All events start 1 p.m. at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Saturday 11 March: THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
Robert Burns was the son of a working gardener. He had only a basic education and worked the land from an early age. After his father -who had strong Jacobite sympathies- died prematurely Burns and his brothers were left, Woods (2009) says, with a "poor, undercapitalised farm."
Indeed the family tried, unsuccessfully to make a living out of apparently unprofitable holdings. As Burton (2001) points out this was an age of rural change. Peasants were finding themselves unable to maintain their debt bondage to landowners. Many farms were failing and peasants were being squeezed out because of enclosures and "improvements."
Burns even had a stint as a dresser of flax and contemplated emigrating to the West Indies. What changed his mind was literary success. The publication of his poems in the form of the Kilmarnock Edition in 1786 saw him move to Edinburgh instead.
After a year enjoying adulation he returned to the soil at Ellisland near Dumfries before becoming an exciseman. He was now a paid government officer. It was slightly ironic given that Burns had republican sympathies. Indeed he was accused of having joined in a rendition of the French revolutionary song "Ca Ira" in a Dumfries theatre. He was also alleged to be in league with a local grouping of the radical "Friends of the People" in Dumfries.
Certainly Burns had written political poetry all his adult life.
HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER attacks Calvinist ideas and religious cant.
IN ADDRESS TO BEELZEBUB clearly alludes to the Highland Clearances.
WHY SHOULDNA POOR FOLK MO was written against the background of a national seamen's strike.
And SCOTS WHA HAE, about Bruce and Wallace, also had coded attacks on the ongoing repression of the Pitt Government.
Morris (2009) confirms moreover that Burns remained a "staunch republican" until his death in 1796.
How shocking then that after his death he should be "incorporated into service for the empire." His poetry would be sanitised and his imagery would be used as a tawdry decorative element in tourism/light entertainment.
The talk is entitled:
- Stratford stations & 257 bus
- Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
- Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk (from about Feb 2017 – best to check)
- Disabled access
- Car park / Bikes can be brought in
- Quiet children welcome.
- You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
- Meetings open to all - just turn up
- Enquiries 0208 555 5248
Saturday 14th January 2017
Leytonstone Playreading Group
Speakers: Alaisdair Preston, Nicolaus Mackie & Margaret Winniak
Speaker: Canon Steven Saxby
The WCML exhibition exploring the life of one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, James Connolly, socialist, trade unionist, nationalist and revolutionary, has been extended until Friday 27 January. We only want the earth reveals the life and prolific works of this enigmatic man and marks the centenary of his death. Exhibition open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free. A travelling version of this exhibition is now available for loan - please contact email@example.com if you want to find out more about borrowing it.
A new exhibition, Everyday Austerity, by Sarah Marie Hall, with drawings by zine artist Stef Bradley, will begin on 4 February. In the meantime you have a further month to catch our current James Connolly exhibition, 'We Only Want the Earth', which runs until 27 January.
Exhibitions are open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.
Dare Devil Rides to Jarama
This extraordinary story will be presented for two nights only at the Library. Tickets price £12 (£10 concessions) are available here (27th) and here (28th). Further information from 07949 635910.
Sat 4 February 2pm
LGBT History Month
Journalist, writer, broadcaster and researcher Julie Bindel will speak. Julie has been active in the global campaign to end violence towards women and children since 1979, and has written extensively on topics such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at Lincoln University.
Julie's 2014 book on the state of the lesbian and gay movement in the UK, Straight Expectations, has been praised for being thought-provoking and challenging.
Sat 4 March 2pm
International Women’s Day
Talk by Marika Sherwood on Claudia Jones’s remarkable life. Claudia (1915-1964) was born in Trinidad; her parents took her to the US as a child and she was subsequently imprisoned for her political activities and later deported to the UK. She was an outstanding communist, feminist, peace activist, orator, journalist and founder of the biggest street festival in Europe.
More details of both events to follow - keep an eye on http://www.wcml.org.uk/events. All welcome; admission free.
Booking required by contacting WEA on 0151 243 5340 or booking online via WEA’s Web site. Please quote course ref C3839457.. Cost: £65.10 or free (please enquire).
The Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester will hold an event on Wednesday 25 January at 2pm which will revisit experiences of, and enduring legacies associated with, the 1981 Long Kesh/Maze hunger strikes. It will bring together two key talks and a screening of the 2014 film We were there: women of Long Kesh and the Maze prisons.
Admission £8, including refreshments on arrival and before the free screening. Further information at http://www.iwhc.com/hunger-strikes-hunger-striking; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Women’s anti-war movements in the First World War
- Women councillors in the 1920s
- Campaigns for birth control in the 1920s
- The General Strike of 1926
- Women Hunger Marches in the 1930s
- Women volunteers in Spain in the Spanish Civil War
- The Women’s Parliament in Manchester during the Second World War
- The work of Joan Littlewood and Shelagh Delaney in the 1950s and 1960s
- Peggy Duff and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- The emergence and influence of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960s and 1970s