History Events and News at 27 April

Amended 29 April with inclusion of 5 May event

Contents inc: events in Newcastle on the Spanish Civil War; Working Class Movement Library events; Wandsworth Heritage Festival; Keir Hardie Conference; Labour Heritage Spring Bulletin.

WHF 2015 programme cover

Wandsworth Heritage Festival 2015 programme final

From Monday 27 April. Antifascistas

International Brigade Memorial Trust exhibition. Newcastle City Library, Charles Avison Building, 33 New Bridge St West, NE1 8AG. Open daily; to check times: www.newcastle.gov.uk/leisure-libraries-and-tourism/libraries/branch-libraries-and-opening-hours/city-library

Tuesdays  to Sundays until 7 June. 10am-5pm (Sun from 2pm).  Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War

Exhibition. Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge St, Newcastle, NE1 8AG; group tours on 2, 13, 16, 20 & 28 May and 3, 4, 5 & 6 June: 12.30pm. £2; contact info@laingartgallery.co.uk or 0191 211 2100 to book; details and admission rates from www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing-art-gallery. For talks see 16 and 28 May.

Thursday 30 April. 6.30pm. From Tyneside to Fracticide

Talk by Dr Lewis Mates (Durham University) about International Brigade volunteers from the North East. Newcastle City Library (From 27 April above.) Free; to reserve a place tel 0191 277 4100 or go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-tyneside-to-fratricide-talk-by-lewis-mates-city-library-30th-april-tickets-16014330293

From Friday 1 May on Wednesdays-Fridays. 1-5pm. Spirit of ‘45: from warfare to welfare exhibition

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.’ Working Class Museum Library, Salford. There will also be talks etc – see below 24 June, 8 & 22 July.

Tuesday 5 May. 7pm. The Levellers in the North East

Talk by Peter Livsey. North East Labour History First Tuesday meeting.  The Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, on 5th of May at 7.00 pm. Peter active in the North East Popular Politics Project.

Friday 8 May. 2pm.  Mary Wollstonecraft and natural history

Professor Sharon Ruston (Lancaster University) 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. Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Sunday 10 May. 2pm. Ewan MacColl, his life, his words, his music Centenary tribute to Ewan MacColl in Peel Hall at the University of Salford, the Library and the University present Gerard Cairns (Ian Gallagher in Shameless), former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce and singer-songwriter John Conolly. Tickets £12 (£8 students) available only from the University online shop. All proceeds to Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Thursday 14 May  5-7.30pm. Songs from Cottonpolis

The Bailey Sisters will perform at Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Saturday 16 May. 2pm. The future of the left – where next for Labour, trade unions and the working class?

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, will give the annual Frow Lecture at the Old Fire Station on the Crescent. Admission free. Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Saturday 16 May.  2– 3.45pm.  To Make the People Smile Again

Showing of 2007 BBC radio drama/documentary on the Spanish Civil War and the British Contingent of the International Brigades, followed by talks from the drama producer, Steve Chambers and Martin Ellis, publisher of the book on which the drama was based. Free. Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge St, Newcastle, NE1 8AG.

23 May – 7 June Wandsworth Heritage Festival

This year’s programme is packed full of interesting events. The full programme is attached below as a PDF for you to look at.. Print copies of the programme are at the Libraries. The programme includes events in Clapham and Streatham of interest to Lambeth residents, since both those districts were part of the former Borough of Wandsworth to the mid-1960s. This is first year I am not organising any activity. This is because I have been concentrating on activities in Croydon.

Thursday 28 May, 2–3pm. Picasso’s Weeping Woman in Context: Guernica & the ‘death of art’

This illustrated talk by Barbara Morden, author and art historian, explores ‘Weeping Woman’ in the context of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ painting and his claim that these images signify the ‘death’ of Western civilization and its art. Laing. Art Gallery, New Bridge St, Newcastle, NE1 8AG .£2

Wednesday 10 June 2pm. Clement Atlee

Talk by Francis Beckett. Working Class Movement Library.

