Out and about

Warwickshire Local History Society has organised a visit to both the Special Collections at Birmingham University and the Barber Institute of Fine Art on Saturday 5 September 2009. The Special Collections at Birmingham University include 120,000 pre-1850 books dating from 1471, 3 million manuscripts, including the papers of Joseph, Austen and Neville Chamberlain. After lunch, there will be a visit to the Barber Institute. Pre-booking is essential and costs £23 for guests. Please send your application and cheque to WLHS, c/o Neville Usher, 6 The Fold, Payton Street, Stratford upon Avon CV37 6NJ, tel: 01789 205 043, email

The first Cambridgeshire Open Air History Festival takes place on Saturday 19 September 2009, as part of the Cherry Hinton Festival in Cherry Hinton Recreation Ground from 10.00am until 5.00pm. Over the past three years the history exhibition area has grown in size and generated a huge amount of interest. This year’s Festival will host the first ever Cambridgeshire History Fair, which will have stalls and displays devoted to archaeology, local history, archives, family history, architecture, natural environment, museums, re-enactment and much more besides. For more online information visit: or contact Michelle Bullivant, tel: 01223 710076.

For the first time in its history, Scotland Yard’s Crime Museum (formerly known as the Black Museum) will be loaning objects to be used in an innovative temporary exhibition blending aspects of the traditional museum interpretation and contemporary installation at Nottingham's Galleries of Justice Museum from 19 September until mid-2010 (no closing date has been fixed). The subject of this exhibition was chosen to mark the 25th anniversary of the miners' strike and because of its local significance. During 1984 and into 1985 Nottinghamshire life was dominated by the strike, which affected almost every area of the county. Beginning with the confirmation of twenty planned pit closures, the striking miners in Yorkshire acted as a catalyst for other areas to follow suit. This became known by the press as the ‘rolling coal strike’. However, not all miners were in favour of the strike and, in the absence of a national ballot, some pits remained open, which caused a major division among the miners. As striking miners began to picket working mines, this gave the police their first opportunity to use new public order tactics, including the drafting in of some 8,000 police officers from other parts of England, most notably the Metropolitan Police from London. The 'Strike 1984' exhibition will examine the police’s involvement in the strike and the plight of all the miners (both striking and non striking). By providing a balanced view of all parties involved, this thought-provoking exhibition aims to enhance the understanding of how and why violence escalated on the picket line. The Galleries of Justice Museum, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1HN, open 10.30am–5.00pm (Mon–Fri), 11.00am–5.00pm (Sat–Sun), temporary exhibitions free, guided tours (costs vary),

The Working Class Movement Library is celebrating the bicentenary of the death of revolutionary writer and radical political thinker Thomas Paine with an exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition, ‘Thomas Paine: Voice of the Common People’, tells the story of Paine’s adventurous and eventful life, his narrow escapes from death and his involvement in both the American and French Revolutions. The main focus of the exhibition is the very modern ideas in his three key publications, Common Sense, Rights of Man and Age of Reason, with original early editions on display, plus political cartoons, radical pamphlets and rare editions of books by and about Paine and his followers. The exhibition is based on the Library’s holdings of Paine material, which has been called ‘the finest private collection of books by and on Paine in Britain’ by the Thomas Paine Society. Veronica Trick, volunteer co-ordinator at the Library, says: 'If our Library had a patron saint it would be Thomas Paine. He’s so much the starting point, both chronologically and ideologically, for working class history'. The exhibition runs until 22 November 2009 at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU, Mon–Fri 10.00am–4.45pm, Sat–Sun 1.00pm–5.00pm, admission free. For more information contact Lynette Cawthra, Library Manager, tel: 0161 735 3601, email:,

19 August 2009

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