Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Salford Working Lives

Posted by wcmlibrary on November 26, 2009

Reflections from Lawrence on the final group session (Lawrence will now be working on putting together the library exhibition about Salford, based on what people from the group have found evocative/useful as they’ve explored the library holdings. The exhibition will open in January):

Open discussion, as a form of evaluation. The group were invited to reflect on the series of 14 sessions as a whole, outlining their preferences, favourite themes, talks and what subjects they thought were inportant to develop.

The role of the facilitator was mentioned, people seemed pleased that it had gone well and wanted a further programme of events and talks, which is currently being organised. The group stated that continuing to develop an informal, welcoming atmosphere at the library was a key factor in encouraging them to return. Offering tea, biscuits and allowing visitors space to conduct open ended research and discussion on personally inspired subjects relating to the library archives was important.

Caroline and Lawrence were present to take notes on what people wanted to see in the future and what they had enjoyed. This will be written up as a reflective analysis, informing further work.

In the morning, Paul viewed Jeremy Deller’s re-enactment of The Battle of Orgreave. Watching the film with an ex-miner (Paul) who had been  present at the actual event was a real eye opener. He mentioned that the film was a fairly sanitised version of actual events. Listening to Paul discuss his experiences brought back memories of the depth of working class  solidarity  shown to the miners by many working class communities and how our culture is passed on and revitalised through oral testimony.  During the Wednesday sessions the library has played a key role in allowing some of these  hidden voices to be heard, which is a really important issue.

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