Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

January 2022

Blog category
Opening text

SLHS 60th Anniversary Event
The joint SLHS 60th anniversary/Scottish Working People’s History Trust 30th anniversary event took place successfully on 30 November, hosted by the National Library of Scotland. Chaired by Dorothy Kidd of the SWPHT, the event featured presentations by former SLH editors, Ian Wood and Hamish Fraser, and a discussion of oral history and the future of labour history, with Ewan Gibbs of Glasgow University, Caroline Milligan of Edinburgh University, and Valerie Wright of Stirling University. An audience of well over 100 attended, with several becoming new SLHS members.

The 2021 Journal
The 2021 edition of Scottish Labour History should be with most members by now (a digital version is on the website). The journal was posted out in mid-December with a complimentary copy of Diverse Voices, Challenging Injustice: Banner Tales from Glasgow, a joint publication by the Society, Glasgow Museums and Glasgow University School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, telling the stories of Glasgow’s peace, anti-apartheid and anti-racist movements through their participants’ voices. A ‘Zoom’ launch for the publication will be held later in 2022.

New Features on the SLHS Website
There are (or shortly will be) a couple of new features on the website. First, we have amended the Blog section of the site so that items can be searched for more easily – with articles, newsletters, copies of the Scottish Labour History Review from the 1990s, and other material all more straightforwardly accessible, and with a new access point on the Home page. We shall also be starting the new year with a facility to enable people from around the world to join the Society more easily, using the PayPal subscription option, hoping this will result in more “international” members.

Socialist History Society – Online Meeting
The SHS is holding a ‘Zoom’ meeting on Saturday 8 January (2pm), with historian Sheila Rowbotham, who will discuss her involvement in the women’s liberation movement, left-wing politics and the 1970s ‘alternative culture’. Drawing on material from her memoir, Daring to Hope (, on the first Women’s Liberation Conference at Ruskin College in 1970, the unionisation of cleaners, abortion rights and childcare, Ms Rowbotham will reflect on grassroots activism, communal living, collective organisation, and connections between the ‘personal and the political’. The talk is free, but people need to register in advance at:…

International Association on Strikes & Social Conflicts: Call for Papers
The 5th International Conference on Strikes & Social Conflicts takes place in Rotterdam at the Dutch TU Confederation from 22-24 June 2022. It aims to discuss and assess the changing nature of strikes and social conflict through capitalist history, with a focus on lessons learned from the responses to changes accompanying globalisation. The proposals deadline for individuals and roundtables is 31 January. These must be submitted via the event email address Later the event website can be used for completing initial registration and submitting individual or group proposals. Those interested in participating should present an abstract of up to 4,000 characters, including spaces and a five-line biography. More at

Duncan Hallas (1925-2002)
John Rudge and SLHS member Dave Sherry are researching the life of Duncan Hallas, a prominent former leader of the Socialist Workers Party. Of particular interest is time Hallas spent in and around Edinburgh from May 1953 as East of Scotland Organiser for the National Council of Labour Colleges, and then, after apparent dismissal for "excessive political activity" in 1956, as a mature student at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1962. Any information on Hallas during this period will be welcomed by

International Brigade Memorial Trust – Len Crome Memorial Conference
The IBMT 2022 Len Crome Memorial Conference will be held (Covid restrictions permitting) over the weekend of 18-20 March at the University of Edinburgh. The theme will be Scotland and the Spanish Civil War, and social and commemorative activities are planned. Further details will be available later in 2022 on the IBMT website at

Any journal queries or material for future newsletters to