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Upcoming events

Thursday, 21st September 2017

19:00 – 21:00

Book launch - Citizens by Ian Parks

Ian Parks is the only poet to have his work published in The Morning Star and the Times Literary Supplement on the same day, and his new collection 'Citizens' explores the tensions between poetry and politics, the spoken and the unspoken, the private and the public. Accompanied by the ghosts of the Chartist poets he listens to 'the voices of the lost and dispossessed' while visiting places of painful historical memory such as Orgreave, Cable Street, and Blackstone Edge.

Ian Parks was born in 1959 and is the author of eight collections of poems, the most recent of which was a Poetry Book Society Choice. He was writer in residence at Gladstone's Library in 2012 and Writing Fellow at De Montfort University Leicester from 2012-14. He currently runs the Read to Write Project in Doncaster.

Wednesday, 27th September 2017

14:00 – 16:00

Could Salford produce another Shelagh Delaney? Round table discussion

In anticipation of this year's Shelagh Delaney Day, join Shelagh's daughter Charlotte Delaney, her biographer Selina Todd and MaD Theatre Company to discuss whether opportunities exist for young working class women to find a voice and an audience almost 60 years after A Taste of Honey first appeared.

This talk is part of the Invisible Histories series - all welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards. Please note however that we are planning for this to be a longer event than usual - the running time is two hours.

Wednesday, 4th October 2017

13:00 until
Fri 20 Oct 17:00

Southern Voices exhibition 'Out of the shadows: 1914-18 perspectives of colonised people'

In 2015 Southern Voices, a Manchester-based community group, received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop this exhibition exploring the role and experiences of colonised peoples of the British West Indies, Nigeria, India and German and British East Africa during World War I. We are delighted to welcome them to the Library.

The exhibition is open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and on Saturday 7 October 10am-4pm.

This exhibition is part of the Library's celebration of Black History Month (see also our Grunwick Strike talk and our hosting of the Townsend Productions play about Grunwick), as well as continuing our theme of commemoration of World War One hidden histories.

Wednesday, 11th October 2017

14:00 – 15:00

The Grunwick strike - drowning in support, starving for action: talk by Sheila Cohen

Sheila’s talk about the seminal 1976-78 strike at the Grunwick film processing factory will focus on issues of direct versus representative democracy - the union leadership being the 'representative' side - and also the need for link-ups in workplace trade unionism in order to build and encourage solidarity.

Organisations like Labor Notes in the US and Sheila's own magazine in the 1990s, Trade Union News, show how bringing activists from across the movement together via publications, conferences and workplace union groupings can overcome sectarianism and build workplace strength.

This talk is part of the Invisible Histories series - all welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards.

It is also part of the Library's celebration of Black HIstory Month

Friday, 20th October 2017

19:30 until
Sat 21 Oct 21:30

'We are the lions, Mr Manager'

Townsend Theatre Productions' new play, written by Neil Gore, is premiering at the Working Class Movement Library with two performances on 20 and 21 October.

We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager! is the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai, the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Strike. She not only stood up for workers’ rights and against oppression with selfless dedication, but with her steadfast resolve she turned the dispute into a national movement for human rights and dignity inspiring future generations.

Tickets should be booked in advance at, price £12.50 (£9.50 early bird, £10.50 concessions).

Wednesday, 25th October 2017

14:00 – 15:00

The Co-operative Party 100 years on - a reflection by Angela Whitecross

2017 marks the centenary of the Co-operative Party. This talk will consider the formation of the party and its development through the 20th century, exploring its relationship both with the broader co-operative movement and with the Labour Party.

This talk is part of the Invisible Histories series - all welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards.

Friday, 27th October 2017

13:00 until
Fri 19 Jan 17:00

Voices of revolution

The world changed in 1917. A century on from the Russian Revolution, the Library's exhibition focuses on the voices of the women and men who witnessed events as they happened.

Exhibitions are open Wed-Fri 1-5pm, and the first Sat of most months 10am-4pm.

Saturday, 4th November 2017

All day

1917 conference

The Peace History Conference and the Library present a day exploring the effect of the Russian Revolutions on the British labour and peace movements. The morning sessions considers the impact nationally and the afternoon covers, with talks, readings and film, the remarkable campaigns by women in the North West.

Tickets £15 (£10 concessions) from

  • Hosted by The Peace History Conference and the Working Class Movement Library
  • Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford M5
  • More info at
  • Link to this event

Wednesday, 8th November 2017

14:00 – 15:00

The occupation of the factories - women's resistance to factory closure in Scotland, 1981-82. Talk by Andy Clark

Dr Andy Clark (Scottish Oral History Centre) will discuss his research into the wave of factory occupations launched by women in the early ‘80s. At three factories threatened with closure and relocation, the workers took control of the plant and machinery in an attempt to force the companies to change their plans, or to sell them as going concerns.

Andy utilised materials held at the Working Class Movement Library as well as original oral history interviews to analyse these underexamined instances of militant resistance, and will discuss the importance of these in the wider historiography of deindustrialisation in central Scotland during this period.

This talk is part of the Invisible Histories series - all welcome, admission free, light refreshments afterwards.

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