treaty, and its fallout.


The London Socialist Historians Group which organises the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, now in its 25th year, has reiterated its support for workers involved in a long running dispute at the University of London’s Senate House in Bloomsbury over the outsourcing of support staff (those who actually keep the place running).
After industrial action and protests by the IWGB trade union who organise many of the workers involved the University agreed to bring outsourced work back in-house. However it has delayed the timescale originally proposed for this. As a result the IWGB have called for a boycott of Senate House.
The LSHG has always supported the workers in dispute and indeed has cancelled seminars at Senate House on days when action has been taking place in solidarity.
We are supporting the boycott. We have three seminars scheduled at the Institute of Historical Research for late January and February 2019.
We are consulting with speakers about whether to take these forward in some form or postpone until a later date. The first seminar on 28thJanuary has been postponed.
That also means we are scheduling no more seminars at Senate House after the end of February for the time being in support of the IWGB members in dispute.
LSHG Convenor Dr Keith Flett said we believe that it is absolutely right that a socialist history seminar should stand in solidarity with Senate House workers and we are pleased to see that a growing number of other IHR seminars are also supporting the dispute.
Details of the dispute are here
Haringey Local History Fair 2019
The date will be 16th February 2019  
11am- 4.30pm
Show-casing "local groups with an interest in the history, social history, natural history and architecture of Haringey ... also groups and individuals with a special project each year, or those who are also taking part in the talks programme.   A stall normally consists of a 6ft table where you can promote your group, sell books and merchandise and meet members of the public.  Booking is free."   
(Look out for the RaHN stall, as usual.) 
Information and contact: Haringey Local History Library and Archives
Bruce Castle Museum
Lordship Lane
London N17 8NU

Phone: 020 8808 8772
Fax:  020 8808 4118
Anarchism talks in Nottingham 28th Jan & 4th Feb 2019
The Meaning of Anarchism, via twelve libertarians
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH.
£3.00 on the door, including refreshments.
Anarchism is a much misunderstood and much misrepresented theory. Rejecting the chaos of capitalism and statism, it seeks to create the order of libertarian socialism, a free society of free associates. To discover more, please join Iain McKay (author of An Anarchist FAQ) for an exploration of libertarian ideas by means of six male and six female anarchist thinkers and activists.
Over two nights, the lives and ideas of the founding fathers and mothers of anarchism – including Michael Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Louise Michel and Emma Goldman – will be discussed and their continuing relevance highlighted.
Week one -- Monday, 28th January: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Founding Fathers, 1840 to 1940: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon; Joseph Dejacques;  Michael Bakunin; Errico Malatesta; Peter Kropotkin; Rudolf Rocker
Week two – Monday, 4th February: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Founding Mothers, 1840 to 1940; André Léo; Louise Michel; Lucy Parsons; Emma Goldman; Voltairine de Cleyre; Marie-Louis Berneri
Link for more info (and notes from previous talks)

Independent Working Class Education

Working-Class Adult Education in Yorkshire between the wars 
- what can we learn for today?’

Saturday 30th March at York Friends Meeting House.

Presenters will include: Christine Pushpa Kumbhat, Richard Lewis, Sharon Clancy, a WEA speaker and Colin Waugh. 
10.30-3.30 Saturday 30 March 2019
Quaker Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9RL
Admission (includes lunch): £5.00 (pay on day)

To sign up, contact Keith Venables at:
  • Christine Pushpa* Kumbhat (author of ‘Working Class Adult Education in Yorkshire 1918-1939’ - Google this title to access her thesis.)
  • Richard Lewis (author of Leaders and Teachers. Adult Education and the Challenge of Labour in South Wales, 1906-1940)
  • Sharon Clancy (Raymond Williams Foundation, Adult Education 100)
  • Rob Hindle (Senior Area Education Manager, WEA Yorkshire)
  • Colin Waugh (author of ‘Plebs’: The Lost Legacy of Independent
  • Working-Class Education)
The day will consist of five sessions, with an introductory talk by each speaker, and there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion. 

* In the tradition of Ruth Frow’s unpublished 1968 thesis on the Labour Colleges in Lancashire 1909-1930, and Richard’s ground-breaking 1996 book about WEA/Labour College interaction in South Wales, Pushpa will speak about her important December 2017 Leeds University thesis, which deals with WEA, Plebs League/National Council of Labour Colleges and Cooperative Society adult education in Yorkshire between the wars, focusing especially on the WEA/NCLC interaction.

Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2019
Yasmin Khan
Women on the frontline of empire: a feminist history of the Second World War’
 Thursday 7th March 2019, 6.00 – 7.30pm
Wine reception to follow

Venue:   Arts 2 Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, 
Mile End Road, London E1 4NS. 
To locate the venue, please click on this campus map.

Free of charge, but please reserve your place via Eventbrite

Imperial soldiers played a significant and increasingly well acknowledged part in the Second World War, but what about the women of the British empire? What stories might global and feminist histories of the Second World War reveal? Along the thoroughfares of empire, from Aden to Calcutta and Hong Kong, women’s lives were transformed by the pressures of the global war. This lecture will consider some of the most marginal and forgotten voices in British Second World War history. 

Yasmin Khan is an Associate Professor of British History at the University of Oxford. She has published on the decolonization of South Asia including refugees, war and the Partition of 1947, most recently The Raj at War (Bodley Head, 2015). In 2018 she presented a short series, A Passage to Britain,  on BBC2.

A couple of things from Medact
Food Justice Workshop - London, Wednesday 30th January A Medact workshop for healthcare professionals working across the healthcare services who are interested in becoming involved with campaigns on food justice and health. More details on the website calendar.
Centre for Sustainable Healthcare workshops - London, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th January 2019 Our friends at the CSH are running this excellent pair of workshops for leadership in sustainability and health and sustainability in quality improvement for up to 20 people.
UPDATE from Medact
Local Group Meetings
London - Tuesday 29th January, 7pm - Join us to discuss our forthcoming plans for campaigning at the Medact Office, The Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, N1 6HT.
Scotland - Thursday 28th February, 7.30pm - Join us at Citizen M Hotel, 60 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3BW.
Tyneside - Monday 4th February, 2.30pm -Please email Elizabeth Waterston for details.
Oxford - Wednesday 6th March - Details TBC, please sign up to the group mailing list about meeting info at 

‘Selling the Military’ report launch
Launch event for Medact and ForcesWatch’s new report 
Selling the military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing, 
on Thursday 27th February, 
at Wesley’s Chapel & Leysian Mission in Old Street, London.
Details on Events page

The new report analyses the way that the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people. The evening will review how military marketing campaigns create powerful messages that at times exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and wellbeing of recruits.

2nd March 2019 at Bloomsbury Central, London WC2


These listings will be updated from time to time.