‘Let us face the future’ - 70 years on from the 1945 election

Conference, 27 June 2015, Manchester, UK

2015 marks 70 years since the 1945 election. Labour’s landslide victory in that year and the party’s wide ranging reform programme came to define politics in post war Britain. To mark the event the People’s History Museum has brought together leading historians to discuss the impact of the 1945 election, then and now.
The conference will be held in the first days of the new 2015 parliament, and also coincides with our changing exhibition Election! Britain Votes, running until Sunday 28 June 2015.


9.30am – 10.00am: Registration

10.00am – 11.00am: ‘Prophets’ and the 1945 campaign
Enoch Powell and the 1945 General Election
Paul Corthorn, Queen’s University Belfast
The Webbs and 1945
Michael Ward, Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

11.00am – 12.00pm: Cotton and Co-operation
Preparing for Power in the Cotton Districts
Neil Redfern, Manchester Metropolitan University / University of Manchester
Towards a Co-operative Commonwealth? The Co-operative Party and the General Election of 1945
Angela Whitecross, UCLan / Co-operative College

12.00pm – 12.15pm: Tea and Coffee

12.15pm – 1.00pm: Keynote
The Cultural Memory of 1945
Steven Fielding, University of Nottingham

1.00pm – 2.00pm: Lunch (provided)

2.00pm – 3.00pm: Industry and Control
From ‘Ideas of Freedom’ to ‘The Blindfold Elector’: The place of ‘Controls’ in the 1945 General Election Campaign
Henry Irving, School of Advanced Study, University of London
The Citadel of Capitalist power: Steel, Nationalisation and the Labour Party 1945-1951
Christopher Massey, Teesside University

3.00pm – 4.15pm: 1945 and the mediated campaign
‘Babes in arms playing for England, and Attlee in charge of the empire’: The popular press, cartoons and the Attlee Labour government
Charlotte Riley, University of York
Labour’s courtship of the media in the 1930s and 1940s
Laura Beers, University of Birmingham
Avoiding the C word: The 1945 Conservative Poster Campaign
Chris Burgess, People’s History Museum