Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

Summer 2020

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SLHS Newsletter: Summer 2020
Welcome to the first of what it is hoped will become a regular series of Scottish Labour History Society newsletters, containing information from the Society, together with links to websites, projects and other initiatives that may be of interest to Society members. Please get back to us if you have anything that could be included in future issues – at

Recently, Scottish labour history has lost two major figures, Ian MacDougall and Neil Davidson. Ian was a founder of SLHS and became a victim of Covid-19 earlier this year. An obituary, by SLHS chair Stewart Maclennan, is here:… Neil, who was active both academically and politically, has an obituary here:

Two new books – both by SLHS members: Murray Armstrong and Kenny MacAskill – marking the bi-centenary of the 1820 Rising have been published recently: see… and They are reviewed in the July/August issue of Scottish Left Review, here: and here:

The Open University has added a Red Clydeside collection to its OpenLearn website, which can be accessed here:

The Raymond Williams Society has released a recording of an early (1977) version of a Williams lecture on ‘The Welsh Industrial Novel’, which, much revised, was published in Williams’ Problems in Materialism and Culture (1980) and Materialism and Culture (2005):… It should be of interest to anyone concerned with the ‘Scottish Industrial Novel’.

On the subject of which, Phil O’Brien’s recent book, The Working Class and C21 British Fiction includes consideration of Waterline by Ross Raisin, a novel whose action begins in the Glasgow shipyards. More information here:…

SLHS committee member Ian Gasse has produced a booklet, Uncovering Working Lives, about the labour history of Dumfries and Maxwelltown, in the form of a ‘labour history trail’. More information is here:… For a free copy send your name and address to

In the context of Black Lives Matter, the bulldozia website offers materials for teaching and research in the field of Black Atlantic studies, and engages with issues raised by the movement of people, goods and ideas in the intercontinental exchange developed during the transatlantic slave trade of the 16th-19th centuries, and extended and transformed during the period of abolition and decolonisation, and beyond: