Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

September 2021

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Subscription Increase – Final Reminder
It was agreed at the SLHS June AGM that subscriptions should be increased, as the annual journal production and website maintenance costs now exceed the unwaged subscription, and almost equal the waged subscription. New rates, which take effect from 1 Sept, are £20.00 for waged members and £13.00 for unwaged/student members. This is the first increase since 2008. Members wishing to renew their 2021 subscription at the existing rate should do so by 31 August.

60 Years of SLHS – 30 Years of SWPHT
Plans are taking shape for a joint virtual anniversary celebration for SLHS and the Scottish Working People’s History Trust (SWPHT), in conjunction with the National Library of Scotland. The event, scheduled for 30 Nov, will mark the 60th anniversary of SLHS and the 30th anniversary of SWPHT. Full details will be in the October newsletter. Preparations are also being made for the first Ian MacDougall Memorial Lecture, to take place next April – full details in a later newsletter.  

The Soviet Union and the Second World War, 7th September
The 7th September 2021 marks the 81st anniversary of the start of the Blitz in London, and the 76th anniversary of the 1945 Allied victory parade in Berlin, attended by Marshal Zhukov and Generals Patton and Robertson. In a special lecture for Pushkin House, Antony Beevor, the author of Stalingrad, Berlin the Downfall 1945, and The Second World War, as well as joint editor of A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945, looks at misunderstandings and myths around the Soviet role in the conflict. The event is being held at Conway Hall in London but is also being live-streamed. Online access is at…

Scottish Labour History Society at Glasgow Doors Open Festival 2021, 19th September
For several years, SLHS ran popular labour heritage walks during Glasgow Doors Open Festival, and although Covid restrictions caused cancellation of last year’s Festival, it's back in modified form this year. SLHS is offering a new Red Clydeside Trail walk on Sunday 19 Sept at 10.45am, assembling at the South Portland Street approach to the Clyde Suspension Bridge. SLHS chair Stewart Maclennan will present an overview of 250 years of Glasgow labour history. Festival programmes are at Booking opens on 1 Sept, but the walk will be subject to the current Covid guidelines, whatever they may be at the time.

New Lanark Special Anniversary Conference, 12th-14th October
New Lanark Trust is hosting an anniversary conference marking three important milestones in New Lanark’s history: (1) The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen, the site’s most famous advocate; (2) The 20th anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription; (3) The completion of the restoration of the former millworkers’ housing. People can participate virtually or in-person from 12-14 October to celebrate New Lanark's journey, from Robert Owen to World Heritage and beyond. Sessions will consider Owen’s educational legacy, company towns & the utopian dream, world heritage status, and industrial heritage conservation & redevelopment, featuring speakers from all over the world. Full details at

Researching Allan Pinkerton
Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh and honorary president of the Scottish Association for the Study of America, is currently researching the early life of Allan Pinkerton, the Glaswegian who emigrated to the USA in 1842, and subsequently became the founder of the notorious US detective agency. As a young man, Pinkerton was a Chartist, and Professor Jeffreys-Jones is attempting to ascertain if Pinkerton had become a Government agent before his emigration. Anyone able to assist should contact him at

Minor Mystery
In early August a sum equal to an SLHS subscription was deposited in our bank account from an unrecognised source. If any member renewed or joined about then, but has heard nothing from the Society, please contact the Treasurer ( with your details.

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