CHANGE OF VENUE:  NELH First Tuesday: Talk on Unemployed Resistance (1978 – now): Trade Unions and Community Organising with Dr Paul Griffin

Moved from Northumbria University to

Zoom:   Join Zoom Meeting – Tuesday 3 October at 7.00pm

Meeting ID: 835 6618 9074
Passcode: 461612

This talk will reflect on the politicisation of unemployment across UK towns and cities in the early 1980s. With a particular focus on trade union and community organising, the presentation will reflect on the role of Unemployed Workers’ Centres in articulating opposition to deindustrialisation, redundancies, and long-term unemployment.

Focusing upon centres as ‘solidarity infrastructures’ allows an analysis that considers the quieter acts of care and advice alongside organising practices and campaigning. This paper revisits these histories through archives and oral histories of unemployed organising and includes reflections on the People’s March for Jobs 1981, the emergence of TUC Unemployed Workers’ Centres and wider unemployed resistances.

Dr Paul Griffin is an Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Northumbria University. His work cuts across labour geography and labour history and has previously considered the historical geographies of Red Clydeside, tracing labour histories in Glasgow during the early twentieth century.

More recently, his work has focussed upon the role of trade unions in society and particularly the links with community action around unemployment. His next project proposes to consider the histories of the emergence of credit unions as a form of solidarity economy.

His work can be found in journals such as Antipode, Geoforum, Political Geography and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.


NELH Tuesday Meeting: A Distant World, John Charlton

14 November 2023, 7.00pm

A Distant World is John Charlton’s account of growing up in the 1950s. He traces his family’s origins, birth, childhood and education in a detailed account which references aspects of family, work, social and political life on Tyneside over his first two decades.

John worked as a school teacher then higher education lecturer at Leeds College of Education, Leeds Polytechnic and the University of Leeds. He has published books on Chartism, New Unionism, Youth and politics on Tyneside, anti-globalisation activism and the North East of England’s involvement in colonial slavery. He is a member of the NELHS Committee.

‘This is without question an exceptional memoir, as much or more a piece of social history as well as being a personal document. The account is both fascinating and socially illuminating.’ Professor Willie Thompson

Zoom details to be circulated nearer the time.

To obtain a copy of the book please email John at , £13 including postage.