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Thomas Attwood and ninety-nine radical men and women who changed Britain

March 23, 2015

peoples history museumIn January, Kevin Maguire reported in the Mirror that the People’s History Museum in Manchester has made a new list of 100 radical men and women who changed Britain.

It includes Thomas Attwood [1783-1856]:Political reformer and Birmingham industrialist’, though its website appears not yet to have been updated to include new entrants.

John Monks, chair of the museum and a former TUC leader, admits that Margaret Thatcher’s inclusion is controversial after she destroyed working-class communities, but said that, as the first woman Prime Minister and a radical, it was hard to leave her out. His own hero is Ellen Wilkinson, a leader of the 1936 Jarrow March.

The People’s History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History until 2001) is Britain’s national centre for the collection, conservation, interpretation and study of material relating to the history of working people in the UK. It is located in a Grade II listed, former hydraulic pumping station on the corner of the Bridge Street and Water Street designed by Manchester Corporation City Architect Henry Price. Website: http://www.phm.org.uk/

The museum tells the story of the history of democracy in Great Britain and about ordinary people’s lives at home, work and leisure over the last 200 years. It contains a collection of printed material, physical objects and photographs which celebrate the lives of ordinary people at work, rest and play. Some of the topics covered include popular radicalism, the Peterloo Massacre, 19th century trade unionism, the women’s suffrage movement and the cooperative movement. It also includes material relating to friendly societies, the welfare movement and advances in the lives of working people.

The People’s History Museum is seeking £3,000 sponsors for each of the 100 Radical Heroes to raise £300,000 after the Tory-led Government cut its grant.

An insurance company has already bought Margaret Thatcher . . .

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