Thursday 3 July 2014 7.30pm


A Talk by Local Radical Historian and Amateur Naturalist Alan Brooke on :

Naturalist Societies in the Colne Valley

From the mid 19th Century to the early years of the 20th local Naturalist Societies proliferated in the villages of the Colne and Holme Valleys. Often established and led by self educated working men and artisans they brought a love of nature to enlighten lives dominated by the drudgery of industrialism. This talk looks at the ideas and activities of some of the personalities and the natural history they explored in the area.


Hudds Ludds on Neo-Luddism at the ‘Breaking the Frame’ Gathering.


Breaking T F 1

Breaking T F 2Breaking T F 3

Radical Valleys

Past Present Future

World War 1914 

Iraq War 2003

Patriotism and pacifism: Valley radicals resist the call for war!

·       Rob Walker  will look at the intense anti-war debate before World War War I in Huddersfield and surrounding valleys


·       Martin Jones will explore the role played by the Stop the War Coalition in 2003

Michael Gove has recently reminded us that to win a war you have to convince people that it is right to fight – even if it happened a hundred years ago!

Radical Valleys aims to not just look at history, but also to encourage people to draw lessons and consider parallels with our own age.

Don’t miss it – a lively, informative and interesting discussion is guaranteed!

7.30 pm, Monday,  24thFebruary

@ the Red and Green Club, 42 Bankwell Road, Milnsbridge,  Huddersfield HD3 4LU

Contact  or Richard Murgatroyd 01484 641445 for more details


Marxism, Ecology and Human History”

a book launch meeting

Co-hosted by Huddersfield Socialist Workers Party and Bookmarks Publications 


 Introduced by the author
6.30pm Wednesday 12th February at Brian Jackson House, 2 New North Parade, Huddersfield HD1 5JP (overlooking the train station).
All welcome
Martin Empson’s new book argues that, while humans have always changed the world, capitalism unleashes the potential for environmental disaster. Come and hear Martin introduce his book, and take part in a discussion about the alternative to capitalism.
This superb book examines humanity’s dynamic relationships with nature, from the dawn of civilisation to modern times, with a view to better understanding the social roots of today’s environmental crises. Engaging, comprehensive and well written, it’s an important contribution to the field of Marxist ecology. Simon Butler, co-author, Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis
Martin Empson puts today’s global environmental crisis into historical context, showing how humanity has used and abused the rest of nature for thousands of years, and how in a few hundred years capitalism has brought us to the brink of disaster. It is essential reading for everyone who wants to know how we got into this mess- and how we can get out of it.” Ian Angus, editor, Climate and Capitalism
Order your copy now for the special price of £12 direct from Bookmarks bookshop. Copies will also be available at Wednesday’s book launch meeting.


Dedicated to


Luddism through the Chartist Looking Glass:  Shirley and the Modernisation of Popular Protest.

Dr Matthew Roberts, (Sheffield Hallam University).

Thursday 16 January 2014.  7.30pm

Canalside East (CEG 28)  Firth Street

University of Huddersfield

Trail of


Children offered refuge in Huddersfield from the Spanish Civil War will be remembered on Friday 29 November, when a commemorative plaque will be

unveiled at the building that became their home.

After the bombing of the Basque country town of Guernica in April 1937 – subject of a world-famous painting by Pablo Picasso – the British Government allowed the evacuation of nearly 4000 Basque children to the UK.  First housed in a campsite near Southampton, they were soon distributed to ‘colonies’ around the country, established by local voluntary efforts.

One of these was at the Old Clergy House, Almondbury, where a plaque will be unveiled next Friday by Giordano Diaz, now aged 90,  one of the 20 boys whose home it became from 1937-39.  A dozen other people with family ties to Mr Diaz or other evacuees are also expected to attend.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Martyn Bolt, will recall the part played by his predecessor Joseph Barlow, who was Mayor of Huddersfield when the young children arrived, in finding accommodation for them.  The Old Clergy House h

ad been empty for some time and was prepared as a children’s home by a Spanish Relief Committee, drawing together the efforts of political parties, trade unions, churches, wome’s groups and others.

With the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, the colony was dispersed, with most of the children returning to Spain while others, whose parents had been killed or imprisoned, settled in this country.

The plaque at Almondbury has been sponsored by the Basque Children of ’37 Association and Huddersfield Local History Society, following a talk to the Society last year by Carmen Kilner, trustee of the Association.  On their behalf, she said: “We are delighted to be able to thank the people of Huddersfield who so generously offered a home, safety and kindness to children fleeing a vicious war 75 years ago.”

Cyril Pearce, chair of Huddersfield Local History Society, added: “This was an important episode in Huddersfield history and one the town can be proud of.  We are interested in every aspect of the town’s story and pleased to play our part in this commemoration.”

The ceremony on 29 November will commence at 2.15 pm.  The Almondbury plaque will join others already placed around the country by the Association’s efforts.


The postal address of Old Clergy House is Stocks Walk, Almondbury, Huddersfield HD5 8XB; the ceremony will take place at the side of the house, in Cemetery Walk.

The attached brochure gives further information on:

·         The rehousing of over 450 Basque children in Yorkshire.

·         The Basque Children of ’37 Association.

·         Huddersfield Local History Society.

·         The Old Clergy House, Almondbury and its architect, Edgar Wood.


On the Basque children and the Association: Carmen Kilner, phone no

On Huddersfield Local History Society: David Griffiths, 01484 540309

On arrangements for the unveiling ceremony: Bill Roberts, 01484 850947


Independent Working-Class Education: can we rebuild the tradition?


10.30-4.30 Saturday 30th November 2013 (registration from 10.00)

Wallsend Memorial Hall, 10 Frank Street, Wallsend, Newcastle NE28 6RN

Close to Wallsend Metro station (15 mins approx from Newcastle Central station; change at Monument for Wallsend)

£6.00 including lunch


Please email to book a place


Short presentations from:


Richard Lewis, author of Leaders and Teachers, groundbreaking study of the Plebs League and WEA in South Wales, on ‘Rivalries and realities in workers’ education’


Lewis Mates, on ‘Ruskin and Central Labour College students in the Durham coalfield, 1909-14’


Hugo Radice, on ‘Imagining socialism: an everyday utopia’


John Stirling and Dave Wray, on the ‘Dig Where You Stand’ initiative


Rob Turnbull on ‘Right for the Rising Sun, Left for Swan Hunter: the Plebs League in the North East of England’


Colin Waugh, author of ‘Plebs’: The Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education, on ‘The Ruskin Strike of 1909’


Plenty of time for questions and discussion.


All welcome

                                                                                                IWCE Network ( dayschool,

supported also by Labour Heritage


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