Sunday, 29 April 2012

More Dates For Your Diary

May. Pamela Hansford Johnson Centenary Exhibition. Lady Avebury is mounting an exhibition about her mother the Clapham-born author and playwright. Pamela Hansford Johnson wrote 27 novels and several plays which were performed in the West End. As a teenager she was the girlfriend of Dylan Thomas and later married  C. P. Snow. To mark the centenary Macmillan are republishing her novels. The exhibition is at Clapham Library, Clapham High St. The Library has 123 years of continuous community use but is being closed (date to be announced) and the building sold off  because a new library facility is being opened. So marks the end of another part of Wandsworth’s history in Lambeth. Further information on or from

Thursday 3 May. 6.30 for 7pm. The Royal College of Art. Its History & the Battersea Campus. Talk by Dr Paul Thompson (RCA Rector) on the new Dyson building near to Battersea Bridge which will open in the autumn. Battersea Society. St Mary's Church, Battersea Church Road. £5 per person (on the door). 

Sunday 6 May. 1846 Chartists Gathering. The now-traditional Bank Holiday event will take place to commemorate the gathering of thousands of Chartists on Blackstone Edge in August 1846. Walk up to the rocky outcrop on Blackstone Edge in the early afternoon, to picnic, to enjoy the walk and the views, to sing, and to meet and listen to other singers. All as a memorial to the great Chartist gathering there, more than 160 years ago. All are welcome. More information at

Sunday 6 May. Chesterfield Stop War Concert for Peace. Winding Wheel, 13 Holywell St, Chesterfield, Features  
Sheffield's Roy Bailey:; East London's Steve White and the Protest Family:; Chesterfield's Martin Sumpton: Adults: Waged £10. Unwaged £8. Call 07400 927222. Limited tickets available on night.

 Monday 7 May. May Day in Chesterfield. 

9am-3.30pm. Stalls and Entertainment in Winding Wheel
10.30am. March Assembles at Town Hall and set off 11am
11.30am. Rally & Speeches in Rykneld Square
12.30pm. Ichabod in the Winding Wheel
12.30-4.15pm. Live Entertainment in Rykneld Square
1pm. Nottingham Clarion Choir in Winding Wheel
1.30pm. ‘Overcoming the North-South Divide’ - speakers
Paul Salveson and Barry Winter at NEDDC Council Chamber
1.45pm. Brampton Community Band in Winding Wheel
2.30pm. Boomerang Generation and Kworyl at Winding Wheel
Refreshments available all day in the Winding Wheel provided by Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centres, as well as an Exhibition of Anti-war Art by Chris Holden.

Monday 7 May. 7.30pm. Love, Life and Liberty. A celebration of Chesterfield’s unique role in inspiring better places for people. A little over a hundred years ago a meeting took place in the Derbyshire coalfield which was to change the face of Britain. A young mining engineer working for the Staveley Iron and Coal Company, called Raymond Unwin, walked from Chesterfield to the small village of Millthorpe to meet a libertarian socialist called Edward Carpenter. Inspired by the ideals of those he met there, such as William Morris and the trade unionist Ben Tillet, Unwin went on to realise the ideals of the Arts and Crafts and Garden City movements by building outstanding new communities for working people. At the core of the visionary ideals Unwin pursued was a belief that everyone had a right to a decent home with access to gardens, green space, libraries and schools at standards previously only available to the rich. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and the Chesterfield Cooperative Party are hosting this special event to repay the debt owed to those early pioneers from the coalfields and to celebrate their inspiration to build a better future. It explores the connections of key figures in the town planning movement, such as Ebenezer Howard and Raymond Unwin, as well as radical thinkers such as Edward Carpenter, William Morris and Prince Kropotkin. It draws out a long lineage of radical thinking about freedom and the land running through John Clare and the Romantics back to Gerrard Winstanley and forward through the music of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. It celebrates, as the early pioneers did, the power of art and music in communicating political ideas, and reminds us that the imagination, radicalism and personal bravery of these extraordinary figures of the past still have relevance for the present. Love Life and Liberty is a relaxed and informal event performed by actors and musicians who are part the Town and Country Planning Association. Venue. Winding Wheel, 13 Holywell St,  Chesterfield.

Friday 11 May to Sunday 9 September. The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729 - 1786 Exhibition. Tuesdays-Saturdays:10am-5pm; Sundays: 11am-5pm. In 1729 and 1739 two London institutions changed the face of British art forever, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens under the management of Jonathan Tyers and the Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies and England’s first public art gallery established by Thomas Coram. To ensure the success of the two institutions both men enlisted the help of two great artists of the age, painter and engraver William Hogarth and composer George Frideric Handel. The Foundling Hospital became the premier venue for London’s polite society to combine socialising and culture with philanthropy whereas Vauxhall Gardens was a place to enjoy contemporary music and art, spectacular design, al fresco dining, beautiful gardens and supper boxes from which to see and be seen. The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729 – 1786 will explore the Gardens, which for its visitors was an escape from daily realities and a re-affirmation of all the good things that life had to offer. The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1. 

Friday 11 – Sunday 27 May Wandsworth Arts Festival. Full brochure downloadable at:

Saturday 12 - Thursday 17 May. The Tooting Transition Shop. The Brick Box café, Tooting Market. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk along Tooting High Street. Look out for a shop that's not selling anything but exchanging memories, ideas, images, questions and experiences about the joys and challenges of living now. Tooting Stories that span past present and future are waiting for you and as you step across the threshold you're invited to play your own part in re-imagining our world. The Tooting Transition Shop will be launched on 12 May (12 noon) as part of 'Treasuring Tooting' a day long interactive walk around Tooting to celebrate well-being, from the Lido to the Library, to the Bingo Hall and The Brick Box. Join us, picking up clues to find the shop as we go. For shop address, updates and details:; 0787 069 8333;  or

Saturday 12. May. 10.30am-1.30pm. Consultation on Kids Play at Lambeth Walk Open Space. Roots and Shoots, Fitzalan Street/Walnut Tree Walk, London, SE11.

