Monthly Archives: March 2021

Councillor Nigel Todd, 1947-2021

Nigel Todd

Sometimes it is only when we lose someone that we appreciate the size of the space that they have occupied. Nigel Todd, who has died unexpectedly on 26 March, was primarily a community activist but his interests were wide ranging: Greening Wingrove, the Bike Garden, tackling climate change and food poverty, fighting racism and fascism, his forty years as a Labour member of the City Council, producing three books as well as articles for our own Journal, his long-term commitment to the co-operative movement and the Workers Educational Association, and his championing of life-long learning and helping to bring about the women’s access course. For him, the struggle for socialism whilst working tirelessly and effectively to enrich the lives of the people around him in Newcastle’s West end were all part of the larger whole. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to his family and friends.

See also these tributes from:

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor
Workers Educational Association: WEA
Greening Wingrove and Arthur’s Hill
Co-operative News
Joan Allen, The Society for the Study of Labour History
Keith Flett
Chi Onwurah MP (Facebook)

For two of Nigel’s many contributions to North East History, see:
-Workers’ Education: centenary reflections, North East History Volume 50 and scroll to page 137
-Blitheringly Fantabulous. Ruskin College 1967-69, North East History Volume 47 and scroll to page 143

The North East Labour History Society will mark Nigel’s life and work with a number of appreciations which will appear soon.

New T-Shirts Available from the International Brigade Memorial Trust

The International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) is a registered charity that keeps alive the memory and spirit of the 2,500 men and women from Britain and Ireland who volunteered to fight fascism and defend democracy during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.

The IBMT looks after memorials to the volunteers, 526 of whom were killed in Spain, including 35 from the North East. It organises educational and commemorative events and works with schools and trade unions to teach new generations this inspiring story of anti-fascism and international solidarity. 

 Proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will go to the International Brigade Memorial Trust in order to support their work and can be ordered at

 With thanks to Marie-Therese and Paul Mayne for this information.

Calendar now Available: African Lives in Northern England

Note from Sean Creighton:

The calendar which I was involved in producing with an informal group of historians and community activists mainly based in the North East has been posted up on the website of the Newcastle Society for Antiquaries.

The Society has devoted a special section of its website to the calendar including resources information including the link to my The Involvement of People of African Heritage in the North East.

Pamphlet and School Resource Chart

The project group is now working on a pamphlet with fuller detail about many of the people in the calendar and about some people who are still living. It will be published later this year.

It is also preparing a school resource chart with funding by Historic England which will have questions, activities and resources for teachers on its website.