Thursday 21 April. 2.30-4pm Art & Existence – Orlando Song, Struggle, Resistance
British Nigerian actor Orlando Martins’ long life (1895 – 1985) charts performances from the 1920 Diaghilev ballet, silent films, black & white talkies, the introduction of Technicolor and radical plays, and as a member of the workers theatre movement UNITY in the 1930’s. Stage performances in London productions include Showboat at Drury Lane 1928, Stevedore at the Embassy Theatre 1935, Toussaint Louverture at Westminster in 1936, Colony at the Embassy in 1939, The Hasty Heart at the Aldwych in 1945, yet little is known about Martins and he has all but disappeared from public recognition. Led by Bristol based playwright Ros Martin.
Victoria & Albert Museum, Clore Study Area, Room 55. Free, Booking essential on 020 7942 2184 or go to
Monday 18 April. Closing Date for Paper Offers For Walking Through London’s History Conference. See below.
Database of British and Irish Labouring -Class Poets and Poetry, 1700-1900
This is a research resource compiled by a group of scholars containing basic information on 1,900 poets who published in this period.
Lieutenant Macormack Charles Farrell Easmon: A Sierra Leonean Medical Officer in the First World War
Article by Nigel Browne-Davies in The Journal of Sierra Leone at
Black Tommies – British soldiers of African descent in the First World War
This book by Ray Costello is dedicated to the part played by soldiers of African descent in the British regular army during the First World War. If African colonial troops have been ignored by historians, the existence of any substantial narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom during the First World War is equally unknown, even in military circles. Much more material is now coming to light, such as the oral testimony of veterans, and Ray has researched widely to gather fresh and original material ranging from primary documentary sources in archives to private material kept in the metaphorical (and actual) shoeboxes of descendants of Black Tommies.
Liverpool University Press. 2015. ISBN 978-1-78138-018-5 hb; ISBN 978-1-78138-019-2 pbk
The Battle Of Spitaloo
Mark Gregory has added the text of this song from The Newcastle Song Book or Songs of the Tyne (1842) to his William Cuffay website at
Walking Through London’s History Conference 19 November
The London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) is seeking papers for its Local History Conference on Saturday 19 November at the Museum of London. The aim of this one-day conference is to investigate and explore the history of London, its hinterlands, and its edgelands, through the act of urban walking. From John Stow and Samuel Pepys through to Thomas de Quincey, Charles Dickens and Iain Sinclair, London is a city that has frequently and endlessly been circumnavigated by walkers of all kinds, for all sorts of reasons, and with many different purposes in mind. People who walked about the city, talked about the city and the works they produced from their perambulations offer extremely rich and varied material for historians and researchers across a range of interests, periods and disciplines.
The organisers of the conference are seeking proposals from local historians, academics, postgraduate students, and anyone with a scholarly interest in walking as a methodology for researching and exploring the history of London, for engaging and accessible talks or presentations of between 20 and 40 minutes.
Proposals comprising an abstract of no more than 500 words should be sent, preferably via e-mail, to John Price email@example.com or via the Department of History, Goldsmiths University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW.
Liverpool’s Surviving 1930s Roller Skating Building To Be Demolished
The Secretary of State has decided not to approve the listing of the former Liverpool Ritz Roller Rink building built in 1932 which is been the subject of a demolition proposal by a developer. Heritage England approached me for any information I might have on the Rink. While I could not supply much detail about the rink itself when it was in operation I was able to provide contextual information. I shared it with the local community and heritage activists who wanted to save the building. The Secretary’s of State’s report and the Heritage England assessment (which makes no reference to my having given advice) can be read at