Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Posts Tagged ‘pamphlets’

12 Months Hard…. or ‘The more things change…’

Posted by wcmlibrary on October 30, 2013

“For months, the people have suffered under a Tory Government. After dangling a host of plausible promises before the electors, they calmly set about running the country in the traditional Tory manner.

“After promising a cut in the cost of living they allowed process to soar. Instead of full employment, unemployment has more than doubled. After a faithful pledge to provide better social services they have ruthlessly cut education expenditure and imposed charges on Labour’s health service.

“This selfish class Government have frozen wages and allowed profits to soar. They have cut food subsidies and given tax reliefs to the rich. They have spent their time handing out sops to their big business friends.”

Sounds familiar?  As is often the case at the library, I came across the pamphlet this extract comes from quite by chance. I couldn’t help but be struck by how this could have been written today.

Pamphlet cover image

In fact, the Reynolds News pamphlet ’12 Months Hard’ was written a year after the Conservatives came to power in 1951. An election, it turns out, which was all the more unfair for the fact that the Conservatives got in with a majority of 16, despite having about a quarter of a million votes fewer than Labour. Another of those examples of why voting reform would surely make democracy a bit more representative.

But returning to ’12 Months Hard’, it really is amazing and rather sad that, sixty years on, the same old Tory policies still have the same effect on the ‘hard working people’ they claim to represent.

Neil Dymond-Green

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Sometimes things happen at the WCML that are so delightful they make my day …

Posted by wcmlibrary on November 6, 2012

Sometimes things happen at the WCML that are so delightful they make my day – and last Thursday one such thing happened.

We had some drop in visitors who had come up from London and were looking roundImage the exhibitions on our ground floor.  One of them (Michael) made his way into the Reading Room, where, as usual, there was a pile of pamphlets waiting for our attention and one of them caught his eye.  It was The Wasted £30,000,000,000 by Frank Allaun. So far so ordinary.

But when he was getting ready to leave he called me into the Reading Room and showed me the inscription inside the pamphlet, which read ‘A small token to a great friendship!’ and was signed Michael (19) – and yes it was the same Michael who had given the pamphlet to Frank Allaun many years before (I’ll spare his blushes by not saying how many) and it had then been donated to us by Frank.

Now what are the chances that not only would we have the pamphlet, but that it would be hanging around in the library on the day Michael visited.

Like I said – how delightful! and thanks to Michael for telling us the story.


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Trades Union Congress

Posted by wcmlibrary on April 7, 2011

The first meeting of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) took place in the Mechanics Institute, Manchester in June 1868 and the library holds a wide range of TUC publications from its earliest days right up to the present and these have now been fully catalogued.

Highlights of the collection include items from the General Strike and its precursor, the mining dispute of 1925 anCover of Songs to singd at least one item spans the TUC and Songs collection – Songs to sing: Dorsetshire Labourers’ Centenary Commemorations is a selection of songs sung at the centenary of the transportation of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and includes Song of Freedom by George Loveless who was one of the Tolpuddle labourers sent for transportation.  The library also holds items commemorating the centenary of that first meeting of the TUC in the Mechanics Institute.

On the theme of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, another highlight is a brochure for the TUC cottages which were erected in 1934 using money gathered from the trade unions of the day.  Each union was levied one penny per member and enough was raised to build six cottages to house retired agricultural workers who were also trade union members.  The cottages are still in use as housing today.  To find out more about the Tolpuddle Martyrs go to

To find any of our TUC material search our catalogue at

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Irish collection (2)

Posted by wcmlibrary on December 8, 2010

Way back in March I blogged about our Irish Collection and mentioned that we would be adding more detail to the catalogue records for the Royal Commission report on the arrest of Francis Sheehy-Skeffingtonpamphlet collection.

Well, I’ve finally finished fully cataloguing the Irish pamphlet collection and what a job it was.

The collection now runs to 42 boxes and includes information on a variety of subjects, including 2 boxes on the Easter Rising and 6 boxes on the Northern Ireland Troubles, covering the period 1968-1998.

There is also a collection of periodicals from, or about Ireland and information about the Irish Labour Party, the Irish Trade Union Congress and its successor the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

To find any of the Irish collection books or pamphlets search our online catalogue at

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TUC pamphlets

Posted by wcmlibrary on July 2, 2010

Thanks to the stirling work of Kenneth, one of our volunteers, we now have details of our collection of Trades Union Congress pamphlets available on our online catalogue – all 27 boxes, or 1048 items, of them!

The collection has items dating from the late 1800s and continuing right up to the present day.  It also compliments our collection of TUC congress reports, papers and other items

You can search the collection using our online catalogue at

Project Librarian

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Communist Party of Great Britain pamphlets

Posted by wcmlibrary on March 31, 2010

Well, that didn’t take quite as long as I though it would!

I have just about finished adding detailed information to the catalogue for the Communist Party of Great Britain pamphlets.  The bulk of the collection is done – all 23 boxes of it and I am now just mopping up the pamphlets scattered around the many rooms we have here at the library.

One of the gems of the collection is the report of the very first conference of the party in 1920 – when it wasn’t even the Communist Party of Great Britain yet.

I was also struck by how forward looking the party seemed to be with regard to women, advocating equality long before it was fashionable.  Mind you, you never know if they practised what they preached!!

If you want to check out the collection just go to our library catalogue.

Project Librarian

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Irish collection

Posted by wcmlibrary on March 17, 2010

The library holds an extensive collection of just over 1000 pamphlets about Ireland, both North and South and a basic records of Easter Rising in song and balladthem are now available in the library catalogue.  Each record contains details of the author, title, publisher and number of pages.  We will be adding further details, such as subject and person keywords at a later date, so keep an eye on this blog for more updates.

The collection is made up of pamphlets collected by Ruth and Eddie Frow and also the pamphlet collection of the late C Desmond Greaves whose library was donated to us by his executor, Anthony Coughlan.  It also contains pamphlets about Ireland that have been donated to the library over the years.  They cover a wide variety of subjects, including the Easter Rising and the troubles in Northern Ireland.

The pamphlets compliments the selection of books we have in our Irish collection, which is made up of the books of Tommy Jackson as well as those of C Desmond Greaves and Ruth and Eddie.  To help library users identify items in the book collection using the online catalogue they have now all been given the  geographic keyword Ireland.

To find any of the books or pamphlets search our online catalogue at

Happy hunting!

Project Librarian

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