Radical History Events and News at 9 September

Tuesday 27 September. 11am-1pm. Start of a ten-week class, From Mary Wollstonecraft to women’s liberation 1790-1980. Part 1 1790 to 1918

To be taught by historian Michael Herbert, author of “Up then Brave Women”: Manchester’s radical women 1819-1918.

The course will include the following:

  • Mary Wollstonecraft and the radical politics of the 1790s
  • Women and the Luddite Risings 1811-1812
  • Women and the Peterloo massacre of 1819
  • Women in the Owenite Socialist movement of the 1830s and 1840s
  • Women and the Chartist movement, 1838-1848
  • Women and trade unionism
  • Votes for Women, 1866-1918

Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford; near Salford Cresent Rail Station. Fee £60. More information: redflagwalks@gmail.com.

Friday 14 & Saturday 15 October. Conscience and conscription: resistance to war 1916-2016

Conference organised by the Movement for the Abolition of War and a range of other peace groups, and topics include German resistance to war in WW1, and the nuclear age.

Full programme and venue details can be downloaded here, and tickets can be booked online. Conference fee for both days is £25 (£12.50 unwaged); the programme gives day ticket details

Street names: the local, national and international memory of the First World War

This essay by Ross Wilson can be downloaded at https://www.academia.edu/28263004/Street_names_the_local_national_and_international_memory_of_the_First_World_War?auto=download&campaign=weekly_digest

Britain and Europe – a Historical Perspective

See Penny Corfield’s blogs at



Squatting in Britain 1945-1955: Housing, Politics, and Direct Action

New book by Don Watson, an independent historian based in North East England. He is the author of No Justice Without a Struggle: the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement in the North East of England (Merlin Press 2014) and a contributor to Socialist History and Scottish Labour History.

Britain in 1946 witnessed extraordinary episodes of direct action. Tens of thousands of families walked into empty army camps and took them over as places to live. A nationwide squatters’ movement was born and it was the first challenge to the 1945 Labour government to come ‘from below’.

The book examines how these squatters built communities and campaigned for improvements; how local and national government reacted; the spread of squatting to empty mansions and hotels, and the roles of political activists. Further, it discusses what these events reveal about the attitude of the 1945 government to popular initiatives.

This book describes how those most affected by inadequate housing conditions and shortages responded to them and how their actions helped to shape policies and events. It examines and records something summed up in the recollection of one of the organisers of the London hotel squats of 1946:

“…The thing I’ll never forget is that if I’d ever had doubts about the problems of working people taking on and managing their own affairs, I lost them forever during this squatting thing. Because without any hassle, fuss, argument, they found what they could do, and collectively decided that it should be done, and then went off and did it.”

Merlin Press. Pbk.  ISBN 978 0 85036 728 7. £16.99. To be published December. Pre-publication offer – One Third off – GB Pounds £11.30.



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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