Saturday 12 May. Rebuilding the tradition independent working class education. 11am-12.30pm. Open Planning Group; Lunch. 1-4pm. Seminar. Presenters include Louise Raw on The Lessons of the Matchwomen's Struggle. Brunswick Centre, near Russell Square Tube, London. £6 includes lunch. Pay on the day. From Russell Square Tube follow Marchmont Street to Entrance One of the Brunswick Centre/big block of flats. There will be signs. Put Flat 10 (Community Centre) in entry phone and ring. Lift to Floor 2. Follow signs. To book a place contact Colin Venables:

Sunday 13 May. 6.30pm. Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin'. A "live documentary" that sets Guthrie's songs in the context of the American 1930s - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself. Will Kaufman will perform the show at Islington Mill, James Street, Salford. The show highlights the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie's most powerful work. £10 on the door only. Fundraising event for Working Class Movement Library.  Venue: Islington Mill Studios, James Street, Salford. More information inc. performances  elsewhere on

Tuesday 15 May. 6.30pm. A History of Garden Visiting. Talk by the Director of the Garden Museum, Christopher Woodward, linked to the exhibition on that subject currently on at the museum. Arrive early to see the exhibition before the talk begins.  Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1.

Wednesday 16 May. 7.30pm. St Mary’s Church and Monastery. Fr Dominic O’Toole, the Parish Priest, will talk about the history of the church and monastery. He will be outlining current plans for the restoration of the church and the landmark spire, and for use of the monastery. There will be an opportunity to see some of the interior of these important Clapham buildings. The church was built in 1849 by William Wardell and is a fine example of the early Gothic revival. It was extended in the 1880s by J. F. Bentley, who in 1892 also built the monastery. J. F. Bentley, who is best known as the architect of Westminster Cathedral, lived in Old Town. Clapham Society talk at  St Mary’s Monastery, 8 Clapham Park Road, SW4.

Wednesday 16 May. 9pm. Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travelin'. The Green Note, 106 Parkway, London NW1.

Thursday 17 May. 8pm. May I Have the Pleasure? Illustrated talk by Francoise Carter about the importance of dancing in late 17th and 18thC society. The Wandsworth Society. West Hill Church, Melody Road (corner of Allfarthing Lane), SW18. Free. More information 020 8767 3814. Wheelchair accessible by arrangement.

Friday 18 May. 7pm. "Co-operative enterprises build a better world". Iain Macdonald gives annual Robert Owen Commemoration Lecture. Robert Owen's School for Children, New Lanark Mills, New Lanark, South Lanarkshire. See For other UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012 events in UK go to events section and search under UK:

Saturday 19 May. 38th Annual Levellers Day 19 May - Burford, Oxfordshire. Speeches, Debate, Music. Displays:
·         Oxford & District Trades Council: Oxfordshire Struggles: Past and Present
·         Bristol Radical History Group.

Saturday 19 May. 4pm onwards. Wake for the Castle Pub Battersea. Live music, food and real ales. Celebrate a lifetime of service to the Battersea community and pay your last respects. Girls to be in glam black and gents in black tie. There may have to be tickets/invitations/guest list depending on demand. Book early. The developers have confirmed that the pub will be boarded on 23 May and that another planning application can be expected shortly thereafter. Castle Pub, Battersea High St, London, SW11. The"Defend the Castle!" Battersea Campaign is in full flow.

Monday 21 May. Fundraising For South West London Law Centres (SWLLC). At a time of increasing demand due to the ConDem Government’s attacks on benefits and legal aid, the survival of Law and other advice centres is vital. Members of the Atkins Hope lawyers team are walking in support of SWLLC, as part of the 8th London Legal sponsored walk. The team includes Sarah Newens, known to some of my readers from her days in Battersea. SWLLC grew out of the Wandsworth & Merton Law Centre and has branches in Croydon, Tooting, Battersea, Morden and Kingston. Each year they help over 20,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the area with social welfare law matters such as housing, debt, benefits, employment, asylum and community care. Atkins Hope lawyers volunteer with them to provide free legal advice. ‘We know what a great service the Law Centre provides for people in severe need. We also know how desperately they need funds to maintain the service.’ Please sponsor them via or send your money direct with your name and address to Sarah Newens:;; (0)208 680 5018 Ext: 226. Atkins Hope’s main office is at 74-78 North End Chambers, Croydon, CR9 1SD. It also now has offices in Clapham Junction and Chatham. Note:  Atkins Hope also supports the Croydon Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Festival. Back when SLLC was getting set up I undertook an analysis of the best locations for its offices in relation to the areas of most social and economic need.

Monday 21 May. 6.45 for 7.15pm. The delight of all persons of reputation and taste’ – an introduction to Vauxhall Gardens 1661-1859. Avant-garde art, underground music, exotic architecture, and terrible food! This talk by David Coke, co-author of Vauxhall Gardens: a History, aims to evoke a little of the atmosphere of Vauxhall Gardens in its heyday. Friends of Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Tuesday 22 May. 7pm. North East Politics & Society 1840-1914. Talk by John Charlton. Re-arranged NELH meeting on North East Popular Politics. Irish Centre.

Wednesday 23 May. 6.30 for 7pm. Handel: Fireworks and Frolics by The Amadè Players. Concert of music by Handel, including his famous Music for the Royal Fireworks (originally performed at the Vauxhall Pleasure gardens to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and repeated four weeks later at The Foundling Hospital) and the Ode for St Cecilia. This concert is in conjunction with the Foundling Museum's summer exhibition on Vauxhall Gardens. Foundling Museum. Tickets: £15 (£10 concessions and Foundling Friends). To book call 020 7841 3600 or drop into the Museum.

