Annual report of BUIRA History of IR Study Group



The BUIRA History of IR Study Group held two meetings this year, both well attended. Two further planned seminars fell through at short notice because of illness of the participants.


Our first seminar was on Labour in Late 19th Century America: Migration and Organization

(22 March 2017) at the University of Westminster. Kim Moody (independent scholar resident in London) opened with a talk entitled Tramps and Trade Union Travellers: How Geographic Mobility Undermined Organized Labour in Gilded Age America, followed by Steven Parfitt (Associate Lecturer at the University of Derby) on The Knights of Labor and the Fraternal Tradition (around 20 participants).

Our second event, which was jointly sponsored by BUIRA, Britain at Work and the Oral History Society, was our annual Oral Labour History Day also held at the University of Westminster on Saturday 3 June 2017, from 10.30 to 16.45. Over thirty people attended throughout the day. This year we focused on “Getting Going with Oral Labour History”. The day included round table introductions on the projects in which participants were involved, and their interest in oral labour history.

Following a welcome and introduction by Linda Clarke, the keynote talk was given by Alan Dein, broadcaster and oral historian, on To Start You Talking. Michael Gold chaired the round table and, after lunch, there were two presentations both on union oral history, from Mike Dick (BECTU, media and entertainment trade union) and from Diarmaid Kelliher (Glasgow University: 1984/5 Miners’ Strike, Kent). After a discussion, Robert Wilkinson (Walthamstow History Workshop) gave a talk on The Heritage Lottery Foundation – How to Apply. Following further discussion and questions, Joanna Bornat made some closing observations before finishing at 16.45.


Michael Gold

Linda Clarke

09 June 2017