Seven labour history anniversaries in 2022

In 2022, as every year, it is possible to look back and see significant milestones in labour history taking place 25, 50 or 100 years ago. Here we recall seven memorable events, each a quarter of a century further back in time. They include labour movement victories and defeats, and like all of history their interpretation and significance continue to be contested – the role … Continue reading Seven labour history anniversaries in 2022

The Stepney branch committee of the Municipal Employees Association, 1901

This formal studio portrait (technically a cabinet card) captures the officers of the Stepney branch of the Municipal Employees Association shortly after the union came into being in 1901. Dressed in suits and ties, some in fashionable wing-collars, each wears what is most likely to be the union’s badge on their jacket lapel, ceremonial sashes across their chests recording the office they held. The MEA … Continue reading The Stepney branch committee of the Municipal Employees Association, 1901

Mick Ekers (Essex) on Burston strike school master Tom Higdon and labour activism between the wars

Mick Ekers visits Norfolk Record Office to research the life in politics of Tom Higdon, one of the two teachers at the heart of the famous Burston School Strike which lasted from 1914 to 1939. The story of the Burston School Strike is quite well known. In 1914 Annie and Tom Higdon, two teachers in a village school in Norfolk, were sacked as a result … Continue reading Mick Ekers (Essex) on Burston strike school master Tom Higdon and labour activism between the wars

Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

What a day to be a headline writer on a Labour newspaper. On 23 January 1924, the TUC-owned Daily Herald led its news coverage with the formation of the first ever Labour government. But big as it was, the story had to share the front page with news from Moscow of the sudden death of Lenin. Born out of a strike bulletin first published by … Continue reading Daily Herald’s front page reports the first Labour government and the death of Lenin

Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

The Labour Party began to recruit individual members in 1918, and youth sections appeared in a handful of divisional party organisations soon afterwards. But it was not until 1924 that the National Executive Committee formalised their existence and established a Labour Party League of Youth to act as a national co-ordinating body – albeit one with strictly limited representation and voice within the party’s structures. … Continue reading Labour Party League of Youth members’ badge

Edda Nicolson (Wolverhampton) on the early history of the General Federation of Trade Unions, 1899-1926

My thesis examines the early history of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) from its inception in 1899 until the general strike in 1926. It uses emotions history methodologies to consider how feelings were used in their publications, reports and minutes. Continue reading Edda Nicolson (Wolverhampton) on the early history of the General Federation of Trade Unions, 1899-1926

Labour History in Ireland’s ‘Decade of Centenaries’

This paper examines the thinking behind the Decade of Centenaries, the state of the Irish Labour History Society and Irish labour historiography, the involvement of state authorities with labour anniversaries, and the consequences for publications on labour and on the public understanding of labour historiography. Continue reading Labour History in Ireland’s ‘Decade of Centenaries’