Thursday 24 May. 7.30pm. Richard Dadd, C19 painter. Talk by Nicholas Tromans, author and senior lecturer in Art History, Kingston University. Although Dadd suffered from severe mental illness for much of his life he was encouraged to continue painting as part of C19 Art Therapy for the treatment of mental illness, and used also widely today. Battersea Society. St Mary’s Parish Church, Battersea Church Rd, SW11. £5 on the door.

Friday 25 May. 7.30 - 11.30 pm. Celebration of Africa Day. Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle. £10 including Home Cooked African Food, 10th Avenue Band + Guests. All funds raised donated to Tegwani Secondary School in Zimbabwe. For tickets or more information contact Rod Hlalo 0191 2402956 or

Saturday 26 May – Sunday 10 June. Wandsworth Heritage Festival.

Saturday 26 May. 11.30am-5.30pm. Growing People Power - Grassroots 2012.  Jointly organised by trade unionists and community activist organisations committed to tackling the big challenges.This year’s gathering will focus on three areas:
Rise up! Building support - How we campaign effectively on issues.
2, 4, 6, 8: How will people congregate - How can we build membership organisations that engage?
Reaching Out - How do we communicate our messages effectively?

Sunday 27 May. Cleaver Square Fete, Kennington.  For more about the Square see:

Monday 28 May. 5.30pm. Opposition to Royal Jubilees from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth. Keith Flett and Sherrl Yanowitz. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Tuesday 29 May. 7 for 7.30pm. Battersea Society AGM. Followed by a talk on 'Roman Remains in Wandsworth' by Dr Pamela Greenwood, author of many books and publications on the archaeology of London and the South East. All Saints Church, Prince of Wales Drive, London, SW11.

Monday 11 June. 5.30pm. Was the Chartist Movement Anti-semitic? Prof. Denis Paz. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Thursday 14 June. 5pm. Esther Bruce. Stephen Bourne will talk about his adopted aunt Esther Bruce at Fulham Library, 598 Fulham Road, London, SW6. Near Parsons Green Tube. Admission free.  Monday 18 June. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Summer party, Friends of the Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Monday 25 June. 5.30pm. Class, Corruption and the 2012 London Olympics. David Renton. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Saturday 30 June. North Lambeth Parish Fete.  Lambeth Palace Gardens. Theme is ‘Earth’. Offers of assistance to Simon Gibbs, Fete Co- ordinator: 020 7582 6901 or

Thursday 12- Saturday 14 July. Radical History School. Tolpuddle, Dorset. And

Friday 13 - Sunday 15 July. Roots of Solidarity. Paths of Progress. 2012 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. For full lists of speakers, seminars, meetings, commemorations, workshops, bands, singers, stuff for kids and teens, booking, accommodation and travel go to

Monday 16 July. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Protest Movements Around the World. Paul Mason, economics editor of Newsnight: ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere’. Talk on his new book on the protest movements around the world, and on his other books (one is a novel about a protest by ghosts in China). Friends of Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Thursday 19 July. 1.15-2pm. Esther Bruce: A Black London Seamstress. An illustrated talk by Stephen Bourne about Esther Bruce and other black Britons represented in the National Portrait Gallery collections. National Portrait Gallery, 2 St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE. Admission Free.

What is UCL up to in VNEOBA?

A project based at UCL has been writing to community organisations

in large regeneration areas including the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity Area, as highlighted by the government, and where developments are likely to occur very soon. ‘Boris Johnson's initiative has identified 33 Opportunity Areas in London, which are brownfield sites (land that has previously been built upon) with the potential for new housing and commercial development, and improvements to public transport accessibility. More information of these sites can be found here on the London Government's website (page 5 showing the Opportunity Areas). The UCL project, in partnership with Just Space ( wants to ensure that communities are fairly consulted, represented and included in any developments that might occur in your locality…. This project is also producing an interactive map with a directory of all the community groups in your area. This will enable you to easily contact other groups, to see what they are involved in or how you could work together, and discuss any barriers to your involvement in the regeneration process. The map is in its infancy’  but can be shared with groups if they are interested.

‘To help our research and to help us better understand how best to support the community groups, any information you could pass onto me about you community group and your activities would be greatly appreciated. For example, how long the group has existed and how many members you have. Have you heard about the Opportunity Areas before, and is your group participating in the process of regeneration? Have you come across any obstacles that have prevented you from becoming involved in the planning process?’ 

An invitation was also included to a London Tenants Federation event on 2 May in Kingston-upon-Thames to discuss regeneration, development and opportunities that are happening in the South West London area…’ ‘This is a great opportunity to meet other community groups’ and a project worker ‘to get a better understanding of what Opportunity Areas are, and how these developments may affect you.’ 

As someone who has been producing newsletters covering VNEBOA for a long time, this is the first time I can recall hearing about this project. So on 15 April I emailed on 15 April asking for the answers to be following questions.

(1) When did UCL and Just Space get awarded the project?

(2) When was the tender process?

(3) Who else was invited to tender?

(4) Who is funding the project?

(5) Which community groups were consulted in VNEBOA about whether they wished such a project to have money spent on it?

(6) Has Cross River Partnership been consulted about the information it assembled when it covered part of the VNEBOA area?

(7) Why does the project assume that local groups in the VNEBOA have not been involved in the issues, taking part in consultations, making representations, etc?

(8) Have you consulted the Kennington, Vauxhall and Oval Forum which brings together local organisations about this project?

(9) Given Kingston event is miles away from VNEBOA when is a meeting planned to be held in the VNEBOA?

(10) Why does the project think that groups will have any real influence in the OAs when in the case of VNEBOA the developers call the shots, the Councils are desperate for action, the Mayor and Government fully behind it, and planning controls loosened to make it more difficult to oppose applications?

