Monday, 12 November 2012

More November Events

To 24 November. Red Velvet. Play about Ira Aldridge by playwright and actor Lolita Chakrabarti and starring her husband Adrian Lester as Aldridge. The Tricycle Theatre, London. 

To Sunday 9 December. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-3pm. Jerwood Encounters: "Now I Gotta Reason". Free exhibition which focuses on art production as a useful and productive activity, with associated projects. Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London,  SE1.

Wednesday 14 November. 2-3pm. Ugandan Asians in Britain: journeys across three continents to find a home. Talk by Karim Hussain (TNA). It is forty years since Idi Amin arbitrarily decided to expel over 70,000 Asians resident in Uganda. Given only 90 days to leave the land-locked East African country, most were forced to abandon homes and businesses, taking with them only what they could carry. Whole communities and families were uprooted and separated at the whim of the unpredictable military dictator. Of those expelled, almost 30,000 found refuge in Britain. Many came as colonial citizens with British passports, others with no national identity at all. Using The National Archives records, this talk examines the extraordinary journey of these resilient people who turned adversity and trauma into success, becoming one of the most settled minority communities in Britain's multicultural society.  

Thursday 15 November. 6pm - 7.30pm. The next Jamaican national hero: life and times of Joel Augustus Rogers (1880-1966). Presentation by Patrick Vernon. Jamaica has a firmament of national heroes including Nanny, Sam Sharpe, Marcus Garvey, George William Gordon, Paul Bogle, Alex Bustamante, and Norman Manley. This presentation will make the case for J. A. Rogers to be recognised as another candidate worthy of such recognition. Rogers was one of the most interesting and dynamic Black historians and social commentators of modern times. He spent over fifty years researching and publishing the contribution of Black people to world history. Between the 1920s and 1960s Rogers wrote an influential newspaper column and over 20 books. Rogers was a contemporary and acquaintance of Marcus Garvey, W E Dubois and Malcolm X. In 1935, he became the first Black war correspondent when Ethiopia was invaded by Mussolini. He died in 1966 at the advent of Black power movement. This will be an interactive presentation where participants can see some of his newspaper coverage and also make suggestions about who should be the next national hero of Jamaica. Hackney Museum, Ground Floor Technology And Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, E8. To book your place email: 

Friday 16  November. 7pm.  The African Presence in Ancient Asia. Conversation with Dr Runoko Rashidi on  his new book. Introduction by Robin Walker. Dooglebud’s Bistro (delicious hot food on sale), 79 Whitehorse Road, Croydon,  CRO.  ENTERTAINMENT by “BASS-ORATORY” . Organised by Croydon Supplementary Education Project & Windrush Foundation.  Free entrance. Books on sale.  To reserve your text 07508903634 Or call Jacinth Martin at CSEP on 0208 686 7865 or email

Saturdays 17 and 24 November and 2 December. 11am-12pm. Jerwood Encounters: "Now I Gotta Reason" Projects. Artists Amy Feneck and Ruth Beale have devised two projects based around materials borrowed from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. Three informal study group meetings will address the topic of 'money', from its beginnings and history, to getting to grips with the contemporary finance industry, to varied attempts at alternative economies. Ruth and Amy will also lead a Skills Swap Bazaar at 2-2.30pm on Wednesdays throughout the exhibition. This will match make skills and services, creating an alternative moneyless economy inspired by Robert Owen's Equitable Labour Exchange.  

Sunday 18 November. 2-5pm. Celebrate The Luddites’ 200th Anniversary! The People’s History Museum in Manchester and the Luddites200 group is hosting a free celebration including, poetry, an exhibition and talks. The Burning of Westhoughton Mill by the One Accord music group tells the story of the attack on April 24 1812  based upon a poem by John Clough, published in 1882. There will also be talks by Richard Holland who runs the Luddites Bicentenary Blog,, and by Garth Ratcliffe of the Westhoughton Local History Group,, People's History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3. The event is free and suitable for children over the age of 12. It is advisable to book, via phone 0161 838 9190 or email  
Sunday 18 November. Call Mr Robeson. The final performance of Tayo Aluko’s Autunm 2012 UK tour. Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Booking details here.
Monday 19 November. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Lambeth's first libraries: an architectural tour by Robert Drake, secretary of the Twentieth Century Society. He talks about the development of Lambeth's public libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from an architectural and design perspective. Light refreshments. Everyone welcome. No admission charge, but a £2 donation towards costs is invited. Friends of Durning Library. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Monday 19 November. 5.15pm. African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration and Integration in the Age of Globalisation. Dr Carl-Gustaf Scott (Södertörn University, Sweden). Sport and Leisure History Seminar. Senate House. Malet St/Russell Square, London, WC1.

