News from the Working Class Movement Library

Announcements and information

Online talk ‘A socialist witness for peace'

On Wednesday 12 May at 2pm we welcome Hazel Kent to speak on ‘A socialist witness for peace: Fenner Brockway’s conscientious objection during the First World War’.

The Quaker concept of witness can be defined as action inspired by faith. Fenner Brockway, although not a Quaker, witnessed for peace in a variety of ways during WW1: through his journalism, his political activity, work for the No-Conscription Fellowship, and being imprisoned for 28 months as a conscientious objector. This talk will explore these varied experiences along with the socialist and spiritual convictions which underpinned them.
Hazel Kent is an Associate Tutor in History at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. 

This talk will be live-streamed. Please click on the following link shortly before 2pm on Wednesday:

Or use:
Meeting ID: 885 4194 6088
Passcode: 719496

The rest of the new talks series is as follows (full details at
19 May Frances Chiu, 'Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: uncommon sense for the 21st century' (NB 3pm start time)

26 May Terry Dunne  'Land & labour: the agrarian question in the Irish Revolution (1913-23)'
2 June  Steve Illingworth 'The rebellion of the ‘basement lecturers’: the Wandsworth Prison disturbances of 1918-19'
9 June 'A tale of two libraries - an exchange between the Portico and Working Class Movement Libraries'. Festival of Libraries event (NB 4pm start time) 
16 June Kerrie McGiveron ' "What is Big Flame?": exploring a revolutionary socialist feminist organisation 1970–84'

All talks are free and are held online, with a Zoom link available to ebulletin subscribers on the Monday ahead of each talk.  The talks are also recorded, and all to date can be viewed at


Reminder - Communist Party centenary exhibition viewable on our Web site

In December 2019, work began on a travelling exhibition that would chart the 100-year contribution of the Communist Party to the struggle for socialism in Britain and abroad.  It was part of a larger celebration of the Party's centenary, details of which can be viewed at, with digitised historic documents supplied by WCML and Marx Memorial Library available for browsing at

By March 2020 an eight-panel pop-up exhibition was finished, with three copies manufactured to meet demand.  By the time the Covid pandemic struck, WCML and 11 other venues across Britain had scheduled in viewings, ranging from one week to three months. A number of unions had agreed to display it at their annual conferences.  

The eight panels can be viewed on the Library's Web site until the end of May here for the first time; as soon as conditions allow, the CPB tell us that the exhibition will be back on the road.