History News at 13 March

sylvia pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst statue model from website below

Monday 21 March. 6.45 for 7.15pm. The River Effra’s vanishing act

Talk by Jon Newman (Lambeth Archives) on the story of the River Effra, once a sparkling stream running the length of Lambeth but long since downgraded to underground storm relief sewer. He maps its course from the high ground of Norwood through Herne Hill, Brixton and Kennington to the Thames at Vauxhall.

Friends of Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, SE11. Light refreshments. Everyone welcome. No admission charge, but a £2 donation towards costs is invited.

April British Radical History Talks 


Saturday 2 April. 2pm – doors open 1.30pm. The Pentrich Revolt 1817.  Bravery and Deception

Talk by Julian Atkinson, who says  “The workers of Pentrich stood up against an oppressive Government to gain democracy and better times. This is their story.”

Notts & Derbyshire Labour History Society. Nottingham Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ.

Sunday 3 April. 2-10pm The 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising

Introductory Speaker  Robin Stocks (author of Hidden Heroes of Easter Week); films:
A Terrible Beauty, Mise Eire, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach) + buffet etc; discussion.

Glossop Red Film Club, 11-13 Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT. Entrance by donation

Wednesday 13 April. 7.45pm. Croydon’s Connections with the slavery business

I will discuss the emerging evidence about these links in Croydon and the beginning of the black presence in the area,
and The Legacies of British Slave-ownership project at University College.
Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society.
Small Hall at East Croydon United Reformed Church, Addiscombe Grove, Croydon CR0 5LP 
All welcome. Non-members are asked to donate £2.

Friday 15 April. Closing date for paper proposals for Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought

Seventh Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought University College London (UCL). See details below.

Saturday 16 April. 1-2pm. Abney Park Cemetery Tour – The Georgian Activist Legacy

Historian Onyeka will talk about the lives of people such as Rev. Aaron Buzacott (secretary to the anti-slavery movement in the Ottoman Empire), Christopher Newman Hall (supporter of the abolitionist movement during the American Civil War) and Joanna Vassa (daughter of Olaudah Equiano). Free tour but spaces are limited so please book in advance. Abney Park Cemetery – Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH.

Wednesdays in June. 6-8pm. The African Fight: The Hidden History of WWI and the Battle of the Somme

Narrative Eye 5-week course will investigate the turbulent relationship between Europe and African nations from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century and how African people went from fighting against European nations such as Britain, to fighting for them on various fronts. Students will explore the African contribution on several continents, during World War One, including key events such as the Battle of the Somme and evaluate the effects of the war for Africans in the diaspora in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, London, Brixton, SW2 1EF

Pre-booking is essential.

Cost: £50. info@narrative-eye.org.uk or call 020 8808 7547.

30 June – 1 July. Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought

Seventh Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought University College London (UCL). See details below.

My old website

For several years I have had a website at http://www.seancreighton.com.

I have not been able to keep it up-to-date for a long time due to lack of a webmaster. The host service renewal is now due to be paid, so I am closing the site down. I have been asked to try and ensure that the content remains available in some form or another.  I am working on how this can be done. The first step has been to put the following on my discussion blog site:




Black British History Website

The Black British History website is now up and running to enable people to register their interests. The Directory so far includes Madge Dresser, Kate Donnington, Jeff Green, Ryan Hanley and myself, as well as the project organisers. There is also  a list of resources, which also can be added to. If you have not yet submitted your details please do so. The fourth BBH workshop is being held in April in Bristol – details on the website.


Other Websites on British Black History

It is all too easy to forget to visit websites frequently. So here are some reminders:

  • Miranda Kaufman


  • Black Presence

Andy Simon’s bibliography of resources at the British Library is now on:


UCL Legacies of British Slave-ownership project:


  • Jeff Green


which has new items:

164 : ‘Africans in Britain and the late Victorian historical record’

165 : ‘Black Victorian Britain’. Paper presented in Wandsworth October 2013

166 : Arthur Edgar Massey (1870-1935?), poet and evangelist

167 : ‘Blind Tom’ the musical phenomenon in Britain 1866-1867

  • Stephen Bourne


  • I. (Steve) Martin


  • Kathy Chater podcasts


  • Hakim Adi


  • Black & Asian Studies Association

Although it has not been kept up to date it still has useful information on it.


Labour Heritage website

It includes a pdf of Labour on the March, a pamphlet by  George Ridley MP published 1942, and my article on Labour in Holborn the 1930s and 1940s.


William Cuffay

Mark Gregory in Australia has recently received UK National Portrait Gallery approval to use its portrait of William Cuffay on his research blog and has also added Reynolds’ 1850 tribute to Cuffay.


Sylvia Pankhurst Statue

Latest news at


African & Caribbean War Memorial Aid Song

Nubian Community Trust’s song to raise money for the African & Caribbean War Memorial can be purchased at


East End Child Migrant Stories from 1930s


Women at Sea

New book by Jo Stanley From Cabin ‘Boys’ to Captains: 250 years of women at sea. History Press, 2016.


Paul Robeson

Interview with Gerald Horne on his new biography


Imagined Worlds in the History of Political Thought

Seventh Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought University College London (UCL) 30 June – 1 July. Keynote speaker: Professor Melissa Lane (Princeton) Deadline for Proposals: 15 April 2016.

The quincentenary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) occasions renewed reflections on imagined worlds in the history of political ideas. Thinkers have long wrestled with notions of perfect worlds and their antitheses, contemplating the possibilities and pitfalls of attempting their realisation. From Plato’s Republic and Dante’s Inferno to Bacon’s New Atlantis and Rousseau’s Social Contract, to Bentham’s Panopticon and Fourier’s phalanxes to Orwell’s Oceania and Huxley’s Brave New World, the imagined world has surfaced in innumerable forms and served myriad purposes in the history of political ideas. Why have so many thinkers and writers been fixated with imaginary worlds? What is the rhetorical function of the imagined world in political thought? How does it negotiate and redefine the boundaries between literature and political theory, fiction and reality, and blueprint and commentary? This year’s London graduate conference therefore invites proposals for papers and panels exploring imagined worlds in the history of political ideas, whether utopian or dystopian, fantastical or practical, theorised or realised. Proposals for papers and panels may wish to consider some of the following themes: – Imagined communities: nations, empires, kingdoms, civitates, and civilisations – State(s) of nature, conjectural histories, and noble savages – Discoveries and explorations of e.g. the New World and the Pacific – Theories of utopias and dystopias: blueprint or commentary? – Political reform: philosophical kingship, ideal polities and societies – Social and economic utopias and dystopias – Theories of the state: from contractarianism to the body politic to the persona ficta – Imagined worlds and political ideas in literature and the theatre – Afterlives, underworlds, millenarianisms, and eschatologies – Perpetual peace, international arbitration, imagined futures, and visions of world order To submit a paper, please email a CV and proposal of max. 500 words for presentations of approximately 20 minutes to conference@historyofpoliticalthought.net. Panel proposals will also be accepted.



About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. 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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