(11) Why should anyone take UCL seriously when it has been a major developer eating up whole areas of its part of London, has done so much damage to the unity of the London University federation and has failed as yet to post a single event to promote Universities to the general public on the Universities Week website?

I await the reply with interest.

Are Tweedledum and Tweedledee Fit To Run London?

The contest for London Mayor has been an unedifying spectacle of Ken and Boris showing that neither are fit to be Mayor. They both represent aspects of what I termed some time ago ‘The New Corruption’. Not a day goes by that a new exposure of ‘New Corruption’ is not front page media reportage. The two Tweedles have both abysmally failed to ensure the accountability of the Metropolitan Police whose leadership has been found to be up to their eyes in ‘The New Corruption’. They have let the problem of racism continue. In addition to the high profile cases being investigated about racism towards members of the public it now turns out that even Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are not immune from being bullied by police officers and staff as happened over an 18-month period in Wandsworth. As we saw in the August riots the streets are volatile as a result of many people’s experience with the police, especially indiscriminate use of stop and search.  Ken and Boris’s failure to make it accountable makes them unfit to be in charge of the Met after the election on 3 May. Given the world recession there is probably not much any Mayor can do about jobs and unemployment. But what the Mayor can do is to make the Met accountable, seriously tackle racism and the over use of stop and search against black people and ease the tensions on the streets, thereby decreasing the number of tinder boxes which can flare up at any time, like last August’s riots. Only former Brixton Commander in Brixton and senior Scotland Yard officer Brian Paddick has the experience to tackle what I consider is the most significant challenge facing the London Mayor in the next four years. He also has a track record of not being a machine man. But he is tarnished by being a Lib Dem therefore trailing badly in the pre-election polls.

Let’s not forget that: 

(1) The London Mayoral system was forced up Londoners.

(2) It demeans the democratic process as a collective activity by emphasising the alleged benefits of having an individual in charge.

(3) It has been an absolute failure to look after the interests of most Londoners.

(4) Ken L signed up to the continued expansion of London sucking more and more resources into itself mostly for the benefit of the wealthy, developers and corporations. Boris J has continued to do the same and we know see that his Vauxhall, Nine Elms & Battersea Opportuinty Area is just a money making vehicle for developers.

(5) Ken L has foisted unwanted tower blocks on London; Boris J said he was against but continues to approve. He is ensuring that the Vauxhall, Nine Elms & Battersea Opportunity Area will be stacked with them.

(6) Ken L signed up the importance of the City and financial services and ignored warnings about what might happen if there was a crash or recession. Boris J has been no better.

(7) Ken  L signed up to the London Olympics with Londoners paying a heavy share of the cost; escalating costs; diversion of resources from other parts of London; unreasonable demands from the IOC which seems to have more power than even the Government.  Boris J has done little to rein back the idiocy, like the waste of money in building athletes accommodation that will have to then be converted into apartments. It is now just a massive money making exercise for the corporate sponsors.

(8) Ken L signed up to Cross Rail which only really benefits those going between Heathrow and the City at great disruption instead of ensuring that the money was spent on improving public transport especially  in and across South London. Boris J has gone along with it.

The whole governance of London is corrupt in its broadest sense. The City of London remains a law unto itself. The proposed Parliamentary Constituency changes will create ridiculous cross local authority boundaries making it more difficult for MPs to operate and meaning that Constituency Parties have to worry about two local authorities instead of one. MPs and parties will become even more divorced from their communities. Another form of erosion of democracy which will help allow more incompetence and corruption to become embedded.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

DWP and the Beaufoy - Final Word

Further to my blog of 9 April an email I sent to contacts in Lambeth initiated a discussion between Councillor Steve Morgan and myself, then Morgan and Diamond Way, and then Diamond Way and myself. Diamond Way has agreed the following statement – I have highlighted the key points in red.

Diamond Way Buddhist centres function through voluntary work on the basis of friendship and idealism; community is important to us. As lay people, Diamond Way Buddhists come from every walk of life and are a very diverse group from many different countries and cultures. More than 15 countries are represented currently in the London Centre. They include all age groups and careers – with cleaners, doctors, cooks, scientists, artists and students all represented. We also have a significant number of parents and families in the groups and so are very mindful of children’s needs.

The Buddha’s teachings are themselves non-political, and as such Diamond Way Buddhism is also a totally non-political organization; it does not hold any views on political parties or other religions. As individuals however, Buddhists are like any others engaged within their communities and act independently on issues they find important. They support different football clubs and vote independently in elections. Whoever comes to a Diamond Way Buddhist centre is welcome no matter what their personal background, ethnicity or sexuality, or views are as long as they have good social behaviour and of course respect all laws and local regulations and the right of others to adhere to other branches of Buddhism and other religions.

Matt Huddleston, a Trustee of Diamond Way says: ‘the text can be circulated anywhere it may be beneficial. Please do include the website’.

The following message (13 April) to DWP from Camden Council’s Senior Policy Officer (Social Cohesion) states: ‘As the Council officer who leads for Camden Council on its work with faith communities I would like to thank you for the way in which Diamond Way has contributed to the Camden Faith Leaders Forum. Since the Council set it up two years ago to address how faith, community and public sector organisations can cooperate in areas affecting the civic life of the borough and facilitate improved levels of cohesion Diamond Way has modelled an outward looking and engaged ethos which we have found encouraging and helpful. A good example of this is your willingness to join the Camden LGBT Advice and Safety Project. I know that this involvement has built on the Diamond Ways history of providing free mediation classes to Camden's community since 1998 but the relationship we have built over the last two years has certainly been of value to us.’

