'Invisible Histories' at the Working Class Movement Library

Series of talks, Fall 2017, Salford, United Kingdom


The Working Class Movement Library (WCML) in Salford presents a series of talks focussed on overlooked aspects of working class and labour history, ranging from reflections on the Co-operative Party, to the National Federation of Women Workers, to the Russian Revolution. This series follows similar talks in 2016, including a specific focus on the First World War.

Invisible Histories talks – Wednesdays at 2pm

13 Sept Jennifer Reid
Comparing Manchester, Lancashire and Bangladeshi traditional song
During a research visit to Dhaka this year, Jennifer discovered many links between Manchester and Lancashire traditional songs and those from Dhaka and Sylhet. Using the shared cotton industry which has acted as a bridge between the UK and Bangladesh, there are relevant comparisons to be made.

27 Sept Could Salford produce another Shelagh Delaney? – round table discussion
In anticipation of this year’s Shelagh Delaney Day, join Shelagh’s daughter Charlotte Delaney, her biographer Selina Todd and MaD Theatre Company to discuss whether opportunities exist for young working class women to find a voice and an audience almost 60 years after A Taste of Honey first appeared.

11 Oct Sheila Cohen
The Grunwick strike – drowning in support, starving for action
Sheila’s talk about the seminal 1976-78 strike at the Grunwick film processing factory will focus on issues of direct versus representative democracy – the union leadership being the ‘representative’ side – and also the need for link-ups in workplace trade unionism in order to build and encourage solidarity.

25 Oct Angela Whitecross
The Co-operative Party 100 years on – a reflection
2017 marks the centenary of the Co-operative Party. This talk will consider the formation of the party and its development through the 20th century, exploring its relationship both with the broader co-operative movement and with the Labour Party.

8 Nov Andy Clark
The occupation of the factories – women’s resistance to factory closure in Scotland, 1981-82
Andy will discuss his research into the wave of factory occupations launched by women in the early ‘80s. At three factories threatened with closure and relocation, the workers took control of the plant and machinery in an attempt to force the companies to change their plans, or to sell them as going concerns.

22 Nov Cathy Hunt
Brave hearts and missionary zeal – the National Federation of Women Workers 1906-21
Endemic low pay, deductions and fines, intimidation and insecurity – some of the things women across Britain faced at work in the early 20th century. This talk shows how one union, the all-female National Federation of Women Workers, led by Mary Macarthur, sought not just to help but to encourage activism and fight back at the local level.

6 Dec Neil Faulkner
A people’s history of the Russian Revolution
In his new book, which is laced with first-hand testimony, Neil sets out to show how a mass movement of millions, organised in democratic assemblies, mobilised for militant action, and destroyed a regime of landlords, profiteers and warmongers.

All events are at the Library and are free, unless otherwise stated. For more information visit the WCML website here.