History Update 6 September


 Wednesday 8 September. 6pm. Beyond the Black Panthers: Dr Beverly Bryan

 Zoom talk by one of founders of Brixton Black Women’s Group for Black History Walks


Celebrating the cultural heritage of Arab communities in the UK and abroad. It launches online on eventbrite.co.uk/e/macfest2021
It continues online with ‘Hello from Jordan and Palestine‘ on 15 September and ‘Arabic Cuisine’ on 16 September, and concludes with what they hope will be a live event at Media City, Salford Quays – a Musical Bonanza with the Nile Band

Monday 13 September.6pm. Marc Bolan’s Wandle Wonderland

Summerstown 182 project guided walk 

Meet at St Andrew’s Church Garden, Garratt Lane, Earlsfield SW18.

Thursday 16 September. 6-8pm. The Churchyard of St Mary’s

Talk about people buried at the Church led by me for Battersea Society.

£5, booking required: 



Saturday 18 September. 2pm. British Communism and the Politics of Race

Dr Evan Smith explores the role that the Communist Party of Great Britain played within the anti-racism movement in Britain from the 1940s to the 1980s. As one of the first organisations to undertake serious anti-colonial and anti-racist activism within the British labour movement, the CPGB was a pioneering force that campaigned against racial discrimination, popular imperialism and fascist violence in British society.

The book examines the balancing act that the Communist Party negotiated in its anti-racist work, between making appeals to the labour movement to get involved in the fight against racism and working with Britain’s ethnic minority communities, who often felt let down by the trade unions and the Labour Party. Transitioning from a class-based outlook to an embrace of the new social movements of the 1960s–70s, the CPGB played an important role in the anti-racist struggle, but by the 1980s, it was eclipsed by more radical and diverse activist organizations.

To book for Zoom:


Saturday 18 September. 11am.Lord Walter Runciman

Zoom talk by Mike Fraser for Berwick Literary Festival.


Monday 20 September. 8 pm. The man who made an Edwardian suburb

Zoom talk by Mike Tuffrey for Clapham Society

To book contact Christine 

events@claphamsociety.com to attend on Zoom.


Wednesday 22 September. 3pm. Liberated Africans And The Study of Slavery New Directions

How do new studies of abolition, liberation and survival change our understanding of slavery and its legacies?

Panel discussion of the Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies, University of Glasgow


Wednesday 22 September. 6.30pm. Trailblazers of Black Theatre.


24 September. 8pm. Growing up in wartime Battersea

Zoom talk by Carol Rahn for Wandsworth Historical Society

To join email:


24 September. 8pm. Growing up in wartime Battersea

Zoom talk by Carol Rahn for Wandsworth Historical Society

To join email:


Monday 27 September. 10am-6pm. Muslims in Britain and Environmental Sustainability Conference

Zoom Conference hosted by the  Towards Inclusive Environmental Sustainability (TIES) project, Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN) and The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

28 September. 6.30pm. I fought the Law and I won, a Black Judge speaks

 Zoom Talk by Peter Herbert for Black History Walks.

Thursday 30 September 6.30-9pm. Manchester Black History Month

Launch at the Cathedral and live streamed on YouTube and Facebook. Stalls, poetry, commemorations, food sale supporting Black businesses, presentations and keynote speech.


2 October. 11am.  Thomas Burt and Mabel Philipson, MPs

Zoom talk by Mike Fraser for Berwick Literray Festival.


Monday 4 – Friday 29 October. Brixton Riots Of 1981  

A photographic exhibition at Morley Gallery, 61 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7HT


Thursday 14 October. 8pm. Talk & Film – Kathleen and Me

Writer and actor Janet Behan will show and talk about herfilm about her grandmother, Kathleen Behan, who eye-witnessed the birth of the Irish Republic. Kathleen talks candidly and movingly about her son, “little poet,” Brendan. Aged 91 she recorded her memories and the ballads and rebel songs she’d been singing all her life.

Tyneside Irish Centre, 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4SG

Suggested donation £5.

Sunday 17 October.  5pm. How And Why The British Defended Slavery

Zoom Webinar by Mike Taylor for Berwick Literary Festival.