Thursday 18 June. 7pm. No Redemption Songs

Film and music performance with songwriter Brenda Heslop, her band Ribbon Road and photographer Keith Pattison, made to mark 30 years since the miners’ strike. Keith documented the strike at Easington Colliery through an in-depth series of black and white photographs following the striking miners and their families.  Songwriter Brenda has written a 10-piece song cycle, No Redemption Songs, inspired by the photographs and recent visits to Easington. Admission £10 on the door. Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Thursday 18 June – Saturday 4 July. The Durham Miners Association Banner Exhibition

The National Union of Miners in Durham is planning to hold an exhibition of banners at a venue in central London (probably near Leicester Square). They have the largest collection of miners banners in the world – over 150 – and they intend to display 50 of them.
There will be film shows and meetings – probably in the evenings covering issues such as Orgreave and a showing of the film “Pride”, plays and more. They want to encourage schools to use it as a resource – the banners tell the history of the miners’ union in Durham from around 1865 onwards.

Wednesday 24 June. 2pm. Song of the People

Screening of the National Co-operative Film Archive’s 1945 film. Working Class Movement Library.

Tuesday 30 June. Deadline for talks proposals for James Keir Hardie Conference – see below.

Wednesday 8 July. 2pm.  The 1945 welfare reforms

Talk by Pat Thane. Working Class Movement Library.

Wednesday 22 July. 2pm. ‘A History of 1945: beyond Ken Loach’

Talk by Keith Flett.  Working Class Movement Library.

Wandsworth Heritage Service

The local studies and archives collection of the Council, managed by GLCC as part of the Library contract, is at Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill, London, SW11 1JB. 020 7223 2334.  heritage@gll.org

Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday, Friday and Saturday; 9am-8pm Tuesday and Wednesday.

Archives catalogue: www.calmview.eu/wandsworth/calmview

Historic photographs collection: www.boroughphotos.org/wandsworth

Its weekly blog on the Borough in the First World War is at ww1wandsworth.wordpress.com

and for notifications of up-dates follow on Twitter: @ww1wandsworth

Threat to Lambeth Archives makes it to the States

See: http://africlassical.blogspot.com/2015/04/michael-s-wright-threat-to-lambeth.html

Teaching the Unemployed in the 1930s

The Learning Professor discusses the work of the Universities Council for Unemployed Camps. https://thelearningprofessor.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/performing-masculinity-teaching-the-haka-to-the-unemployed

British Newspaper Archive


To subscribe go to https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/account/subscribe

Newcastle Great Fire of 1854

Postgraduate student Ruth Small discusses her dissertation at http://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

CALL FOR PAPERS: James Keir Hardie, 15 August 1856-26 September 1915: a  one-day public conference at the Library

Keynote Speaker: Professor David Howell, University of York. Saturday 26 September 2015 will mark the centenary of the death of James Keir Hardie at the comparatively young age of 59. But in those 59 years Hardie had changed the political landscape of Britain. This conference aims to celebrate the impact Hardie had on British society and the legacy he left for those who followed. Public-facing proposals are invited for 20-minute papers on any area of Hardie’s life and work. Papers might address (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Hardie’s labours (Hardie as miner, journalist, editor, politician
  • Hardie’s philosophies (Hardie’s attitude to trade unionism, mainstream politics, socialism, war, religion)
  • Hardie’s colleagues (Hardie’s working relations with, for example, Sylvia Pankhurst, Margaret *Harkness, Henry Hyde Champion, Ramsay MacDonald)
  • Hardie’s travels (his work around the British Isles, his internationalism, his overseas tours)
  • Hardie as author (his short stories, his children’s fiction)Hardie’s legacy (the long-term effect of *Hardie’s work on British politics)

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Dr Deborah Mutch, De Montfort University, Leicester via email: dmutch @ dmu.ac.uk.  Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2015.

Labour Heritage Bulletin Spring 2015


  • The General Election of 1945 by Derek Wheatley – talk at West London Labour History Day (14 February); notes from the Day by Barbara Humphries on ‘West London – How the Landscape Changed’
  • Notes on Shaping the Labour Party conference at Bangor University 23-25 March
  • Stan Newens on The Centenary of the Armenian Massacres
  • notes from the Labour Heritage AGM 28 March;
  • review: David Clark’s Voices from Labour’s Past; Christopher Richardson’s A City of Light: Socialism, Chartism and Co-operation – Nottingham 1844; Still the Enemy Within film and DVD about the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike; and Sailing Close to the Wind: Reminiscences by Dennis Skinner;
  • Obituaries of John Kotz and Martyn Patrick Grubb.
  • Insert: Enchanters of Men, Lashed to the Mast and Snow Storm by Khatchatur I. Pilikian about the painter Turner.

To obtain a copy contact the Editor Barbara Humphries at mickandbarbara@btopenworld.com 

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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