Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

March 2021

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PayPal Problems
As noted in the email accompanying our February newsletter, we are experiencing problems with access to PayPal from the SLHS website. This appears to be a result of an upgrade in the PayPal security protocol and we are trying to resolve the problem and get the technology working again, to enable members to renew subscriptions online and for new members to be able to join.

Because of this disruption, we thought it worthwhile reminding members and website users that there are other ways to pay subscriptions – through online banking, by setting up an annual standing order, or by paying by cheque through the post. For those wishing to pay by making an online transfer from their bank account, the Society’s bank account details are: Scottish Labour History Society; sort code: 08-92-99; account no: 65474464. The subscription remains £15.00 waged and £10.00 unwaged. To pay by post please send cheque, payable to Scottish Labour History Society, to: Robert Laurie, SLHS Treasurer, 201 Alberta Avenue, East Kilbride, G75 8HU. Members wishing to set up a standing order for annual renewal can use the SLHS bank details above to do so. We will announce on the website when the PayPal situation is resolved.

Full Journals Now Online
Earlier this year we added complete digital versions of all the SLHS journals (from no.1 to vol.55) to the website. This means that book reviews, conference reports, obituaries and all the other material that has appeared in the journals since 1969 are now available to read online – by searching in the Journal Index – and to download and use for research purposes.

Coalfields and Communities
On Behalf of the People: Work, Community and Class in the British Coal Industry, 1947-1994 is an AHRC-funded project led by Keith Gildart (Wolverhampton University) and Andrew Perchard (Northumbria University), exploring the nationalised industry from the bottom up, with profiles of eight collieries (including Barony in Scotland). The website includes pit profiles, oral history interview clips, and other resources. Partners have been the General Federation of Trade Unions and all three national mining museums. Coalfield events, including one at Auchinleck in Ayrshire, have been delayed because of the pandemic, but will be held in due course. More details at

Deindustrialization in Scotland’s Coalfields
Coal Country: The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialization in Postwar Scotland, from the University of London Press Institute of Historical Research imprint, by SLHS member, and University of Glasgow lecturer, Ewan Gibbs, is the first book-length study of deindustrialization in the Scottish coalfields, and is based on archival research and the memories of miners and their families. More information from…

Early British Communism
An article by John McIlroy & Alan Campbell, ‘The Socialist Labour Party and the leadership of early British Communism’, marking the centenary of the British Communist Party, deals extensively with several Glasgow socialists, including Arthur MacManus, Tom Bell and William Paul. The article addresses the roles played by ex-members of the BSP and SLP, comparing respective impacts, and concludes that the idea of competing political identities persisting into the 1920s, has been exaggerated. The article is at…  An earlier article ‘The early British Communist leaders, 1920–1923: a prosopographical exploration’, is at…

Justice for the Miners
Unite Community Scotland are holding a special event in support of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and celebrating the victory in 2020 of MSP Neil Findlay’s parliamentary campaign in achieving justice for Scots miners. Speakers will be Neil Findlay, MSP; Ewan Gibbs, Labour Historian; Chris Peace, Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign; and Pat Egan, Ex-miner and Unite Learning Organiser. To register for the “Zoom” event, on 11th March at 7pm, go to  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

Remembering Ian MacDougall
SLHS is joining with the Scottish Working People's History Trust and the National Library of Scotland in discussions with a view to planning a series of webinars commemorating the life and work of the late Ian MacDougall. An initial “Zoom” meeting is due to take place in March.

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