Tuesday 19 October. 7.30 pm. The Anglo-Irish Treaty And Its Consequences

Talk by Dr Martin O’Donoghue (University of Sheffield), author of The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949 (Liverpool University Press. 2019).

Monday 15 November. Close of Proposals For On-line seminars on Socialism in the English-speaking Caribbean

TheSocialist History Society, The Institute of Commonwealth Studies and The Society for Caribbean Studies are organising a series of on-line of seminars next year and a special issue of the journal Socialist History on the History of Socialism in the English-speaking Caribbean 

Researchers on the history of Caribbean socialist, labour and anticolonial movements are invited to submit proposals for papers on any aspects of this history. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

  • The early influence and impact of socialist ideas in the region in the nineteenth century
  • The relationship of early Caribbean socialists with socialists in Britain, the US and elsewhere
  • The impact of the Russian Revolution and the Communist International
  • Garveyism, anticolonialism and socialism
  • The Labour Rebellions of the inter-war period
  • Women and Caribbean socialism
  • The Cold War and anti-communism
  • The Caribbean New Left and Black Power movements
  • The Grenada Revolution and its legacy
  • Leaders and thinkers of Caribbean socialism
  • Race, ethnicity and socialist movements
  • Religion and socialist politics

The organisers are seeking papers of 5,000 to 10,000 words to be presented at the seminars. Presentations themselves will be expected to last no more than 20 minutes. 

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words to the organisers Steve Cushion, Christian Høgsbjerg and Michael Mahadeo on info@socialisthistorysociety.co.uk 


The Global Challenge Of Peace

Nottinghill Carnival


Soldiers As Workers

Far from being ‘ruffians officered by gentlemen’, the British army of the nineteenth century was made up of a typical cross-section of working-class men whose military lives mirrored those of the civilian working class, says Nick Mansfield, author of Soldiers as Workers – Class, Employment, Conflict and the Nineteenth-Century Military.

A History of Trinity Fields

Book by Graham Jackson on the history of Trinty Fields on Trinity Rdc, Wandsworth from the original 1852 covenant until the present day. £20.  

Available from the graham.jackson38@btinternet.

The Fields were sports grounds part of St. Walter Sinjun Trust and then separated off into a separate organisation. Among the people involved in managing it were Jeffe Jeffers and the late John O’Malley, both of whom are/were known by some of the readers of this blog.

Enslavement And The Black Atlantic






US Black History




River Wandle Industrial Heritage Walk

Although not reading, the walk from Earlsfield to the mouth of the Wandle held on 3 June as part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival is available to watch on:

Resources At Institute Of Historical Research





Chris Birch Has Died

I was sad to hear that Chris Birch has died. Born on St. Kitts, his family moved to Barbados for 7 years when he was 10, and then he was a year in Barbados before coming to England in 1946. At Bristol University he joined the Communist Party. He and his wife Betty were friends of my parents when I was growing up. He had been a journalist and sub-editor including  on the Daily Worker.  In recent years I had the occasional email exchange with him on his St.Kitts family research  and other history matters. Among his many activities was support for action on HIV and the NHS. His autobiography was published in 2010 and he also researched and published The Milk Jug was a Goat: Two families, two Caribbean islands, 1635-1987 (Pegasus. 2008)

For his books see:


His website is still live at:


Cecil Arzu in Newcastle

Cecil Claudio Arzu was born in British Honduras/Belize.  He is on the electoral roll (service register) as living at 14/16 Louvaine Place, Newcaslte upon Tyne from 1945 to 1948.  In 1948 he married Evelyn Hartill at Newcastle.  By 1953 Cecil is on the normal electoral roll with Evelyn and they are living at 62 High Crescent.  Cecil died in Bedford in 2019, aged 96.He and Evelyn had 10, possibly 12 children. He came to Britain as one of the British Honduran Forestry workers, but he seems to have joined the RAF very shortly after he arrived in Britain.

I have been asked to help find out what he was doing living in the Seaman’s hostel for so long and whether he was the warden.  There was an African warden during the war. Did Cecil take over the post?

Any information would be welcome.

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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