Tuesday 20 November onwards. 'Collecting Cultures - From Cabbages to Kings' onwards. Exhibition. Since July 2008; when it acquired Francis Dodd 's ‘Gardens at Hammersmith Allotments', the Garden Museum has been growing its collection of paintings, prints and drawings. Using a  Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures Grant, it has  collected 40 works of art illustrating all aspects of UK gardens and gardening. This  collection of pictures has never been seen in public before. Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1.

Wednesday 21 November. 7pm. 'The origins of the British Co-operative movement: reappraising and commemorating the Rochdale Pioneers'. Tim Curtis Memorial Lecture by Professor John Walton (Universidad del País Vasco UPV/ EHU). Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema, Foster Building, University of Central Lancashire, Preston. Admission is free. Tickets and programmes for the event can be obtained from 01772 892250 (David Howard) or 01772 893056 (Chris Williams): or Please confirm attendance by 14 November, including whether you require car parking and refreshments. 

Wednesday 21 & Thursday 22 November. Celebrating and Reclaiming Community Development Learning and Practice. The Federation for Community Development Learning Conference on community development practice “in an age of ‘austerity for some’ and increasing inequality for all”.   Alfreton, Derbyshire. Further information on the FCDL website - or contact or 0114 253 6770. 
 Thursday 22 November. The Politics of Black Bodies in Lancashire and the Atlantic World: The Legacy of Ghostly Mementoes and the Redemptive Power of Guerrilla Memorialisation. Professorial Inaugural lecture by Alan Rice. Many congratulations to Alan. See flyer image. Please contact Sue Conduit on 01772 893390,, if you would like to attend. Alan’s most recent book: Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic (Liverpool UP. Hbk. 2010; pbk 2012). Websites with content by Alan Rice:;

Saturday 24 November. 10am to 5pm. 'Plebgate and the Ruskin archives shredding. Can we rebuild the Plebs tradition?' Independent Working-Class Education Network day school. Northern College, near Barnsley. Speakers include Hilda Kean (formerly Dean of Ruskin College) and Alex Gordon (President, RMT). Entry: £12 including lunch. Details at To book, email

Tuesday 27 November. 6-8pm. 1851: Quakers, the Peace Congress, and the Great Exhibition. Talk by Geoffrey Cantor (Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Leeds and Honorary Research Fellow University College, London). There were widely different responses of various religious communities to the impressive international exhibition of industry held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park during the summer of 1851. In this talk Geoffrey Cantor will examine why Friends, including a number of Quaker manufacturers who mounted exhibits, were generally enthusiastic about the Exhibition and also mention some of their reservations. However, many of the Quakers who attended the Exhibition conceived a close connection between it and the International Peace Congress that was held in London in July 1851. By bringing together the Exhibition and the Peace Congress this talk will explore the interlocking themes of internationalism, pacifism and progress in science and manufacturing in the middle of the nineteenth century. Quaker History Meeting. Quaker Centre, Friends House, 173 Euston Rd, London, NW1. Talks starts at 6.30pm. From 6pm refreshments. The Library will be open that day until 6pm. Register for a free place by emailing or telephoning Jennifer Milligan; 020 7663 1132. Editorial note: American African-American abolitionist campaigners attended the Festival and the Congress.

Thursday 29 November. 7.30pm. Windrush legacy film evening. Also screening of the documentary ' A Charmed Life ' by Patrick Vernon (Labour Councillor for Hackney and founder of Every Generation Media). Patrick will be available for a discussion afterwards. Entry £5/unwaged £3 Refreshments available. To reserve your place contact Janice Long 020 8459 7435 (email ). Brent Central CLP. Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre, Brentfield Road, London,  NW10.

Wednesday 28 November now Wednesday 5 December. 2pm. 'Salt of the Earth': empowering working class communities across the land. Speaker Jacqui Carroll from REELmcr at the . Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5, has had to be re-scheduled.

Thursday 29 (London) and Friday 30 November (Sheffield). Where next for the In Defence of Youth Work Campaign?  Four years on since launch of the IDYW Campaign, two meetings coming up to review where next for the initiative. “The Coalition has pursued relentlessly the targeted agenda set by New Labour. In addition it has propelled the neo-liberal fetish of the market deep into the heart of services for young people. Commissioning is the order of the day. This shifting landscape throws up a range of questions and concerns for the campaign….” More information on  Book your place with Tony Taylor -

Wandsworth Prefers GLL Over In-House Management Team Bid

Wandsworth Council is en route to accepting the bid from Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) to run its Library and Heritage Service, and rejecting the bids from the private sector company and the in-house management team.  A report to accept the bid is going to two Committees on 15 and then the Executive of 19 November.  Presumably the Labour Opposition will veto any action on the decisions until there is a debate at the full Council meeting. However, its failure to oppose the tendering exercise may put it in a difficult position. I am sure that user and trade union opponents will be lobbying against the decision up to the Council meeting.

During the process of deciding to undertake a tender exercise one option would have been to look to setting up partnerships with local communities for each library with a core support staff remaining in the Council's structure. This would have fitted with the Prime Minister’s ‘Big Society’. This option was either not considered or was rejected.

The next best outcome within the terms of the tender exercise should have been to accept the in-house team bid. Money should not be to only determinant of awarding a contract. The value of having a committed staff team bringing their knowledge, expertise and historic understanding to the future of the Library & Heritage Service cannot be given a monetary value.

If the staff team had not put in its bid then the next best option would be to a social enterprise like GLL rather than to a private profit making shareholder driven company.

The fact that the bids are secret because of so-called ‘commercial confidentiality’ makes it difficult to understand the basis for the decision. This ‘commercial’  secrecy does not inspire public confidence in political decision making (at either local or national level). As the Committee report leaves lay readers none the wiser how can there be public confidence that the most reasonable decision has been taken in both monetary and added value terms. Could it open up a request for the process to be subject to annual audit inquiry? The bid details should be publicly open and transparent because of the large sums of public money involved.

I assume that GLL will need to ring-fence the Wandsworth contract as a separate business unit from its other contracts. The existing Library and Heritage Service staff will have to be TUPEd across from the Council to GLL.  It would be sensible for GLL to consider organising the Wandsworth staff into a subsidary unit through the management bid proposed company. This will give the staff a real stake, and enable community representatives to be recruited. It will give the Council and the residents a committed service team supported by the experience of a long-established social enterprise, and enable the development of individual library user groups to build up community support. It will give GLL a better opportunity to ensure it can deliver what it has promised in its bid, and be able to work constructively with staff on the detail to ensure that their collective knowledge and understanding is used to build service improvements.

