History events & news at 18 July

Wednesday 19 July.  2pm. Sound System: the Political Power of Music

Talk by Dave Randall about his new book Sound System about what makes music so powerful. It provides  examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history.

Working Class Movement Library, Salford

Thursday 27 July.  6.30pm, In Service 1918-2017

when James Bloomfield will talk about his art installation of 226 commemorative ceramic plates and Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, will talk on ‘New wars and how to prevent them’.

Refreshments provided, free event but please book, limited places available on the day – click here to tell WCML you’re coming.

Working Class Movement Library, Salford

Monday 31 July – 10 November Friday. In Service 1918-2017 Plates in Use

Artist James Bloomfield has undertaken a research residency at Salford Museum & Art Gallery and the Working Class Movement Library. The outcome of this research is the creation of art installation consisting of 226 commemorative ceramic plates, one for each global conflict since 1918 and all listing the number of fatalities for that conflict.  Volunteers have helped decorate many of the plates (you can read more on James’s blog here) and they are shortly going to be taken for firing at Darwen Terracotta. The plates will then be used as part of the regular dinner service at Salford Museum & Art Gallery‘s café and in Ordsall Hall’s coffee shop. The plates will be presented for service on 31 July and later decommissioned on 10 November to coincide with the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, which runs over these exact dates (3 months and 6 days).

August.  Music and other events at Black Cultural Archives


Saturday 5 August. 2-7.30pm. Socialism: Towards 2020

Independent Working Class Education Network (IWCEN) workshop of short talks and lots of discussion:   What constitutes socialism now?  What do we think of the Corbyn Surge? Can history inform what we do in the present to build for the future?

Cherry Tree Club, St Matthew’s Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LT

If you would like to contribute with a brief talk please email  David Welsh: davidwelsh83@btinternet.com

You will need to register: davidwelsh83@btinternet.com

or through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/socialism-towards-2020-tickets-36046268359

Sunday 6 August. 2.30pm. Around Park Hill

A guided walk Crescent Lane to Abbeville Road, Parsons’s Corner and Park Hill, to King’s Avenue  led by Alyson Wilson. Clapham Society.

Meet Clapham Common Underground Station

Thursday 17 August. 6.30pm. The Marcus Garvey Annual Pan-Africanism Presentation 2017 

Willesden Library Centre. For more info or to book:


Monday 21 – Saturday 26 August. Call Mr Robeson and Lawyer double bill

Tayo Aluko  at Venue 40, Edinburgh Fringe.

Monday 21 August. 6.30pm. Remembering Aug. 23: International Day Of African Resistance Against Enslavement 

Harrow Mencap . For more info or to book: www.HarrowBHM.eventbrite.com

Monday 28 August. 6.30pm.  Remembering Aug. 31: African History Reflection Day 

Harrow Mencap. Book as 21 August.

Thursday 7 September. 10am.  The pitman poet of Percy Main

Launch of new book about Joseph Skipsey (1832-1903) published by Northern Voices Community Projects  in association with North Tyneside Council.

This 185th anniversary of Skipsey’s birth features poetry and songs by contributors to the book, together with readings of Skipsey’s poems, introduced by editors Keith Armstrong and Peter Dixon of NVCP with folk music by the Sawdust Jacks and also featuring Ann Sessoms on Northumbrian pipes with period tunes.

St John’s Church, St John’s Road, Percy Main. 

Admission free.

Thursday 7 September 12.30pm.  From a pitman poet to a magpie angel  

Tyneside characters – a trawl through local history with poet Dr Keith Armstrong and friends, featuring the Sawdust Jacks folk group and celebrating the 185th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Skipsey (and the 125th anniversary of the founding of Newcastle United.

A Northern Voices Community Projects event.

The Red House, Sandhill, Newcastle

Admission free. 

Further information from NVCP – 0191 2529531.

Saturday 9 September. 11am to 9.30pm. Wigan Diggers’ Festival 

Annual Festival at The Wiend, Wigan.  The day commemorates Wigan-born Gerrard Winstanley and the 17th century Diggers movement, and includes free talks, music, poetry, film showings and over 50 food, book and campaign stalls.  Further information at wigandiggersfestival.org 

Tuesday 26 September. 7.30pm. The pitman poet of Percy Main.

Launch of new book as 7 September.


Bensham Grove Community Centre, Sidney Grove, Gateshead.

Admission free.

Wednesdays to Fridays 29 September. 1-5pm. The life and work of Marx and Engels Exhibition

For over a century and a half their work has inspired radicals, terrified the privileged and given rise to a wide variety of regimes conducted in the name of Marxism – but has never been ignored. Arguably in the globalised world of the 21st century with its increasing de-regulation of workers’ rights, cycles of famine and glut, and escalating gulf between the richest and the poorest, their works have never been more relevant.

Also open first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.

Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

There is now a booklet available containing text and illustrations from the exhibition.  It is available price £2 from the Library.

Saturday 4 November. The Effect of the Russian Revolutions on the British labour and peace movements

 Peace History Conference. The morning sessions consider the impact nationally and the afternoon covers, with talks, readings and film, the remarkable campaigns by women in the North West.

Tickets £15 (£10 concessions) from peacehistoryconference2017.eventbrite.co.uk.

Looking for famous black female artists

Coleen Harewood is a MA History of Art Student at Birkbeck University of London. Her intended dissertation topic will be something along the lines of “Why are there No Great Famous Female Black Artists?” She would be very grateful if anyone can assist her on where such information can be found, which books she should research and further places of research she could visit or workshops she could attend please. If you can help please email her at:


 Black Country Chains Flag Row 

Eleanor Smith MP for Wolverhampton South West has criticised the Black Country Day Chain Motif Flag as offensive to the African and Caribbean community. She has been criticised for doing so. Please see the news story regarding her objections


 Black historian and activist Patrick Vernon explains why the flag is offensive. Eleanor and he  have never said it was racist. It’s the Express and Star using the word to generate maximum opposition which deflects from having a proper debate on the true history of the Black Country and how black and white working class have been victims  from  the profits during the slave trade and industry revolution.

Patrick’s article on the motif can be read here.

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Paul Robeson

 This is a poem written by the African-American poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

That time
cool and clear,
cutting across the hot grit of the day.
The major Voice.
The adult Voice
forgoing Rolling River,
forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge
and other symptoms of an old despond.
Warning, in music-words
devout and large,
that we are each other’s
we are each other’s
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.

An appreciation of her work and the poem can be seen at


The poem was quoted at the recent Libraries Conference in the United States.


Jeff Sparrow has reflected on the Welsh influence on Robeson’s politics.


The importance of ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ to Fredrick Douglass and Paul Robeson is discussed at


German and Allied War Crimes in the East African Campaign, 1914-18

Essay by Michael Pesak on


Britain at Work Newsletter July/August newsletter

This Britain at Work (London) Group newsletter takes a look at the history of squatting and occupations in London from post-war to the 1960’s & 70’s and ends with reference to organisations confronting present day issues such as poor quality housing and ‘regeneration’.


30 years since the 4 Black MPS were elected



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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