I have volunteered here at the Working Class Movement Library for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and last week. During my time here I have come across some interesting things and have learnt a lot.
While alphabetising some donated newspapers I came across an article about the birth of FC United of Manchester in an issue of Class War from 2006. It was pure luck that I spotted it as I just saw the club’s badge on the back of the newspaper as I turned it over. If any of the other volunteers had been doing that job they would not have spotted it; and they would not have thought it had any significance even if they had found it.
On my first day of volunteering here it was the anniversary of Peterloo so I learnt all about that over the course of the day, and was shown a lot of material that the Library has about Peterloo.
While typing up extracts from the tour guide I learnt more about the artefacts that line the walls of the library. I learnt the origin of some of the pieces and the stories behind them.
Today I was alphabetising cards sent to Kay Beauchamp for her birthday in 1933 when she was in Holloway Prison and I wanted to know more of the story. I found that she’d been sent to prison for refusing to pay a fine imposed on the Daily Worker for attacking the arrest of Sid Elias of the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement. After sorting through all the postcards I went down to the archives and found the copy of the Daily Worker from 1933, a few days before Kay Beauchamp’s birthday, with a picture inside asking people to send her cards.
I have really enjoyed my time here at the Working Class Movement Library and am very glad that I was able to do my work experience here. The people here are very friendly and any work that has to be done is always very interesting.