Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Archive for January, 2011

Fascinating parallels with our current situation

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 21, 2011

Material being catalogued here at the Library from the Sheffield branch of the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement shows direct parallels with our current situation with regard to protests against government cuts to services.  A typed letter and delegation form advises ‘fellow workers, all working class organisations,  unemployed workers’ and, most progressively for its time or indeed for any time, ‘working women in their homes’, of a Mass Conference Against Economy Cuts (to unemployment benefits; social services; and wages, and against the National Government), to be held at the A.E.U. Institute, Stanley Street, Sheffield on the 3rd October 1931. The letter, headed ‘The Fight Against Economy Cuts’ states that “The working class of Britain stands before the gravest menace which it has ever been called upon to face. To overcome the crisis of British capitalism, the workers are to be driven to starvation and misery…every worker is anxiously looking forward to a great mass mobilisation of workers to challenge the vicious drive of the financial dictatorship against Unemployment benefits, against Social Services and against Wages…”.

Hazel, WCML volunteer

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The food of life?

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 10, 2011

After the epic that was the Irish collection, I have just spent a very pleasant couple of weeks sorting out our collection of song boooks and song sheets.  The whole collection is now fully catalogued, including one box stuffed full of song sheets.  Our song sheet collection has items dating back to the late 18th century and comes right up to date.

As you would expect we have many different copies of the socialist ‘classics’ – The Internationale, The Red Flag and England, Arise – but collections of socialist songs often included the Marseillaise as well.  The collection also includes a great number of Russian revolutionary songs.

We also now have a separate collection of Workers’ Music Association material.

As usual you can find all the items by searching our online catalogue at

Project Librarian

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