For me both these statements closes the issue of concerns over DWP UK based on the alleged views of DWP’s international ‘leader’. It appears that much of the criticism is circulated by non-DWP Buddhists elsewhere in London – part of a spat within the fractured Buddhist movement not dissimilar to those in other religions. As far as the ‘leader’ is concerned he seems to be more of ‘a missionary’ and apparently has no role in the governance of DWB in the UK.

You can see the Annual Report and Accounts for DWP for the years ending 31 March 2007-2011 on the Charity Commission website. In the year 2009-10 they changed Solicitors to the much respected charity law specialists Russell Cooke LLP, who are also RCDT’s Solicitors, and advisers to organisations like London Voluntary Service Council. See

In relation to the planning application no one would oppose one from an Anglican Church because a particular Bishop expresses certain views people find objectionable; nor a Roman Catholic one because of some of that Church’s views.

I remain against the deal between DWB and the Council because it is not the Artisan School proposal I have been involved with through Lady Margaret Hall Settlement from 2003 until recently. I still think that the Artisan School idea linked to the Settlement’s Kennington Quarter cultural industries strategy will do more for local people, especially re-skills training and jobs, than what is now proposed for the whole of the Beaufoy site.

There may be legitimate concerns about the details of the planning application. But objections can only be valid on planning grounds. The application details can be seen on the Lambeth Council Planning database

If the planning application is rejected then the sale of the Beaufoy does not go through. The Council’s Corporate Committee in its capacity as Trustees of the Beaufoy will have to re-think what to do next.

If the Bellway application (;jsessionid=524182DD3D8F363479EA9FC4ACB81F62?action=weeklyList) on the rest of the site is not approved then the sale by the Council will also put things back to square one.

The consultation closing date for both applications is this Thursday 19 April.

Monday, 9 April 2012

New Diary of Events Listing

To Saturday 9 June. Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.  Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre. South Bank, Waterloo. Errol John’s play was originally produced for BBC Radio as Small Island Moon in 1958, and later that year it was staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London. For the teeming populace of Old Mack’s cacophonous yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad, it’s a cheek by jowl existence lived out on a sweltering public stage. Snatches of calypso compete with hymn tunes, drums and street cries as neighbours drink, brawl, pass judgment, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his dead-end job for a fresh start in England. Set as returning troops from the Second World War fill the town with their raucous celebrations, the play depicts a vibrant, cosmopolitan world that is as harsh as it is filled with colour and warmth. Errol John was born in Trinidad in 1924 and settled in Britain in 1951 where he worked as an actor and dramatist until his death in 1988. Stephen Bourne dedicated a chapter to Errol in his book Black in the British Frame – The Black Experience in British Film and Television (Contiunuum, 2001).

Tuesday 10 April. 7pm. Wallsend’s New Owenites. Project talk by Nigel Todd. To mark the International Year of Co-operation Nigel explores whatever happened to the Owenites. After the end of the Owenite movement in the 1840s, those who were inspired by Robert Owen’s co-operative social philosophy became a loose ‘diaspora’. Tyneside was one place where Owenism still influenced local action and most of all at Wallsend, where Co-operators tried to shape their own community with its own school in the early 1870s.  Nigel is a former Regional Director of the WEA. He has been involved with the Co-operative Movement for many years.

Wednesday 11 April. 6.30 for 7pm. Kennington Oval & Vauxhall Forum (KOV). Montgomery Hall, 58 Kennington Oval. The main items on the agenda are:  Community hubs – What they could mean for our area; The Olympics and how they might affect you ; Eastbury House redevelopment proposals. My February paper on Community Hubs is available from me.

Wednesday 11 April. 7pm.  Whose Music?  Community vs. copyright.  Musician, author, and political activist, Mat Callahan, discusses the negative effects capitalism has on the way in which music is produced and consumed, and discusses the possibilities for abolishing copyrights. £3, redeemable against any purchase. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London. 020 7837 4473;

Wednesday 11 to Monday 23 April. An elected Mayor for Newcastle? YES or NO ? Debate and Questions
Monday 11.  7pm. Gosforth Civic Hall, near Regent Centre Metro
Thursday 12. 7pm. Robert Stewart Memorial Church, Wingrove Rd, Fenham
Monday 16. 10.30am & 6.30pm Tuesday 17.  6.30pm, Friday 20. 2.30pm. Bewick Hall, Newcastle, City Library, New Bridge St
Wednesday 18. 7pm. Benfield School Hall, Benfield Rd, near Walkergate Metro
Monday 23 April. 7pm. Holy Nativity Church, Chapel House ( (
Comment. In general the answer has to be NO. Reduces democracy; turns politics into personality; too much unaccountable power in the hands on one person.  If you look at London the answer has to be a NO. Ken sold out to City interests, backed unwanted tower blocks making developers millions, failed to ensure Met Police accountable and prevent its corruption, backed Olympics which is distorting London, backed Cross Rail which benefits City travellers at expensive of improvements of ordinary Londoners, especially in S. London. Boris is no better.

Thursday 12 April. The Many Headed Hydra: Plebeians in the World c. 1660-1820. This conference explores the role of plebeians in the colonial and commercial expansion across the world from c.1660-1820. Inspired by the themes of Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker’s The Many Headed Hydra (2000) the papers will explore the book’s central themes in the light of new research, as well as taking it into new areas. The role of seas and ships, armies and navies, and commercial interests in creating and regulating a mobile, multi-ethnic workforce will be explored. Research on traditions of popular protest and radical political and religious ideologies will also be presented. As well as the English-speaking Atlantic, there will be papers on French Canada, Brazil, the Middle East and the Cape Colony.  Keynote speakers: Marcus Rediker, Richard Drayton. Room 532, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London , WC1. The conference is free to attend, but places are limited. Please email: to reserve a place. Supported by: Dept of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck & History Workshop Journal. For full program:

