NEWS: From the Working Class Movement Library


    Radical Readings fundraiser – tickets on sale now 

    The Working Class Movement Library is proud to present another in its series of Radical Readings fundraising events – ‘Those who were there – the people at Peterloo have their say’.  It will take place in Maxwell Hall at the University of Salford on Sunday 14 April at 2pm, and tickets price £15 plus booking fee will go on sale online at 2pm today (Monday 4 February).

    Christopher Eccleston, Sheila Hancock, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Mike Joyce, Nico Mirallegro and Maxine Peake, who are all strong supporters of the Library, are booked to appear.  They will be reading accounts of the dreadful event of Peterloo – concentrating on the reports of those people who were actually there rather than on later comments.  There will also be poetry from Oliver James Lomax, and ballads from Jennifer Reid.  The event is devised and introduced by Royston Futter, Working Class Movement Library trustee.

    Everyone at the Library is delighted that these tremendous performers have agreed so willingly to contribute their time and their talent to boost its fundraising appeal.  All proceeds will go to support the Working Class Movement Library.

    We are also most grateful to the University of Salford for hosting this event.

    LGBT History Month

    We are delighted to mark LGBT History Month this year by welcoming Glyn Salton-Cox, Assistant Professor of English and Affiliate of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to speak on the topic ‘Queer Communism’ this comingSaturday, 9 February at 2pm.

    Glyn states: ‘It is well known that many of the best-known queer writers of the 1930s were involved with Communist politics. Why, then, has there been no extended examination of this striking juncture of dissident sex and socialism?’ His talk to us explores this question, among others, aiming to transform current narratives of 20th century literary, cultural, and intellectual history from a queer Marxist perspective. It will also explore the contemporary problem of populism, arguing we can learn important lessons from the queer radicalism of the 1930s that can help formulate strategies of resistance to today’s multi-layered oppressions in both Britain and the US.

    Admission free; light refreshments available; all welcome.

    International Women’s Day

    We mark International Women’s Day on Saturday 2 March with an afternoon (2pm start) focussed on a project bringing to life the last 100 years of women’s protest, discussing the changing nature of women’s activism and some of the more significant protest sites in the North.

    Remembering Resistance: a Century of Women’s Protest in the North of England is a Heritage Lottery Funded project that aims to catalogue, celebrate, and engage the public in women’s efforts to bring about political change. There will be talks plus the opportunity to get involved with the project by recalling your own memories of women’s campaigning.

    Admission free; light refreshments available; all welcome.

    Townsend Productions – Rouse, ye women

    We are delighted to welcome back Townsend Productions on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 March (7.30pm start) with their new musical drama Rouse, ye women. Through traditional songs and ballads we will learn the story of the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath in the West Midlands.  In 1910 they began a successful ten-week strike, led by charismatic union campaigner Mary Macarthur, to more than double their earnings and establish the principle of a national minimum wage.

    Tickets price £12.75 (£10.75 concession, £6.75 student) available here.

    Invisible Histories talks
    Our spring series of free Wednesday 2pm Invisible Histories talks starts up again on 13 March with Nicola Ashmore, curator of our current Guernica Remakings exhibition, and artist Claire Hignett speaking about aspects of the exhibition.

    Subsequent talks include:
    27 March Tom Woodin  Working class writing and publishing in the late 20th century: literature, culture and community

    10 April  Sally Groves  Out on the Costa del Trico!

    24 April  Rob Hargreaves  Beyond Peterloo: Elijah Dixon and Manchester’s forgotten reformers.

    For further details go to

    War and an Irish Town

    On Sunday 10 February from 2 to 4pm Irish Mancunian will be welcoming Derry civil rights leader Eamonn McCann to Chorlton Irish Club, 17 High Lane, Manchester M21 9DJ to discuss his republished book War and an Irish Town. First published in 1974, it provides a vivid account of the development of the civil rights movement and the transformation of peaceful protest – driven off the streets – into armed conflict.  Eamonn will be discussing the book and reflecting on more recent developments in conversation with Dr Paddy Hoey of Edge Hill University.

    Before the speaker there will also be a screening of the documentary ‘The Day the Troubles Began’, which puts the original Derry civil rights marches in the context of the international influences that drove people to take to the streets in protest in Chicago, Paris and elsewhere.

    Tickets price £4 in advance, and more information, at

    Co-operative University Information Day
    An information event about the planned Co-operative University will take place onTuesday 5 March 2019 at The Federation, Manchester.

    The free event, running from 12.15 to 4.30pm, will highlight what’s different about a Co-operative University, offer more information about the degree programmes that are planned, and highlight how you can get involved.

    Undergraduate programmes will include:

    • International Development and Co-operation
    • Social Movements
    • Co-operative Leadership, Culture and Management.

    Also planned are accredited higher education programmes in Democratic Practice, Social and Community Organising, Community History and Culture, Human Ecology, Art and Community, Alternative Forms of Social and Economic Organisation and The Nature and Future of Work.

    More details, including how to book a free place at the event, here.