Communist women leaders in the 1920s and 1930s

Alan Campbell and John McIlroy share headline findings from their research into the lives of the women who sat on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain in its first two decades. In two recent articles, we examine a small group of women active in the labour movement who participated in the leadership of British Communism between the foundation of the Communist … Continue reading Communist women leaders in the 1920s and 1930s

Castles of the labour movement: inside the trade union head office building boom

By the early twentieth century, an increasingly confident trade union movement was building statement ‘castles’ in which to house their headquarters. Mark Crail looks at what came close to being a trade union quarter in central London. As trade unions grew in size and complexity in the 1920s, so increasingly they moved into larger, more imposing, and often purpose-built headquarters – some leaving their original … Continue reading Castles of the labour movement: inside the trade union head office building boom

Help preserve the Marx Memorial Library socialist newspaper archive

Ninety years of socialist newspaper history is at risk from the ravages of time. Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager at the Marx Memorial Library, explains how you can help. The Marx Memorial Library is the proud custodian of a complete archive of the Daily Worker/Morning Star newspaper dating back to the first issue in January 1930. For decades copies of the paper have been … Continue reading Help preserve the Marx Memorial Library socialist newspaper archive

‘The beginning of a flowing tide for Labour’? Labour’s Wakefield by-election victory

James Parker tells the story of Labour’s by-election victory in the Wakefield by-election of 1932. A by-election victory at Wakefield ninety years ago marked the start of the Labour Party’s slow recovery from electoral disaster in 1931. In opposition after the unhappy experience of minority government from 1929-31 and the loss of some of its key leaders to the National Government in August 1931, Labour … Continue reading ‘The beginning of a flowing tide for Labour’? Labour’s Wakefield by-election victory

Petition aims to save mill museum at Belper world heritage site

A museum that tells the story of a significant part of Derbyshire’s industrial history looks set to close its doors in September 2022 after Amber Valley Borough Council halted a long-standing funding arrangement. Campaigners are now seeking support for a petition to restore funding and keep it open. Belper North Mill Museum, part of the Derwent Valley Mills Unesco World Heritage site, shows how cotton … Continue reading Petition aims to save mill museum at Belper world heritage site

Kent mining museum opens at former Betteshanger Colliery

The century-long history of coal mining in Kent, one of the UK’s most southerly coalfields, is now commemorated at a new museum. The Kent Mining Museum, based at Betteshanger Country Park near Deal, opened its doors to visitors on 2 April, and aims to provide a permanent home for the stories and collections of Kent’s mining communities. Former miners from the county’s collieries are among … Continue reading Kent mining museum opens at former Betteshanger Colliery

Migration Museum reopens to tell the stories of those who came to the UK and those who left

Britain’s only museum of migration reopens on Saturday 9 April at premises in the heart of Lewisham shopping centre. Set up to explore how the movement of people both to and from Britain down the ages has shaped individuals, communities and the nation as a whole, the Migration Museum stages exhibitions and events, and has an education programme for primary, secondary, university and adult learners. … Continue reading Migration Museum reopens to tell the stories of those who came to the UK and those who left

Unveiled: statues for the twenty-first century

Professor Angela V. John introduces the Monumental Welsh Women project to commemorate five ‘hidden heroines’ chosen by popular vote Statues make statements. They become symbolic, not only for the time when they are erected but also for the future. The toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol in 2020 and the publicity this generated speaks about current anger and attitudes and … Continue reading Unveiled: statues for the twenty-first century

WCML free talks programme kicks off for Spring 2022

The Working Class Movement Library’s new series of Invisible Histories free talks starts up again on Wednesday 9 February at the later than usual time of 3pm, when Kirstie Blair and Iona Craig from the Piston, Pen & Press project will give a free online only talk on the topic ‘Industrial workers and reading spaces in Manchester, Salford and the North’. This first talk in … Continue reading WCML free talks programme kicks off for Spring 2022