Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Archive for December, 2012

‘Manchester Man’ and whatever the opposite of bah humbug is

Posted by wcmlibrary on December 20, 2012

One of the many plus points about working at the Library is the great people you meet. Today we’ve just had Malc and Bill drop by.  I’ve not got spare cash to give you, says Malc, but I have got time. Here’s an audio CD version of ‘The Manchester Man’ – I’ve recorded it myself and I’ve just started selling it for a fiver, all proceeds to the Library, here’s £50 and a load of CDs you can sell here.

Festive greetings and virtual mince pies to Malc and Bill, to everyone who’s volunteered their time and cheer here over the year, and to all our many generous supporters.   You’re the antidote to today’s world of harshness and meanness, and it’s a pleasure to know you.

Lynette Cawthra, Library Manager

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‘Money Money Money’ – two artists’ use of the WCML collections

Posted by wcmlibrary on December 17, 2012

It’s always great to see our material being used in imaginative and unusual ways.  Recently two artists, Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck, have used some of our books and pamphlets in an exhibition in London’s Jerwood Space, ‘Money Money Money’.

Photo by Hydar Dewachi

Photo by Hydar Dewachi

Alongside the exhibition they ran study groups, with the aims:

To think about money – what it means and how it works

To examine both historical precedents and contemporary experience  

To promote independent and non-hierarchical learning

To think about how we might engage and intervene with capitalism.

Participants included William Kherbek, who taught an Economic Literacy course at the Bank of Ideas, part of Occupy London.

Photo by Hydar Dewachi

Photo by Hydar Dewachi

Amy and Ruth also ran a skill swap bazaar, creating an alternative, moneyless economy within the space inspired by Robert Owen’s Equitable Labour Exchange.  Swaps offered included street dance and bicycle repairs.






The final work made a result of doing the show was The Alternative School of Economics, which was launched at an event during the last week of the exhibition.  We look forward to hearing more about this, and about Ruth and Amy’s future plans, in the New Year.  More info about the exhibition is at

stall final event

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What’s the collective noun for trade union emblems?

Posted by wcmlibrary on December 14, 2012

We certainly feel we have a cornucopia of them.  Recently arrived from Tenerife, the collection of Peter Carter has been divided between ourselves and the People’s History Museum, and our share arrived in the Library last week.

From the Railway Women’s Guild to the Hebdenite proudly surveying a marvellous piece of engineering (pictured), the organisations and individuals represented by this material are extensive, and we are delighted to offer it a home.  Nineteenth century trade unions certainly took their membership certificates seriously, and the visual imagery in these items is rich in detail.

Peter’s collection was many years in the assembling, and though we’re sure it was an enormous wrench for him to part with it we are enormously grateful to him for sending it to Salford/Manchester.


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Invisible Histories – it’s all coming along!

Posted by wcmlibrary on December 4, 2012

My name’s Neil Dymond-Green and I’ve taken on the role of co-ordinating the Invisible Histories project from Carrie Gough (who has done an excellent job in setting up the project and who we all wish well for her new job in Wigan).

This is my third week and I feel like my feet have hardly touched the ground – in a good way, of course!

haworths 28We’ve had three interviews in the last two weeks with people. We’ve been lucky enough to have one interviewee from each of the former workplaces which are at the core of our project: Agecroft Colliery, Ward and Goldstone Ltd and Richard ‘Dickie’ Haworth’s Mill.

We’ve heard some really interesting memories and anecdotes from our interviewees and we’re sure we’ll hear many more as our brilliant team of volunteers continue to interview other former employees of these workplaces. And we’re still looking for people to be interviewed, so if you used to work at one of these workplaces (or know someone who did), please do get in touch: neil.dymond-green @ or 0161 736 3601.miner 1970

In addition to getting to grips with the project and finding out about all the resources we have in the library, I’m also heading across the road this week to plunder the treasure trove which is the Local History Library. I’ve also been fortunate enough to take part in a condensed version of the Oral History training which our volunteers have done, which certainly got me thinking.

Ward and Goldstone Ltd, Frederick Rd

Ward and Goldstone Ltd, Frederick Rd

In the next few weeks, I will also be meeting up with the school we’ve enlisted to help us with the ‘Radio Ballads’-style podcast we will be making as a later part of this project. It will be really interesting to see how we can involve local young people in learning about the important industrial past of Salford. I’m also really looking forward to see how their creativity will come to life when creating music for the podcast.

All images courtesy of Salford Local History Library

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