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Past Events

An opportunity to catch up on what we've been up to

15 May 2024

A panel discussion on why and how archivists & historians preserve the heritage of the Miners' Strike for the labour movement, accompanied by a display.

This panel discussion heard from archivists and historians on the importance in preserving the heritage of the Miners’ Strike for future generations of the Labour movement. Panellists discuss their role in maintaining stories of the Strike that would otherwise be hidden and what we can learn from them, how archivists have preserved records during and since the Strike, and the ongoing work to look after labour movement archives today.


  • Liz Wood, Project Archivist at the Modern Records Centre

Liz Wood has worked as an archivist at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, since 2006. She is currently cataloguing the archives of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as part of 'Mining the Past', a three-year grant-funded project (2023/6).

  • Keith Gildart, Professor of labour and social history, ex-miner

Keith Gildart is a Professor of Labour and Social History. After working as an underground coal miner for seven years he studied at the universities of Manchester and York. Keith is an expert in the historiography of the Strike and was instrumental in saving the NUM archive.

  • Matt Dunne, Archivist & Volunteer Coordinator at the Marx Memorial Library

Matt Dunne works with the archival collections at the Marx Memorial Library and is carrying out a 2 year cataloguing project on the library’s Printworkers Collection. He will discuss how the library reacted to the strike at the time, and some of the links of solidarity from the Miners’ Strike shown in our collections.

Discussion chaired by Meirian Jump, Director of the Marx Memorial Library


9 May 2024

A panel discussion exploring the role of the law, the state and communities in the 1984-5 Miners' Strike

  • Lord John Hendy KC on the role of the law and the state. 
  • Heather Wood on Women Against Pit Closures
  • Ann Field in the Chair


Lord John Hendy KC spent most of his years in practice at the Bar representing workers and trade unions. During the miners' strike of 1984-5, he appeared for the NUM and its Area unions in practically all of the civil litigation against the unions including the the injunctions, sequestration and receivership. It took over a year after the strike before the sequestrators and receivers were finally removed. He was Standing Counsel to the NUM (and 7 other UK unions) for many years. He is now a member of the House of Lords, appointed by Jeremy Corbyn, and an honorary professor in the Faculty of Law of University College, London. He is chair of the Institute of Employment Rights, president of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights and a vice-president of the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom.   

Heather Wood trained as a nurse and later entered the probation service. In 1983 she was was chair of Easington Constituency Labour Party when they formed Save Easington Area Mines, a group which she also chaired. In 1984-5 Heather set up 14 support groups in Easington District and a number beyond.

Ann Field was a national officer of Unite/GPMU and represented print and publishing workers from 1974 until 2009. She is joint creator of the Wapping exhibition and archive at MML. 







27 April 2024

MML 1933-2033: Looking Forward to Our Centenary • Katie McAndrews, Historic Building Consultant, Hutton & Rostron • Ruth Hayes, Councillor for Clerkenwell Ward and Marx Memorial Library trustee • Fran Heathcote, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services • Meirian Jump, Director of the Marx Memorial Library


Read about our centenary plans reported in the Morning Star here.

10 April 2024

Albano Nunes - former International Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party & Participant in the Portuguese Revolution of 1974

Albano Nunes, currently member of the Central Control Commission of the Portuguese Communist Party, was an active participant in the revolution.  The Revolution overthrew the fascist regime in power since 1926 and marked the culmination of two generations of illegal struggle by trade unionists, by agricultural workers in Portugal’s south, by those struggling for liberation in Portugal’s colonies and by clandestine organisation in Portugal’s conscript army.  The PCP helped coordinate these struggles. The resulting mass movement of the Portuguese people brought a socialist constitution pledging public ownership, the nationalisation of the big monopolies, cooperative ownership of the big landed estates in the south. The revolutionary government backed and assisted the process of full colonial liberation by the movements in  Portugal’s ex-colonies.



14 March 2024

The Labour Manifesto of 1974 firmly places on the agenda the challenge to the distribution of power and wealth in this country that has reverberated through every political struggle since. Its ambition was the foundation stone for the left to build upon, becoming an inspiration for the radical 2017 and 2019 Labour manifestos.