Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

April 2022

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Scottish Labour History Society Essay Prize
Having recently received several donations to support the Society’s activities, SLHS is planning to launch an annual essay competition for undergraduates in the near future, with a prize of £250, and the winning essay to be published in Scottish Labour History. One of the aims is to encourage interest in the Society amongst students. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund for the prize is invited to do so, and this donating £25 or more will receive a copy of the late Ian MacDougall’s Catalogue of Some Labour Records in Scotland.

Ian MacDougall Memorial Lecture
The inaugural lecture in memory of Scottish labour historian Ian MacDougall will take place at the King George IV Bridge site of the National Library of Scotland on Thursday 7 April, from 5.30pm-7pm. It will be delivered by Professor Lynn Abrams, who holds the Chair in Modern History at the University of Glasgow, and her theme will be the importance of oral history's engagement with working people. The aim is to publish the lecture in the 2022 SLH journal, and the NLS has agreed to host Ian MacDougall lectures for the next five years. Tickets for this year are all allocated.

Charles Parker Day in Birmingham
This year’s Charles Parker Day is at Birmingham City University on Friday 8 April. Parker was a BBC radio producer who, with Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger, made the award-winning radio ballad series in the 1950s/60s. The day is a live afternoon event which will be streamed on the Parker Trust YouTube channel. Invited guests include speakers, nominees for, and judges of, the 2022 Charles Parker Prize, plus trustees. The afternoon will include an exploration the craft of creating audio features, and BBC Radio 4 Commissioning Editor Richard Knight will announce the winners of the 2022 Charles Parker Prize for Best Student Audio Feature. There will also be a masterclass for students attending, with several producers exploring the use of music in radio and podcast features. If you wish to attend, please complete the form ( on the Parker Trust website, and the Trust will inform you if you are allocated a place. The event is free but a donation (£5 suggested) would be appreciated to cover refreshments.

Raymond Williams Conference, Manchester
The Raymond Williams Society is holding a conference in Manchester on Friday/Saturday, 22/23 April to mark the centenary of the birth of the cultural historian and theorist, drama professor, novelist, playwright, and former adult education tutor. The two-day event, Raymond Williams@100, is at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester, and features plenary and panel sessions, exploring Williams’ influence on notions of culture, on left politics, on community and adult education, on ideas of modernity and on contemporary writing, amongst other subjects. There will also be a performance of Townsend Theatre Productions touring show, Yes! Yes! UCS!, marking the 50th anniversary of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in, as well as a formal launch of a new collection of Williams’ writings, Culture and Politics. The conference fee is £65.00 full price (£40.00 concessions). Full details and booking at

Yes! Yes! UCS! – A Touring Show celebrating the UCS Work-In
Townsend Theatre Productions, in association with Manchester University, are touring Yes! Yes! UCS! the story of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) work-in, using the company’s trademark integration of rock and folk-inspired music, with imaginative visual and sound effects, combined with powerful theatrical storytelling. The show Is a celebration of the community solidarity and collective resistance that made the work-in a success. The show is currently touring in the UK, until May, with Scottish performances in Rutherglen (Saturday 23 April), Fauldhouse, West Lothian (Sunday 24 April), Birnam (Tuesday 26 April) and West Pilton, Edinburgh (Wednesday 27 April). For full details of all remaining tour dates and how to book, visit

Knights Theatre, Dundee
This new company aims to create new plays exploring social history, and to challenge social injustice and continue the tradition of popular Scottish political theatre. Planned productions are to be based on Jennie Lee’s autobiography, Tomorrow is a New Day, and about Ewan MacColl. The company would welcome donations. See for more