Whether the ruling Conservative Group will see the advantage of this approach. I certainly cannot see them backtracking on the decision to tender the Service out.
Croydon Labour’s Challenge
Meanwhile Croydon’s decision on the tendering outcome has yet to be announced. It does not have to accept the same bidder because its contract would have to be separate from the Wandsworth one. And there is a major difference. Croydon has not included the Local Studies/Archives section (which is the equivalent of the Wandsworth Heritage section).  Inside Croydon reports that the opposition Labour Group has announced that whichever organisation is recommended for a public-funded eight-year contract to run the Croydon’s will also have to consider the possibility that they will have the deal cancelled after barely a year, if Labour wins the Council election in 2014. Of course this is designed to scare bidders off. Once the contract is signed it would be very expensive to cancel it unless there were serious breaches of contract terms.
Labour says that its plans include “handing budgets to local Co-operative Community Trusts utilising the local community to set the direction and range of services, but crucially, keeping the staff employed through the council.”
It makes sense for Croydon Labour to make the issue a big one in the Croydon North by-election now scheduled for 29 November. The Labour Group’s announcement makes it easier for Steve Reed, the prospective candidate, to make his voice loud and clear given his plans for Lambeth’s Libraries are subject to his Co-operative Council initiative.
Lambeth’s Co-operative Libraries Journey
On 22 October the Lambeth Council Cabinet agreed the latest recommendations for developing the Co-operative Library Service. It is expected that there will be a further report to Cabinet in December that will set out a capital investment plan for libraries and community hub buildings. Initially, it is expected that the investment plan will prioritise investment in key modernisations, such as self service technology, as well as stabilising and securing existing buildings. The key next elements are:
·         support for a co-operative and community-led approach for Upper Norwood Joint Library following the London Borough of Croydon’s decision to reduce their financial contribution from £189K to £75K.
·         reaching agreement with City Screen Ltd that will enable them to prepare design and planning documentation for the transformation of the Nettlefold Centre into a Culture and Creative Hub, which houses: commercial cinema, café and bar; a modern and improved lending library with equivalent or increased floor space; flexibility to enable inclusion of a Norwood Cemetery Visitor Centre once investment has been secured; and rental space for community activities. The freehold ownership of the Nettlefold (building and land) will remain with the Council.
·         developing a capital investment programme in library buildings of up to £7m.
·         adoption of the co-operative library service model of 4 Town Centre Co-operative Libraries, 6 Neighbourhood Co-operative Libraries and a Cultural Co-operative Commissioning Team.
The report includes the summary of views of Lambeth Unison and the Officers’ responses to them. 
Legal Considerations
The Lambeth report sets out details of the latest developments re-legal challenges to library service cuts, bearing in mind that under section 7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 there is a duty placed on library authorities to provide a comprehensive and efficient library
service for all its residents and those that work within its area.
·         Brent. ‘In giving its judgment in a recent case involving a challenge brought against the London Borough of Brent regarding its proposals to close some of its libraries, the High Court ruled that the availability of resources is relevant to what constitutes a comprehensive and efficient service. “The library service and section 7 duty are not exempt from resource issues and were not entitled in law to escape the budget reductions faced by the council”.
·         Gloucestershire and Somerset. ‘In November 2011, the High Court upheld challenges to decisions made by Gloucestershire and Somerset Councils in relation to their library services. The Court held that the decisions of the defendant local authorities to make changes to their library services had been unlawful on account of their failure to comply with the public sector equality duties under the Equality Act 2010. In the Court’s judgment, carrying out an EIA was not an invariable necessity for conforming with the public sector equality duty but nor was evidence that an EIA had been produced, evidence that 'due regard' had been given to the statutory equality.’

Further details:

Wandsworth Committee report:

Inside Croydon:

Lambeth Cabinet report:


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Hyde Park Speakers' Corner Project

‘Sounds from the Park’ has been awarded £41,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £2,814 from the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust. This volunteer-led project will preserve and celebrate the heritage of Speakers’ Corner from 1866, when the Reform League tore down the gates of Hyde Park, to the present day. It will be run by On the Record in partnership with Bishopsgate Institute.
Steering group member, Reinhardt Wentz says: “I have been a member of Speakers’ Corner audiences since 1960 when I first visited as a tourist. I mingled with the crowd, listened to great speakers and enjoyed the wise-cracks of hecklers and the speaker’s repartee. It’s great that this oral history project has now been funded – the spirit of Speakers’ Corner must be celebrated and preserved to help inspire a new generation of budding orators and keep this unique place of public debate and free speech alive. I am happy to be part of this exciting project.”
Sounds from the Park aims to collect 20 oral history interviews with diverse speakers, listeners and orators. An exciting programme of learning workshops and public events will culminate in an exhibition, a radio show and a permanent archive of Speakers’ Corner oral histories and memorabilia at Bishopsgate Institute.
Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, says:
This fascinating project will uncover and preserve the stories of orators, listeners and hecklers who were at Speakers Corner during its heyday helping to make it a unique example of free speech, controversial debate and public entertainment. It deserves a comprehensive, accessible archive and now this will be achieved.”
On the Record is looking for volunteers from all walks of life and people with memories of Speakers’ Corner. Volunteers will learn how to archive material, carry out oral history interviews, conduct historical research, produce a radio show and curate an exhibition. They will also be invited to join the project steering group.
Speakers’ Corner is a place where strangers, who would not otherwise meet, debate all manner of ideas. It is probably the most famous site of free expression in the world. From the 1930s to the 1970s, a vibrant culture of direct political engagement, street theatre, heckling and debate was at its peak.
Sounds from the Park will provide a new perspective on social and political developments in 20th century Britain. The platforms at Speakers’ Corner included women’s suffrage, pacifism, socialism, LGBT rights, national liberation and religion alongside comic, often eccentric, speakers who entertained the crowds. 
On the Record is a not for profit cooperative that uses oral history to amplify voices and to educate and inspire. Our work builds understanding between young and old, settled and newly arrived. It produces interviews, podcasts, educational materials, radio shows, photographs, exhibitions, books and workshops to attract the widest possible audience for our work. 07787243656.
Editorial Note. This project is not the same as the Royal Parks Project on Speakers Corner which I bid to be on the team for but did not get interviewed. 