Friday 13 – Thursday 19 April. Close the Coalhouse Door. The great 1970s musical play (Alan Plater & Alex Glasgow) is being revived by the Live Theatre in April at the Northern Stage. See

Saturday 14 April. Closing date for entry to Huddersfield Luddites200 Festival Poetry Competition.  ‘2012 is the 200th anniversary of the uprising by Luddite machine breakers, which inspired great poetry by Byron, Shelley and others. The defeat of the Luddites by thousands of soldiers led to two centuries of industrialism. It's ugliness and beauty, its wealth and its poverty have all been inspiration for truly brilliant pieces. Now we live in a world dominated by science and technology, but on the brink of environmental disaster. What do the Luddites and their mythical leader, General Ned Ludd mean to you? Luddites 200 is launching a poetry competition, with prizes to be awarded by Andy Croft at our festival in Huddersfield on April 28th/29th. Poems can be in any style, with a maximum length of 40 lines. Categories 1st Prize; Under 16 £40; Over 16 £40. There will be second and third prizes of books and/or merchandise, to be confirmed on the day. There is no entry fee, but we would appreciate donations to cover the costs of running our festival. This can be made by visiting  and using the donate button on the right, or on the day. Poems, which should not previously have been published, should be sent to,  or by post to Luddites200 Organising Forum, c/o Flat 5 The Old Warehouse, Henry Street, Huddersfield, HD1 4AA. Please remember to also include your name, age and contact details or we won't be able to include your submission! The deadline is. We may subsequently post your poems (with your permission) on the Luddites 200 website.’ For more information on the festival, visit:

Saturday 14 April – 9 September. 'Can you keep a secret?: the rise and fall of the Yorkshire Luddites'. Play by Mikron Theatre. Full programme of venues in all parts of the country inc: Batley, Salford (Working Class Movement Library), Oldham, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Rugby, Tring, Milton Keynes, London, Reading, Oxford, Stroud and Gloucester. Full details on

Monday 16 April. 5-7pm. The Heart of the City. Free event at Newcastle Civic Centre  will launch the Unison sponsored study into the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle. To book a place email For summary see NCVS Inform magazine  Spring 2012 on

Monday 16 April. 6.30pm. Joseph Skipsey – the Northumberland Pitman Poet. Professor R. K. R. Thornton, Newcastle Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd. Free. To reserve seat ring 0191 232 0192; or email

Monday 16 April. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Co-production and the future of the library service. Talk by Adrian Smith, Lambeth’s Director of Cultural Services. Followed by AGM of Friends of Durning Library. All welcome. 167 Durning Library.

Tuesday 17 April. 6pm Corruption in Historical Context. Mark Knights (Warwick) will talk about corruption, a very contemporary concern in Britain and the wider world but also a pervasive anxiety in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Focusing on Britain and its colonies, the talk will explore why fears about corruption grew in the pre-modern period and identify some of the characteristics of what William Cobbett called 'the system' that was created by a growing state and the patronage at its disposal. Issues that are raised by this historical approach to a current problem include the definition of corrupt behaviour, the relationship between fiscal/political corruption and moral/sexual corruption, how to unmask or expose corruption and how to reform it. Newcastle Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd. Free. To reserve seat ring 0191 232 0192; or email

Wednesday 18 April. 7pm. Radical Gardening: Politics, idealism and rebellion in the garden. George McKay discusses the radical politics of gardening, with a look at the links between gardening and counter-culture, and the historical significance of the garden. £3, redeemable against any purchase. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London. 020 7837 4473;

Thursday 19 April. 7pm. The Real History of Chartism. Talk by David Goodway. Socialist History Society.  Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2.

Friday 20 April. Closing date for Call for Papers re-Sport and Other Leisure Industries. Guest Editors of Sport in History, Dion Georgiou and Ben Litherland, are calling for articles for a special edition examining the relationship between sport and other leisure and/or cultural industries. The study of sports history has become somewhat ghettoised from other aspects of leisure history.  Less attention has been devoted to the wider commercial configurations that have promoted sport's appropriation by, and of, other leisure and cultural forms.  They are keen to receive articles on the history of sport's relationship with culture and leisure industries, especially where these links have been hitherto relatively unexplored. For example, how has sport as a business compared to or interacted with publishing, the fairground, theatre, cinema, shopping for pleasure, music, etc? They welcome papers covering a diverse range of historical periods, including the recent past (providing they offer a suitably historical perspective), and geographical contexts, both British and non-British. If you are interested in contributing to this special edition, please send an abstract for your article (c. 300 words), and a brief biography, to by Friday 20  April. Selected contributors essays in by summer 2013; special edition 2014.

Saturday 21 April. Alliance for Green Socialism meeting, London. Speaker – David King, Luddites200. Contact for more details.

Saturday 21 April. 8pm. Leon Rosselson. Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Dr Socrates are the support act and organisers. The Bridge Hotel is a long-term favourite meeting place for the Newcastle left.

Tuesday 24 April. 6-8pm. British Quakerism 1837-1914 as Seen Through Ten Periodicals. Talk by Jennifer Milligan on  how ten 19th & 20thC Friends' periodicals illustrate the changes in Friends' religious thought and concerns. The growth in periodical publications reflected the changes that London Yearly Meeting went through in this period and the gradual shift from Evangelical to Liberal Quakerism. Jennifer Milligan is Senior Library Assistant at the Library of the Society of Friends and is responsible for the periodicals collection. The Library will be open that day until 6pm. Register for a free place at Library of the Religious Society of Friends, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1. 020 7663 1135.

