Thursday, 4 April 2013

Oral Labour History Symposium

Oral Labour Histories: Britain at Work 1945-95

Britain at Work (B@W) in association with:

British Universities Industrial Relations (BUIRA) IR History Group and

Oral History Society (OHS)


Saturday 11 May 2013

The Goss Room, Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate (nearest tube: Liverpool Street)

Click on this hyperlink for full location details:

One again Britain at Work(B@W) is organising an Oral Labour History Day at the Bishopsgate Institute in London, this time on Saturday 11 May. It will be similar to the one organised in March 2012, but with an afternoon theme focusing on migrant workers and their experiences in the UK. B@W is an initiative to capture the memories of people at work between 1945-1995. Working life as experienced during the half-century 1945-1995 was marked by extreme diversity and change and by the growth of trade union organisation and influence to a high point in the mid-1970s. The trade union movement injected a strong democratic current into British workplaces, to which management responded in different ways, as evident from the significant conflicts between unions and employers, associated with the problems of technological change, de-industrialisation and new union legislation. The main theme this year is migrant workers, in particular Irish and Black workers and those involved in the NHS. The day will, however, begin with round table introductions on the projects in which different participants are involved and their interest in oral labour history. Following lunch, the afternoon will focus on migrant workers, and the day will conclude with the showing of Philip Donnellan’s 1965 film The Irishmen. All those engaged in or with an interest in oral labour history are welcome to participate. If you would like to attend, please contact Michael Gold ( or Linda Clarke (


Coffee/ tea 10.30am

11.00am: Welcome and introduction: Stefan Dickers, Bishopsgate Institute

11.15 – 11.45/ 12.00 noon Opening address: Dr Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln on ‘Asian Women’s experiences in the Grunwick Dispute: recording and disseminating oral history’ with accompanying exhibition

11.45 – 12.00 Michael Gold – Oral History with a Purpose – Oral Labour History, followed by:

12.00 – 1.00pm B@W updates: Round table introductions:

Five minutes from everyone (if they wish), saying who they are, the project(s) they are involved in and their interest in oral labour history

Lunch 1.00-1.40pm

Presentations and panel discussions (in plenaries)

1.40-2.30 Irish migrant workers –led by Linda Clarke and Christine Wall, with Sara Goek

2.30-3.15 Black workers in London – led by Wilf Sullivan (TUC), with Glenroy Watson (RMT)

3.15-3.30 Break

3.30-4.15 Creating the NHS - led by Joanna Bornat (OHS) – Asian doctors, Irish workers

4.15-4.30 Conclusions

4.30 – 5.30 Film showing: Philip Donnellan’s The Irishmen (1965)

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