Current Political Issues


On Tuesday 13 November David, the Executive Director of 38 Degrees, has been asked to answer some questions by a committee of MPs inquiring into the public’s role in politics and decision making. They’ve invited him to tell them what 38 Degrees members think. ‘This is an opportunity to show MPs we’re serious and speak up for making politics better.’ ‘It's a chance to talk about the principles behind our campaigns. We can set out clearly to MPs why they should listen to us more, on issues from saving our NHS to protecting our wildlife. We know politics doesn’t work very well at the moment. For example in last week's survey for the Sunday Times journalist, over 90% of 38 Degrees members said that the wealthy background of many MPs makes it hard for them to understand the lives of the UK's poorest people. So what would you like to change? If I’m going to stand in front of MPs and tell them some hard truths, I need to know I’ve got you behind me and that I’m really saying what you think. The whole point of 38 Degrees is to give all of us more of a voice. So please help make sure that I'm genuinely speaking for all of us. Please take the 2 minute survey now:’.

Croydon North Labour has chosen Lambeth Council Leader Steve Reed as its prospective Parliamentary candidate for the forthcoming by-election following Malcolm Wicks death, after what has been described as an inspirational’ speech. So the Leader’s eye will be off the nitty-gritty of the running of Lambeth which will allow the machine to increase its control over agendas and do more to sabotage his ‘Co-operative Council’ initiative. Given the very large majority Malcolm had, Reed is likely to elected. Lambeth Labour Group will have to elect a new Leader. The Respect Party candidate Lee Jasper will be able to count on the active support of George Galloway who lives in Streatham. Whether the recent press coverage about Galloway’s difficulties and the disillusion with him in the Bradford Respect Party, has dented his appeal remains to be seen. And Jasper may have problems winning a reasonable vote because of the many controversies over his past. The left is in any case split. The Communist Party (the successor to the old one) is fielding its Secretary as prospective candidate. The Lib Dem prospective candidate’s first flier through the doors reads as if the Lib Dems are not part of the Con-Dem Coalition! In pre-campaign activity visiting the London Rd riot hit areas Tooting Labour MP Sadiq Khan has been critical of the fact that none of those affected have yet received their compensation. Various postings with comments about the build up to the by-election can be seen on Inside Croydon at

Previous editions have reported the downward spiral of Croydon’s economy. My thoughts on what needs to be done are on my blog. In contrast to Croydon Wandsworth’s economy through the building boom is on the up. Wandsworth Council has now approved plans for the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market in London's Nine Elms. The National Grid is seeking a residential partner to develop the gasworks site near Queens Circus. This boom is not just due to the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity area but other development schemes as well. Travelodge plans 3 new ‘hotels’ and Debenham’s a store in Southside shopping centre (Garratt Lane/Wandsworth High St). In run down Wandsworth High St, still waiting for its redevelopment boost on the Ram Brewery site, the empty office block Lyon House (No. 41) is to be replaced by a 41 apartment block (37% ‘affordable’ housing with shops. Although I am usually against ‘Section 106’ money going into highway improvements the developer’s £125,000 will help fund turning part of the Wandsworth one-way system two-way. Local people, including myself when I lived there, have been continually arguing for this for a very long time. Of course both Councils are also cutting services, although Wandsworth’s so far are tiny in comparison to those having to be made by many other authorities. Local people are of course campaigning against both Councils. A demonstration was held at Wandsworth’s Council when it met on 17 October. Meanwhile in Lambeth CLS Holdings have put up a website site about its Vauxhall Square very mixed use development, now approved by the Council.
Amnesty International is drawing attention to the Government’s Bill which it says will put some of our most fundamental rights at risk. The Justice and Security Bill would allow the government to hide the truth and withhold justice from everyone in the UK. ‘If passed in its current form, this legislation would extend powers to demand secret hearings to any situation in which the government claims national security is at risk. This is unnecessary as there are already mechanisms in place for handling sensitive materials in cases where we need to protect our country. Moreover, as ‘national security’ is not defined, this legislation would effectively allow the government to throw a cloak of secrecy over any case in which its human rights record came into question, denying justice to victims and their families.’ ‘The Bill would also limit the right of people to a fair and open hearing in a court of law. Individuals and their lawyers would be unable to see, let alone contest, the evidence against them.’ Amnesty is asking people to write to your MP and ask them to oppose the Bill as it stands.