Wednesday 25 April. 3pm-5pm. Shot by both sides: punk, politics and the end of consensus. Talk  by Matthew Worley will examine the ways in which political organisations of the far left and far right responded to punk-informed youth culture in Britain during the late 1970s. Plus: Will Jackson and Waqas Tufail on 'Policing disorder in the regenerating city'. University of Salford Radical Studies Network Seminar at Working Class Movement Library, The Crescent, Salford. All welcome, admission free. Further information from

Wednesday 25 April. 7pm. The August Riots: Realities and representations with guests from Bristol Radical History Group. A critical look at the riots of last summer. Includes screening of the short film Rebellion in Tottenham 2011. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London. 020 7837 4473;
£3, redeemable against any purchase.

Thursday 26 April to 5 July. 6-8pm. Designing for Communities: Housing and Landscape, 1900 to Today. Birkbeck Module  towards Certificate of Higher Education in History of Architecture and Landscapes. Module Code ARVC078H4ACB. What makes a community? How can design promote a social vision? This module introduces the history of architecture and landscape design from 1900 to the present, concentrating on the question of community.  Examples from across Europe and North America will provide an international context for case studies in Britain.  Includes visits to council estates, private developments and new eco developments. Further Information  

Thursday 26 April. 6.30-7pm. Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens AGM. Carmelita Centre, 41 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11.
Thursday 26 April. 7pm. Solidarity Versus Austerity: Report back from Greece.  Paul Mackney (former General Secretary of NAFTHE) will give an illustrated report back from the recent trade union solidarity delegation to Greece (organized jointly by Coalition of Resistance and The Peoples Charter) and will help raise funds towards Coalition of Resistance's Greek Solidarity Campaign. St John's Church Hall, 30 Grainger Street, Newcastle. NE1.

Friday 27 – Sunday 29 April. Festival of Luddite Culture and Ideas. Huddersfield. The aim of the event is to bring together different groups who have developed plays, music, poetry, etc related to the Luddites' 200th anniversary, and to combine that with discussions around issues related to technology today. The festival will also include workshops on: the story of the 1812 uprisings, children's activities, and hands on/demonstrations of old/alternative technology - spinning/weaving, cropping, blacksmithing, and micropower. There will also be a frame smashing re-enactment. The event is organised by the Luddites200 group, an informal network of historians, artists and technology politics activists, including scientists and engineers who have shared interests in the Luddites, aiming to both celebrate the anniversary and to open up debate about issues related to technology today. More details soon at

Saturday 28 April. 2pm. Third Annual Frow Lecture: Dreamers of a new day: British and American women's alternative economic visions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Socialist feminist writer and activist Sheila Rowbotham draws on her most recent book, Dreamers of a new day: women who Invented the twentieth century to show the range of ideas and plans women devised for a better society. Free. Working Class Movement Library, but talk taking place in The Old Fire Station The Crescent, Salford.

30 April – 7 May. Universities Week. Aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities, including the contribution they make to UK society. Events around the country: However, either Universities have failed to put events up or they are not doing anything. On 7 April only 16 Universities had posted up events: no events for Newcastle, Sheffield, Sunderland or Teesside; one for Northumbria.

Tuesday 1 May. 6pm. Not worth a penny: credit and inequality in early modern England. Dr Alex Shephard. A public lecture series co-hosted by the Medieval and Early Modern Research Group at Newcastle University. Newcastle Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd. Free. To reserve seat ring 0191 232 0192; or email

Wednesday 2 May. 7pm. Book Launch: 1948 by Andy Croft. Newcastle Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd. Free. To reserve seat ring 0191 232 0192; or email

Thursday 3 May. 12 noon-2.30pm. Voice and Support – where now for equality-focused third sector organisations in Tyne and Wear? Venue: Disability North, Newcastle. Pentagon Partnership, North East Equalities Coalition and Newcastle CVS are holding this free event which will map out the support available to equalities-focused third sector organisations in 2012 and beyond. To book a place email Comment. To find out more visit Good to see Pentagon Partnership still survives. I assisted its development end of 2002/early 2003.

Friday 4 May. Closing Date for Applications for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award. Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD award to study ‘Political Cultures in British Trade Unionism, 1931-79'. This collaborative award, to be supervised jointly by the University of Salford and the Working Class Movement Library, will involve the successful student spending one year based at the Library. Drawing on the extensive holdings of the Library, the student will analyse the political cultures of key trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party in the period 1931-1979, a period when socialism was the dominant discourse of the party. The principal primary sources for this project consist of the in-house journals which trade unions produced for their own members. Applicants should be interested in the analysis of texts, in studies of ideology and the political history of the labour movement. Further details about the award, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, are available from Professor John Callaghan ( or Dr Ben Harker Interviews are likely to be held on 28 May.

Friday 4 May – Sunday 20 May. Call Mr Robeson at Croydon’s Warehouse Theatre.

Tuesday 8 May. 5.30pm. Advocacy for the archive sector.  Marie Owens (Association and Records Association). Archives & Society Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Friday 11 May – Sunday 9 September. The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729-1786. Foundling Museum celebrates Vauxhall Gardens with the biggest exhibition on the Gardens in England in over forty years.

Friday 11 May. 7pm. The Luddites & The Pennines Public Lecture.  Huddersfield Town Hall. See

Saturday 12 May. Enoch's Hammer: The Luddites and other early nineteenth century protest movements. Huddersfield University academic conference.

Monday 14 May. 5.15pm. Ailsa Craig and the Leisure Industry on the Firth of Clyde, c. 1800-2010. Dr Matthew McDowell (University of Glasgow). Sport & Leisure Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Tuesday 15 May. 5.15pm. Black people in English localities since 1600: sources and significance. David Killingray. Locality & Region  History Seminar. IHR, Senate House, London, WC1.

Thursday 17 May. 5.15pm.  Law, Liberty and Identity in the 1820s Cape Colony. Kirsten McKenzie (University of Sydney). Reconfiguring the British: Nation, Empire, World 1600-1900 Seminar. IHR.  Stewart House, Russell Square (inside area to Senate House), London, WC1.

