Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Working Class Movement Library Talks

Easter Rising talk

On  Wednesday 13 April at 2pm Robin Stocks visits the Library to talk about his book on Manchester and Salford volunteers in the Easter Rising.

We mark the centenary of the Rising with an account of how, in the middle of WW1, members of the Irish community in Manchester and other British cities resolved to travel to Dublin to prepare for a rebellion to achieve independence for Ireland.  Admission free; light refreshments after.

Last chance to see our WW1 exhibition - and news of our next one!Our exhibition To End All Wars,
marking the centenary of the introduction of conscription in early 1916, ends on Thursday 14 April at 5pm It is open during our drop-in times of Wednesday to Friday 1-5pm.

Our next exhibition
To Make That Future Now! - 150 years of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council opens on Friday 29 April and runs until 26 August. It's open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm and the first Saturday in May, June and July 10am-4pm.  More information here.

Poetry, fiction and painting at the LibraryOn Wednesday 27 April at 2pm artist Richard Milward presents Luddites’ Nightmares.

Taking inspiration from the machine-breaking Luddites of the early 19th century, Richard is producing a series of paintings which, in his words, ‘expose, exaggerate and ridicule the ways in which modern technology encroaches on – and distorts – everyday life’.  A loan to WCML of one of these paintings is marked by this event, when we are delighted to welcome three authors to read from their own work on themes surrounding our relationship with technology.
Joe Stretch, novelist from Stockport who recently won the W Somerset Maugham Award for his book The Adult, will be reading, alongside London poet Salena Godden and Richard Milward himself.

Admission free, light refreshments after.

Richard's painting ‘TV Interference’ can be viewed at the Library between 20 and 27 April, Tuesdays-Fridays 10am-5pm.  The painting is based around the idea that today ‘technology is in the saddle and rides humankind’ (Kirkpatrick Sale, Rebels Against The Future), as well as the potentially disruptive influence of mass media on the general public.

The Luddites' Nightmares paintings are being exhibited individually at a series of events this Spring/Summer (with readings from other contemporary authors on the technology theme) in what was the ‘Luddite Triangle’ where the original revolts took place 200 years ago: Lancashire/Cheshire to Yorkshire to Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire.

'TV Interference' (finished version)

Frow Lecture A reminder that Richard Cleminson will give the Library's 7th annual Frow Lecture in the Old Fire Station, University of Salford on Saturday 7 May at 2pm. His topic is “A new world in our hearts”: anarchism and the Spanish Civil War. Admission free; light refreshments after.  All welcome.
Salford's Sarsaparilla SoundsThree institutions, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Islington Mill and ourselves, join forces to fly the flag for Salford on the evening of Thursday 12 May as part of Manchester After Hours 2016. Using WCML and Salford Museum as locations, Islington Mill will curate a live programme of music and spoken word that’s in tune with these unusual locations.

The night starts from 5pm onwards at WCML with the focus on spoken word performance. We will hear from:
Louise Woodcock / Sue Fox / Bob Clowrey / Lauren Bolger / Alex Cook / Rachel Margettes / Rebecca Hurst - and more TBA.

In keeping with the ethics of the library founders there will be no alcohol served for the spoken word performances -  instead Steep Soda will be running a temperance bar, serving delicious and unusual soft drinks.

After 7pm the audience will be led across the road to Salford Museum & Art Gallery where they will spend the rest of the evening. Islington Mill will produce a live music programme, and there will be a bar serving alcohol and other refreshments.

More information here.

For more information about events across the cities on Thursday 12 May visit

Benny Rothman book launchOn Friday 8 April at 1.30pm the Library hosts the launch of a new book about activist Benny Rothman.  Unite the union's biography Benny Rothman: a fighter for the right to roam, workers' rights and socialism, written by Mark Metcalf, covers not only the part played by Benny in the Kinder Scout mass trespass but also his battles against Mosley's fascist Blackshirts and his wide-ranging campaigns as a trade unionist and environmentalist.

Benny's son Harry will be in attendance at the event, and everyone who comes along will get a free copy of the 64-page book.   All welcome.

A poem, a cup of tea and a biscuit... The first of a series of events devised by University of Salford Chancellor Jackie Kay takes place on Thursday 21 April at 4pm at the Clifford Whitworth Library at the University.  Flight, Feathers and Quilt is an opportunity to view the Curated by Jackie Kay exhibition and to hear Jackie talk about her selection from the University Art Collection. Poet Patience Agbabi will read from Refugee Tales and Anna Pincus from the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group will also speak - the exhibition includes a unique quilt made by refugees from the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group..

All are welcome to this free event. Booking is essential.  Please reserve a ticket here.
Manchester May Day Festival 2016A series of events including talks, plays and music takes place on Saturday 30 April to mark May Day in Manchester.  Full details here. The Library is compiling exhibition boards at the Manchester Mechanics Institute about our collections, and specifically about the 150th anniversary of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council which falls this year. (Our exhibition about the Trades Council opens shortly - see above).

In the evening (8.30pm) Banner Theatre presents Chicago: the great teachers’ strike. Chicago tells the story of the 2012 teachers' union strike and explores the successful organising agenda that empowered the union members and mobilised parents, students and the wider community.  Tickets price £10 available here.

Marie Stopes symposiumThroughout her life Marie Stopes courted controversy and it is sometimes difficult to disentangle fact from the fiction that she created about herself. An international symposium on 23 June at the University of Manchester draws together leading experts from a variety of different disciplines to investigate 'the real Marie Stopes'.
The Symposium is open to both academics and members of the general public. It is free but must be booked in advance as places are limited. To book a place please email:
More information at

Message from Salford Community Theatre

Salford Community Theatre are now recruiting for a team of volunteers to help with the running of their play
Love On The Dole which will be performed from 5–10 July, with two performances on the 10th.
They say: 'You don’t have to be available for all of these dates, if there is an aspect of theatre production, be that in costume and props or front of house and marketing, that you would like to try your hand at we will come up with a schedule to match your availability.
If any of this is sparking your appetite for community and theatre, or even just your curiosity we have a couple of events coming up where the production team and the cast will be more than happy to tell you more.
You can register your interest with an email to or give us a call on 07519344668'.

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