History Update 29 April

Black History Studies web posting

The Windrush scandal continues with the resignation of  Bishop Joe Aldred and Black Cultural Archives Arike Oke from the Government’s Windrush working group (The Guardian. 28 April) Juanita Cox will discuss her latest research on the scandal at IHR seminar on Thursday 19 May (see below).

Tuesday 3 May. 7pm. Hidden Chains: The Slavery Business and the North East England

Zoom talk by John Charlton for North East Labour History Society.

North East England is rarely associated with the African slave trade, but new research has shown that the region was inextricably involved in that shocking state-sanctioned traffic in human beings. Using the material generated in the 2007 Tyne & Wear Remembering Project John’s book Hidden Chains revealed the links between some of the North East’s wealthiest, most prominent families and the plantations of the New World. It also told the story of ordinary people from Northumberland, Durham and Tyneside who were caught up in the slavery business. 

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 851 5449 9646

Passcode: 364625

Tuesday 3 May. 7.30 pm. Evacustees Phipson and his Croydon Paintings

Talk by John Hickman and Cariole Roberts joint authors of the CNHSS book on Phipson, painter and socialist.

Streatham Society.  St. Leonard’s Church, Streatham, SW16 1HS.


Saturday 7 May. 1pm. Socialist History Society AGM And Book Launch

Marx Memorial Library,  37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU

Duncan Bowie’s latest publication Twentieth Century Socialism In Britain will be launched.

British socialist activists should know more about the history of the movement. … This Occasional Publication comprises 50 short extracts from key socialist writings from the 20th century, each with a brief commentary, inc. Sylvia Pankhurst, April Carter, Tony Blair Ramsay MacDonald.

Monday 9 May. 6-7pm. Class, conflict and collaboration in women’s organisations in 1920s Wolverhampton 

Talk by Anna Muggeridge, University of Worcester for Voluntary Action History Society, on the town’s branch of the National Council of Women

Juanita Cox (Institute of Commonwealth Studies) discusses latest research.

Saturday 21 May.10am-noon. George Julian Harney – The Man and the Movement

Talk for Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Labour History Society.

St.Paul’s Church Hall, Seale Street Derby, DE1.

21 May – 29 August. John Blanque On Show In Liverpool

Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery is including John Banqueting its new exhibition The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics.


The Gallery’s web site makes a brief mention of black history but does not highlight Blanque!!!

Monday 23 May. 6-7.30pm. Discourses of race, class, and citizenship in women’s tenants’ activism in the 1970s

Talk by Jessica White,  Lecturer in history, University of Liverpool, for Voluntary Action History Society.
Black women played a significant part not only in protesting against slum demolition, but also in demanding for improvements on social housing estates. Many of the Black female activists for housing justice were located in Black Power politics.

Tuesday 24 May. 6pm. The Miners’ Strike in County Durham: A Family and Community Conversation

Durham Town Hall – register here for tickets to attend in person or here to join online via Zoom.

A free public event hosted by Durham University History Department.

This event features historian Robert Gildea, who is writing an oral history of the strike, in conversation with one of the families he interviewed. David Wray was an electrician at Sacriston during the strike. He and his wife Dorothy ran a soup kitchen in Leadgate and their daughter Sam, a teenager at the time, enjoyed the visits of musicians who helped to raise funds for striking families. They will be joined by Sam’s daughter, Caitlin, now a student at Newcastle University, who speaks for a third generation that has been shaped by the strike.

Robert Gildea is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Empires of the Mind: The Colonial Past and the Politics of the Present (2019).

May To June.  Wandsworth Heritage Festival

Thursday 1 June. 5.30-7pm. Swimming with the Tide: The Story of Battersea’s Lost Baths

Talk by Sue Demont for Battersea Society

St Mary’s Church, Battersea Church Road,  SW11. Please book to attend: events@batterseasociety.org.uk.


Monday 6 June. 6-7.30 pm. Charity or Justice? Radical Compassion in the NGO Moment

Talk by Kevin O’Sullivan, Lecturer in History, National University of Ireland, Galwa, for Voluntary Action History Society

​Saturday 18 June. Noon.  Event Commemorating Nigel Todd

The Bike Garden, Nuns Moor Park, Newcastle

Music  by Bethany Elen Coyle and pizzas from the pizza oven. Opportunity to share memories about Nigel and his work in the community. Open to all.

Monday 20 June. 10am–3pm. Remembering Nigel Todd

The Common Room, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle 

Event organised by North East Labour History Society and the Workers Educational Association looking back at Nigel’s life and work. Booking required, further details to be announced soon.

Monday 20 June.6-7.30pm. Writing Histories of Transnational Activism

Talk by Daniel Laqua, Associate Professor of European History, Northumbria University, for Voluntary Action History Society.
The talk will discuss how, and for what reasons, groups and individuals cooperate across national borders.

Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 July. Voluntary Action in Changing Times: Creating History or Repeating It?

Voluntary Action History Society’s 7th International Conference at  
University of Liverpool

To register for the conference go to: VAHS 2022

For information about the conference programme e-mail Meta Zimmeck: mzimmeck@btinternet.com 

May 1 – International Workers Day and May Day

‘During the 1800’s the most important demand of the Working Class was to cut their 14-16 hour working day to 8 hours, this campaign idea initiating in Australia. Stone & building workers in Melbourne organised a demo for an 8 hour working day on May 1st and continued it every year. The 1st International League called upon the world’s working class to struggle for an 8 hour working day worldwide.

The response was most felt across the USA where strikes, protests & demos were organised on May 1st 1886. The Establishment could not stomach this uprising but found nothing wrong with sabotaging a demo in Chicago by planting a bomb and the Police gunning down workers in Haymarket Square. 8 worker organisers were condemned to death on trumped-up charges and despite mass protests at this travesty of justice, 4 were hanged the following year, during which thousands were fired and hundreds placed on Blacklists, unable then to work.

The 2nd International League at its 1st Congress of workers in Paris in 1889 accepted May 1st as an international day of unity, struggle and solidarity with those American workers and this has continued ever since, with it declared as a Public Holiday – Labour Day in many nation states.’  RisingTideUK)

See my posting on the genesis of May Day in Britain at


Black In School is Habiba Cooper Diallo’s high school journal, ‘in which she documents, processes, and resists the systemic racism, microaggressions, stereotypes, and outright racism she experienced in Canada’s education system.’

‘The prevalence of anti-Black racism and its many faces, from racial profiling to police brutality, in North America is indisputable. How do we stop racist ideas and violence if the very foundation of our society is built upon white supremacy? How do we end systemic racism if the majority do not experience it or question its existence? Do our schools instill children with the ideals of equality and tolerance, or do they reinforce differences and teach children of colour that they don’t belong?

Published by the University of Regina Press: https://bit.ly/3fOGl3s

Habiba continues to campaign on fistula. See my posting:

See more about her activities at



Society for Study of Labour History

The Society’s website has new postings:

·         Labour History Review. Vol. 87 (2022). Issue 1. The Review includes contains essays on trade unionism in Yorkshire  of the 1830s,the Derry Lockout of 1924, Labour’s housing record 1945-51


Whistler & Battersea

Jon Newman’s essay Whistler and Battersea has now just been published in the current (Thames River Works) issue of British Art Studies.


ILP Publications Articles

On www.independentlabour.org.uk/articles

(1) Fenner Brockway & the Return of ‘Hungry England’

Christopher Olewicz looks back 90 years at Fenner Brockway’s ground-breaking report on destitution in 1930s Britain. With the current cost of living crisis, he asks, is ‘literal starvation’ once again stalking the nation’s poorest communities?

(2) Acting Local: Community Wealth Building – Past, Present & Future

Christopher Olewicz examines an inside account of Preston Council’s much-hailed ‘model’ for local development, and casts his mind back to the 1980s when his own local authority tried to resist the march of Thatcherism with bottom-up regeneration and municipal enterprise.

(3) The Long-Forgotten Words of a Co-operative Champion

Principle 5, the Sheffield-based co-operative resource centre, has published the latest in its series of re-discovered pamphlets from the history of the co-operative movement, called The Future of Co-operation, originally written in 1927 by Alice Honora Enfield.

(4) Celebrating the Salters – Centenary Website Launched

Organisers of the Salter Centenary Project have launched a new website to highlight the year-long series of events celebrating ILPers Ada and Alfred Salter in south-east London throughout 2022.


‘Ballad of an American’: Composer Earl Robinson And Working-Class Culture


Black Communities And The Failures Of Emancipation

Interview in May’s  BBC History with Kris Manjapra on his book Black Ghost of Empire. The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation. Allen Lane.

History Today – May

British Murder of Hintsa, Xhosa Chief 1835 by Matthew Blackman.

When The World Came To Shangai. Articles by Gao Yunxiang on black intellectuals in 1930s Shanghai.

Reviews of  Caroline Elkins Legacy of Violence, Helen Rappaport’s In Search of Mary Seacole and David Alston’s Slaves and Highlanders.

Down To A Fine Art

Bernadine Evaristo discusses the attention now being given to black artists such as Lubiana Himid.

(The Guardian G2. 28 April)

About seancreighton1947

I have lived in Norbury since July 2011. I blog on Croydon, Norbury and history events,news and issues. I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I have submitted views to Council Committees and gave evidence against the Whitgift Centre CPO and to the Local Plan Inquiry. I am a member of Norbury Village Residents Association and Chair of Norbury Community Land Trust, and represent both on the Love Norbury community organisations partnership Committee. I used to write for the former web/print Croydon Citizen. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics history database. 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, radical and suffrage movements, 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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