The late Tom Marshall was the local studies librarian at Gateshead whose enthusiasm for labour history ensured that the Library there has some important resources. These include microfilms of the early Communist, Suffrage, and local ILP papers; also local labour movement material such as the Gateshead Labour Herald for the 1930s and the Gateshead Trades Council and Labour Party Monthly Circular for the 1920s. Included too are several volumes of interviews with people who went through the miners’ lockout of that year. Another interesting item is the photo album of Jim Ancrum, the Communist councillor in Felling during the 1930s who was a leading figure in the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement.
The collection covers women at work during the First World War, particularly in munitions, shipbuilding and engineering; also how those large workplaces produced women’s football leagues in the North East. Women’s football emerged again in the region as a means of raising funds for the soup kitchens during the miners’ lockouts of 1921 and 1926. The efforts by colliery communities to sustain themselves during the industrial disputes of the 1920s form a common theme. There is a comprehensive amount of material on the Chester le Street Board of Guardians and their dispute with the government in 1926.
Volunteers from the Popular Politics Project sorted a great deal of this material into broad overlapping categories and entered the items into the Library’s online catalogue.
Information about the material can be found via www.gatesheadlocalstudies.com – follow the link to the local studies catalogue and then the link to the collection. If you are intending to visit the Library to consult the material please contact them beforehand.