Further details on


The high levels of rainfall this year will not see an end to the lobby to compulsory water meter everyone. Now the Consumer Council for Water is carrying out a Universal Metering Programme Research project with Southern Water customers who have been metered under the programme to:

·         understand the impact on customers and households to enable CCWater to report on its effectiveness and any potential problems associated with the programme which will enable lessons to be learned to inform the future roll-out. This will help to inform its discussions with other companies proposing compulsory metering programmes.

·         capture lessons to be learned in terms of implementation, communication and the company support provided.

·         provide CCWater with a rich evidence base of customers’ experiences of being compulsorily metered.

·         demonstrate how to devise and deliver compulsory metering programmes in the future, and particularly what mistakes to avoid.

Diary - More November Events

To Thursday November 15. Castle Pub Consultation. 2 week Public Consultation being laid on by the Defend the Castle Campaign group to show an alternative Vision for the Castle public house, Battersea High St. Visit the Castle website for additional details. The developer’s threat to the pub was highlighted by Jane Ellison, Battersea’s M.P. in the recent Parliamentary beer duty debate.

Saturday 10 November. 7.30pm. Music by Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor & contemporary works for Flute Choir by Kathleen Mayne, Nancy Nourse and Kelly Via St Clement with St Peter Church, Friern Road (entrance on Barry Road), East Dulwich, SE22. Tickets £8 (£5 conc.) on the door; £5 (£3.50 conc.) in advance from 

Sunday 11 November . 2-4pm. Ramsay Mac Donald. Talk by Bob Harrison. WEA Politicians, Thinkers and Activists Study Group. Peoples Bookshop, Durham.  

Monday 12 November. 5.30pm. Georges Cheron and the 1936 Hotchkiss factory soviet. Talk by Chris Blakey. London Socialist Historians Group Seminar, Senate House. Malet St/Russell Square, London, WC1. Convenor Keith Flett comments: ‘As discussion focuses on Obama's victory and policies to deal with capitalist crisis, an historical perspective from the 1930s will be of particular interest.’ 

Tuesday 13 November. 1.30pm. Act 47. Anniversary – an act of memory. Solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a performance series in 60 Acts. Monica Ross and Children from Class 4, The Cathedral Primary School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy. Public Performance in the Nave. Southwark Cathedral, London, SE1. 

Tuesday 13 November. 6.30pm. Is Equality Lite the new UK human rights standard. Speakers: Prof Sir Bob Hepple, QC,  & Baroness Jane Campbell. Chair: Lord Judd of Portsea. Room 4a, House of Lords. All are welcome. Please allow 20 minutes to pass through the security zone. Enter by the Cromwell Garden entrance. For further information: contact David Wardrop. 020 7385 6738 or 

Tuesday 13 November. 7pm. Refugees, Capitalism and the British State. Launch of Tom Vickers’ book. People’s Bookshop, Durham. To book email: or phone 0191 384 4399.

Tuesday 13 November. 7pm. Tyne View. Michael Chaplin talks about his new book. To mark the culmination of Michael’s two-year residency at Port of Tyne, he undertook a walk along the banks of the Tyne from South Shields to Wylam and then back to the North Sea at Tynemouth. He was joined on the walk by poet Christy Ducker, illustrator Birtley Aris, and photographer Charles Bell. The result is Tyne View, a personal portrait of the Tyne and the people who live beside it, through text and images. The contributors have told the story of the Tyne, vital life source of the region, through the eyes of those who’ve lived its history. The book will be available at the meeting and from Meeting at Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 

Tuesday 13 November. 7.30pm. Tooting History Group Meeting. Tooting Progressive Club. 227 Mitcham Road (Amen Corner), SW17.

Wednesday 14 November. 2pm. Women's Freedom League: the forgotten suffragettes. Michael Herbert talk. Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5.

