Tuesday 5 March. 7pm. Progressing democracy: the Jarrow Land and Labour League, 1880-1887
Talk by Dr Joan Allen for North East Labour History Society.
Old George Inn, Bigg Market, Newcastle NE1 1EZ
Irish unrest dominated British politics in the wake of the 1880 Election. The agricultural crisis in Ireland, and the accompanying upsurge of disorder prompted a wave of coercive legislation. By November 1880, the number of recorded evictions stood at 10,657 and, on Tyneside, which had a large Irish community, branches of the Irish Land League were quickly established. The Jarrow Minute Book has been discovered in the Special Collections at National University of Ireland
Wednesday 6 March. 5.15pm. The Bustle of Business: Nineteenth Century Female Enterprise
Catherine Bishop (Sydney; Northumbria) & Clare Hoare (KCL). IHR seminar. Check website for venue.
Friday 8 March (International Women’s Day)
Wyldwood Arts Wallsend Memorial Hall & People’s Centre
The play, sponsored by the Tyne & Wear County Association of Trades Union Councils, is a one-woman performance by disabled actress Phoebe Kemp, about May Billinghurst, ‘the Crippled Suffragette’. May played a key role in the women’s rights movement, yet, imprisoned and silenced by her sexuality, she has been widely forgotten.
The play lasts for about one hour, and there will be the opportunity for discussion afterwards. Tickets are £10/£5 and can be booked online at
Friday. 15 March. 5.15pm. Sometimes there’s a breakthrough.! Neighbourhood action and social support
Mel Wright. IHR Seminar. Check website for venue
Tuesday 12 March. 7.30pm. Death on the Brighton Road.
Talk by Jon Newman (Lambeth Archives)
Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Society Housing Co-op Hall, 106 The Cut, Waterloo
Tuesday 19 March. 5.15pm. Special Nuclear Relationship: America and Britain, 1958 to the Present
Inc. Peter Hennessey
IHR Seminar. Check website for venue
Saturday 23 March. 5-7pm. Peggy Seeger in conversation with Maxine Peake
Saturday 30 March. 10.30am-3.30pm. Working-Class adult education in Yorkshire between the wars: what can we learn for today?
Presenters: Christine Pushpa Kumbhat (author of Working Class Adult Education in Yorkshire 1918-1939 – to access search title on Google); Richard Lewis (author of Leaders and Teachers. Adult Education and the Challenge of Labour in South Wales, 1906-1940); Sharon Clancy (Raymond Williams Foundation, Adult Education 100); Rob Hindle (Senior Area Education Manager, WEA Yorkshire); Colin Waugh ((author of Plebs’: The Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education)
Five sessions, with an introductory talk by each speaker; plenty of opportunity for discussion.
Independent Working-Class Education Network
Quaker Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9RL
Admission (includes lunch): £5 (pay on day)
To sign up, contact Keith Venables at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For centenary history of WEA A Ministry of Enthusiasm: Centenary Essays on the Workers’ Educational Association (ed. Steven Roberts. Pluto Press. 2003). Includes my essay on WEA’s Battersea foundation – Google search title.
Tuesday 2 April. 7pm. The Post-War Labour Unrest 1919 – 1921: The Consolidation of Socialism and the transition from Syndicalism to Communism in the Durham Coalfield
Talk by Joe Redmayne, MA student at Newcastle University. For North East Labour History Society
Old George Inn, Bigg Market, Newcastle, NE1 1EZ
It will highlight national issues at a regional level, exploring the nature of socialism of grassroot activists under institutions such as trade unions, the Labour Party and the emerging Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and focuses on the dialogue of class representation to better understand the competing visions of the socio-political world.
The Diary of Mary Hardy 1773-1809
The eighteenth-century countrywoman diarist Mary Hardy records a man’s world seen through her eyes—in intricate detail for 36 years, revealing the exacting, time-pressured nature of pre-mechanised labour. Published by Burham Press.
Irish Famine 1847
One of the resources at Croydon Central Library are bound volumes of Illustrated London News from the first issue through to the early 1900s. I was looking at the two 1847 volumes for mentions of the Irish Famine. Among the other items are:
(1) A song The tears on the Shamrock about the Famine written by Alfred Crowquill with music composed by Edward Loder. (29 May)
A transcription of the text of the article Famine and starvation in the County of Cork in the 16 January issue can be seen at:
Some other reports on the Famine in the ILN can be seen at
The Newcastle Race Plate can also be seen at
The journalist Leonie Cooper quotes me in her article on the new roller skating rink opened in North London’s Bruce Grove area. She has undertaken thorough background research on the history of roller skating.
The Global History of Ice-Hockey
In Hockey: A Global History, Stephen Hardy and Andrew C. Holman tell the story of on-ice stars and organisational visionaries, venues and classic games, the evolution of rules and advances in equipment, and the ascendance of corporations and instances of bureaucratic chicanery. They chart modern hockey’s “birthing” in Montreal and follow its migration from Canada south to the United States and east to Europe. The story then shifts from the sport’s emergence as a nationalist battlefront to the movement of talent across international borders to the game of today. (University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252083976)