Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

‘Invisible Histories: Salford’s Working Lives’ launches at WCML

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 13, 2010

Today the Library launched the exhibition Invisible Histories: Salford’s Working Lives. Artist Lawrence Cassidy worked with a group of local people, discovering items from the Library that relate to Salford’s labour history.  Themes included Chartism, mining in Salford, the life of Friedrich Engels, the Battle of Bexley Square and Salford Docks.

Despite the snowy weather 40 people came along to eat cake and help celebrate the launch, including many of the people who’ve made it happen, plus Mayor of Salford Roger Lightup.  Local singer Albert Thompson made an already cheery occasion into something even more special by performing three Salford songs, two of his own plus ‘Dirty Old Town’ with an extra verse of Albert’s own devising.

It’s been brilliant to see this exhibition take shape, with people taking the trouble to keep coming along for so many weeks while it was being developed.  Many thanks are due to Lawrence for keeping the momentum going – it’s taken a lot of graft by him, alongside the creative side of producing the displays.  The exhibition is open until at lesat late summer – everyone is welcome to drop in any time Wednesdays to Fridays from 1pm to 5pm, or by appointment at other times.

Lawrence said ‘The Library has done an excellent job, retaining these archives for use by future generations. Projects of this kind connect local people to archives which directly relate to their lives’.

A series of talks on a Salford theme will take place alongside the exhibition, every second Wednesday at 2pm, starting on 27 January with ‘Salford in Love on the Dole: an illustrated guide to Walter Greenwood’s 1933 novel’.  The talks are free, and open to all.  Further details of the series of talks at

The exhibition was developed with the support of a grant from The Booth Charities.



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