Thursday 15 November. Closing date for proposals for Sports History lecture series to be held during the first half of 2013 at the University of Glasgow organised by the British Society of Sports History – Scottish Network. The series seeks to highlight new work in the field of sport and leisure history – within Scotland and abroad – broadly defined. Papers from emerging scholars, local historians, as well as museum and heritage practitioners, would be particularly welcome. Proposals up to 200 words) for talks should be sent to BSSH Scotland (email:

Thursday 15 November. 6.30pm. Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here? The Story of English Football’s Forgotten Tribe. “Jews don't do football. Or at least, they don't play it.” Drawing on his new book, Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here? Anthony Clavane dispels this popular myth to reveal the hidden history of Jewish involvement in English football. He argues that football’s transformation from working-class pursuit into a global industry would not have been possible without such forgotten Jewish figures as Harry Morris, Leslie Goldberg, Morris Keston and Edward Freedman. Their untold stories, as well as the more familiar rags to riches tales of David Dein, David Pleat and Alan Sugar, are emblematic of an immigrant community’s successful integration into British Society. In this talk, Clavane draws on interviews with football fans, directors, agents, hangers-on, players and managers, to explore the influential role played by Jewish sportsmen and entrepreneurs in the development of the modern game, from Louis Bookman, an eastern European immigrant who became the first Jew to play in the top flight in the early 1900s, to David Bernstein, the present chairman of the FA. Birkbeck Sport Business Seminar, Senate House, Malet St/Russell Square, London, WC1.                                                                                              

Friday 16 November. 2-4pm. The Motherland Calls - Britain's Black Servicemen & Women 1939-45. Launch of Stephen Bourne’s new book published by The History Press. BFI Southbank (National Film Theatre). Stephen will introduce screenings of two BBC TV programmes about Britain's black WW2 veterans: Here Say (1990) and Reunion (1993). Admission is free for Over 60s. £5 for everyone else. He will sign copies of the book afterwards.

Friday 16 November. 7pm. The African Presence in Ancient Asia. Conversation with Dr Runoko Rashidi on his new book. Introduction by Robin Walker. Dooglebud’s Bistro (delicious hot food on sale), 79 Whitehorse Road, Croydon, CRO. ENTERTAINMENT by “BASS-ORATORY” . Organised by Croydon Supplementary Education Project & Windrush Foundation. Free entrance. Books on sale. To reserve your text 07508903634 Or call Jacinth Martin at CSEP on 0208 686 7865 or email

Saturday 17 November. 10.30am-1pm. Rambling and working class leisure in the nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. Society for the Study of Labour History Annual Conference, followed by its AGM. Free to SSLH members; non-members £8, including lunch. Working Class Movement Library. 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5. To reserve a place and lunch please email 

Saturday 17 November. 7.45pm. Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Hayes Philharmonic Choir; Rodney Williams, conductor. Programme includes Three Elizabethan Part-Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, an extract from HMS Pinafore by Gilbert & Sullivan, and The Gypsy Rover arr. Havelock Nelson, together with some solo pieces. Hayes Parish Church, Hayes, Kent, BR2 7LH. Tickets £10 (concessions £8; school age children £2). Box Office: 07989 192928 or on the door. Hayes Parish Church is on the 119 bus route from Croydon (nearest stop at the George pub in Hayes) and the 353 from Addington Village also stops nearby. Alternatively, trams to Elmers End link with the railway line to Hayes Station, which is about 10 mins walk from the church.  

Sunday 18 November. 2-4pm. Nye Bevan Talk by Ben Sellers. WEA Politicians. Thinkers and Activists Study Group. Peoples Bookshop, Durham. 

Monday 19 November. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Lambeth's first libraries: an architectural tour. Robert Drake, Secretary of the Twentieth Century Society, talks about the development of Lambeth's public libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from an architectural and design perspective. Light refreshments. Everyone welcome. No admission charge, but a £2 donation towards costs is invited. Friends of Durning Library. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, SE11. 

Thursday 22 November. 6pm . China's Rise: Strength and Fragility. Talk by author. Au Loong-Yu. To book email: or phone 0191 384 4399. 

Thursday 22 November. 6.30pm. Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘The Politics of Black Bodies in Lancashire and the Atlantic World: The Legacy of Ghostly Mementoes and the Redemptive Power of Guerrilla Memorialisation’ by Alan Rice, Professor in English and American Studies. Harrington Lecture Theatre,  University of Central Lancashire, Preston. There will be post-lecture refreshments at 7.30pm. The talk will examine a series of local North-Western black presences and their global resonances. From the lives and remains of black servants in the eighteenth century, through memorials and monuments to these and other black sojourners in Britain by contemporary artists, the talk will examine the legacies of the Black Atlantic and their resonances for us all today. 