Thursday 17 May. 7pm. Captain Swing. Talk by Carl Griffin. Socialist History Society.  Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2.

Monday 21 May. 6.45 for 7.15pm. ‘The delight of all persons of reputation and taste’ – an introduction to Vauxhall Gardens 1661-1859. Avant-garde art, underground music, exotic architecture, and terrible food! This talk by David Coke, co-author of Vauxhall Gardens: a History, aims to evoke a little of the atmosphere of Vauxhall Gardens in its heyday. The Gardens became one of the great fashionable pleasure resorts of Georgian London, famous for the great social mix of its visitors. Known to many people even today through the fiction of Henry Fielding, Fanny Burney, W.M Thackeray, Charles Dickens, and even of many 20th and 21st century writers, the Gardens provided a thrilling evening’s entertainment for Londoners from its birth in the Restoration right through to its final destruction in Victorian times. Friends of Durning Library. Durning Library, 167.  Kennington Lane. All welcome.

Tuesday 22 May. 5.15pm. Creolising London? Caribbean activists and the geographies of race and empire in 1930s Britain. Daniel Whittall (Royal Holloway, University of London). London Group of Historical Geographers Seminar. IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Tuesday 22 May. 6pm. The British Way in Cold Warfare: The Case of the Empire's Caribbean Communists 1952-1964. Dr Spencer Mawby (Nottingham. International History Seminar. IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Friday May 25. 7.30pm. Hannah Mitchell Foundation Open Forum. Manchester  Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St.

Monday 28 May. 5.15pm. Following the 'Urban Alchemist': The Tour Guide and the History of London. Geoffrey Levett (Birkbeck, University of London). Sport & Leisure Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Tuesday 29 May. 5.15pm. Classicism after Grainger: Classical Architecture in Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1870-1914. Dr Michael Johnson (Independent scholar. Locality & Region Seminar. IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Wednesday 30 May. 5.15pm. British Slavery, Moral Responsibility and Political Representation, c. 1783-1834. Richard Huzzey (Plymouth Uni). British in the Long 18thC Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Saturday 2 June. 2-4pm. Enlightenment in Lilliput: Republican Education in Eighteenth-Century Children's Literature. Matthew Grenby (Newcastle). Education in the Long 18thC Seminar. IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Monday 11 June. 5.15pm. Goals and Walls: The Israeli-Palestinian Encounter in Football Films. Dr Alon Raab (University of California, Davis). Sport & Leisure Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Wednesday 13 June.  7 & 9pm. Singing The Changes. St Thomas Church and Community Centre, Huddersfield.

Thursday 21 June. Closing date for paper proposals for 13 April 2013  Conference on Edward Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class. It appeared in 1963 and has become one of the most influential history texts of the twentieth century. It is still in print fifty years on, having survived challenges from Marxist, feminist and postmodern historians. The People's History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library are jointly organising a day conference at the Museum to celebrate Thompson's classic, and to consider its reception, its critics, and why it endures. Speakers will include Neville Kirk, Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University. The organisers have issued a call for papers. The following subjects are suggested: The Making and the new social history; The politics of The Making; The legacy - ‘We are all Thompsonians now'; Challenges to The Making: Marxist, feminist; The Englishness of The Making; The Making and the crisis of Stalinism/the New Left. Proposals of no more than 200 words for contributions relating to these and other themes should be sent to Dr Craig Horner on
Saturday 23 June. 7.30pm. Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra Concert. Ives: Three Places in New England; Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2; Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 (Organ). Conductor : Jonathan Butcher (Surrey Opera and Croydon Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Festival Director). St John's, Waterloo, London, SE1. Tickets: £12 at the door (£10 in advance). Concessions: £8 (£7). For advance booking, ring 020 8607 9450 before 17 June.

Monday 25 June. 5.15pm. Boom and Bust: The Edwardian Roller Skating Boom, 1908-1912. Sean Creighton.  Sport & Leisure Seminar, IHR, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Thursday 28 June.  Writing Mothers/Daughters: 1780-2012. One day conference at Newman University College, Birmingham.

Saturday June 30. 10am- 5pm. History, the Nation and the Schools. National conference to discuss the teaching of History in British schools. Jointly sponsored by the Royal Historical Society, the Raphael Samuel History Centre, and the Historical Association .  Bishopsgate Institute, London, EC2. Is there a crisis in the teaching of History in British schools? Some people, inside and outside government, believe that there is, and propose to revise the curriculum to deal with it. Others argue that the teaching of History remains strong but that its availability is narrowing, especially in schools with high numbers of students from low income families. New initiatives such as the English Baccalaureate have been introduced to help ensure that all students have an opportunity to study history at Key Stage 4, but will this work? What kind of History should be taught in British schools, and to whom? These issues will be discussed at the conference. Speakers include BASA activists Martin Spafford (George Mitchell School, Leyton) and John Siblon. Pre-registration will be required. A sandwich lunch will be provided. For further information about the conference, and to register for it, please email

Saturday, 30 June. Closing Date for  British Society of Sports History Regional Networks Survey. BSSH is looking to set up a series of regional sport and leisure history networks, bringing together historians of various different forms of leisure in different parts of the UK, in the same way as the Sport and Leisure History Seminar group has done in London. It will be extremely grateful if you could take time to fill in the following survey, which is designed to obtain feedback on and make the contacts necessary to start up these regional networks: It will only take a few minutes to fill in, and respondents will be entered into a prize draw for two £25 book vouchers, which will take place at the BSSH's annual general meeting in September. The deadline for completing the survey is. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the networks further, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Dion Georgiou - Please cut and paste this is anyone you know who might be interested.

Friday 13 – Sunday 15 July. Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival.

Friday 7 & Saturday 8 September. The British Society of Sports History Annual Conference. Hosted by the University of Glasgow.  For registration details and further information see website shortly.