Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter: No 3

October 2020

Opening text

Scottish Labour History – Volume 55:
The 2020 edition of Scottish Labour History is due out in November. Among its contents will be:

  • A symposium on the future of labour history, with contributions from Australia, England, Ireland, the USA and Wales
  • Articles on the 1820 West of Scotland Strike; Helen Crawfurd; Scottish socialist ‘Billy Banjo’
  • Profiles of 90 years of the Daily Worker/Morning Star; Scottish communism; Jessie Stephen
  • Plus Remembering Ian MacDougall, and reviews on Hamish Henderson and John Lloyd

North East Labour History Society:
Founded in 1967, the North East Labour History Society is Britain’s oldest regional labour history society. It is dedicated to the study of working people’s history in north-east England, particularly during the modern period. Its committee, drawn from local labour historians and activists, encourages debate and discussion on both historical and contemporary issues. The society’s website is at https://nelh.net/ and has a link to podcasts about British labour history figures at https://soundcloud.com/paul-simpson-750359730

Working Class Movement Library:
The WCML Invisible Histories talks have re-commenced. Talks (via Zoom) scheduled for October are: Weds 7 Oct (Dave Wetzel, The historic theft of land - and attempts to redress this injustice), Weds 14 Oct (Ralph Darlington on Strikers versus scabs: violence in the 1910-14 labour unrest), Weds 21 Oct (Andy Croft on Randall Swingler), and Weds 28 Oct (Deej Malik-Johnson on Len Johnson [for Black History Month]). Full details at https://www.wcml.org.uk/events/ Talks are available afterwards at www.youtube.com/wcmlibrary

Australian Labour History Conference:
Fighting for Life, Class, Community and Care in Labour’s History is the title of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, which is scheduled for 3-5 December 2021 in Bendigo, Victoria. Proposals for presentations are invited with a deadline of 15 February next year. For more information go to www.labourhistory.org.au/2021-conference

Still Seeking Early Journals:
SLHS is trying to assemble a full set of SLH journals, from 1 to 54. Currently, we are missing nos.1 to 9 inclusive. If you have any of these and don’t need to hold on to them, we’d be pleased to hear from you. In the first instance contact SLHS chair, Stewart Maclennan, at stewart_maclennan@btinternet.com

New/Recent Publications:

  • Based on a decade of research in over 20 archives, Ben Harker’s The Chronology of Revolution: Communism, Culture and Civil Society in Twentieth-Century Britain provides a rich historical and cultural analysis of the legacy of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Examining members’ activities in fields such as science, journalism, broadcasting, education and the arts, Harker’s book offers an alternative history of Britain between 1920 and 1991. For more details see https://utorontopress.com/us/the-chronology-of-revolution-2  
  • The Good Old Cause: Communist Intellectuals and the English Radical Tradition by Socialist History Society secretary, David Morgan, is the latest SHS occasional publication. It provides an introduction to the work and influence of several members of the Communist Party Historians Group of the 1950s, including Margot Heinemann, Christopher Hill, Victor Kiernan, A L Morton and E P Thompson. More details at http://www.socialisthistorysociety.co.uk/?cat=8  
  • Marc Wadsworth’s Comrade Sak charts the life of Shapurji Saklatvala, Communist MP – and 1930 candidate for Glasgow Shettleston – from privileged Parsi origins in the Tata dynasty to revolutionary communist, examining both his quarrel with Gandhi over Indian independence, and his difficult relationship with the Communist International. Full details at https://www.peepaltreepress.com/books/comrade-sak (Thanks to Sean Creighton at https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/are-you-running-out-… for this.)

If you have anything for a future newsletter please send to admin@scottishlabourhistorysociety.scot