Friday 23 November. 5pm. 'A People's History of the Second World War'. Donny Gluckstein will talk about his book. To book email: or phone 0191 384 4399.

Friday 23 November. 7.30pm. A Celebration of John Ireland (d. 1962) and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (d. 1912). London Song Festival Event. St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden London, WC2E. There is also an entrance in Bedford St off the Strand. Tickets at £15 and £10 are on sale from or by phone on 0871 221 0260. Lead singers: Sylvie Bedouelle (mezzo-soprano) and Gary Griffiths (baritone). The publicity states: ‘Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an Anglo-African composer who died aged 37 having fought racism, found fame as the composer of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast and since sunk into unjustified neglect. John Ireland is one of England's most characteristic composers of Song.’ While this concert clashes with the Croydon Festival event that evening I am in touch with the organisers and with their support I will be there to sell Jeff’s booklet. Hopefully this event will attract people from parts of London who would not normally consider coming to Croydon. The Church is the Actors’ Church and is well worth visiting in its own right. It is the annual venue for the Prisoners’ Education Trust Carol Concert. There are plenty of restaurants nearby if you want to make an evening out of the event. Full Festival details on 

Friday 23 November. 8pm. The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Story. Croydon Festival talk by Charles Elford, author of the novel Black Mahler followed by a short recital of some of SC-T’s songs sung by Patricia Robertson and Paul Sheehan. Braithwaite Hall, (Croydon Town Hall), Katharine Street. Tickets: £8 from 020 8657 7909 or at the door. This is an event in the Croydon Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Festival. 

Saturday 24 November. 10am. 'Their Crisis - Our Solution: An Alternative Economic & Social Strategy'. North East Morning Star Readers & Supporters Group's Autumn Conference. Wallsend Memorial Hall & Peoples Centre. Plenary session on 'Defeating The Coalition' (Ian Lavery,MP & Bernie Keaveney – Morning Star), ‘Trade Unions & The Wider Politic' (Prof Gregor Gall and Karen Reay - Unite Regional Secretary) and 'The Fight-back An Alternative Economic & Social Strategy' (Bill Greenshields - Peoples Charter and Shirley Ford - Green Party). Workshops on Community Campaigning, Policing of the Future, Defending the NHS, Globalisation and Transport. Tickets will be waged £5/£8 unwaged £3/£6. More details and publicity will be available nearer the date.  

Saturday 24 November. 1.30-5pm. West London Labour History Day. Talks Ireland 1912 – 1922 - Ivan Gibbons (Director of Irish Studies, St. Mary’s University College); The Great Depression 1929 - 1931 Revisited – Mick Brooks (author of Capitalist Crisis); Tracking Down George Haley – John Grigg (Haley was Labour’s first Brentford Councillor in 1905). Labour Party Hall, 367 Chiswick High Road, W4. Corner of Chiswick High Road & Marlborough Road, W4. District Line stations: Gunnersbury & Chiswick Park. Buses 267, 237, 391, H91, E3, 272. Car Park at rear of premises & free weekend road parking nearby. Admission £5. Concessions £2. Tea, Coffee & biscuits. Contact: John Grigg: 020 8743 4189. 

Saturday 24 November. 6.30pm. ‘1839: The Chartist Insurrection’. Author of this new book Chris Ford considers lessons from the Chartist Insurrection of 1839, in particular examining the nitty-gritty political organising that was needed to run such a forceful national campaign. £3, redeemable against any purchase. Housman, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London, N1. 020 7837 4473. 

Sunday 25 November. 2-4pm. Arthur Henderson. Talk by Lord Derek Foster. WEA Politicians. Thinkers and Activists Study Group. Peoples Bookshop, Durham. 

Wednesday 28 November. 2pm. 'Salt of the Earth': empowering working class communities across the land. Speaker Jacqui Carroll from REELmcr. Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5. 

Thursday 29 November (2pmff) – Friday 30 November (10amff). Writing Materials: Women of Letters from Enlightenment to Modernity. From salons to closets to quills, desks and inkwells, this conference explores the tools and environments of women's writing from the 18th to 21st centuries, taking as its inspiration the writer, entrepreneur and blue stocking Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800). A conference held at King's College London and the V&A Museum, organized by the AHRC-funded Montagu Letters Network in association with Swansea and Oxford Brookes Universities. Also supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. For full details and booking arrangements please contact Kate Spiller