Talk:People's History Museum

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History in Limehouse[edit]

As the former exhibitions officer of the National Museum of Labour History in Limehouse Town Hall, I can assure anyone reading this that the collection, whilst in London, was never "mainly in storage", but was in fact a resplendant display of banners, photographic archive (available to the public free of charge), a research library, also available to the general public, and an exhibition hall, which hosted such subjects as the print worker's role in the support of the International Brigade's role in the Spanish Civil War (in which one of the trustees, Jack Jones fought). Other exhibitions which I mounted included political cartoonists from Cruickshank to Steve Bell. The museum in London was open seven days a week with no admission charge and was well attended by the general public and delegations of workers from overseas. The museum was forced to move from the Limehouse site due to a change in local government from Labour to Lib-Dem and the trustees (Michael Foot, Gwyneth Dunwoody, Jack Jones, John Lloyd and Albert Jacobs) were forced to look for alternative accommodation and funding. An agreement was reached at the Labour Party conference in ?1985 that the association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) would house and fund the museum. On the basis of that documented aggreement the museum moved to Manchester in 1987. With this confidence in the future, generated by the trustees and AGMA, three members of staff moved to Manchester and a new business manager was appointed from the local area. Within days it was apparent that there was no storage space or funding, and the home for the museum and its exhibits in [103] Princess Street (the Mechanics' Institute) was nothing more than a building site. After many months of the staff attempting to raise revenue by attempting to open bookshops, stage exhibitions etc. we were told by the trustees that we were trading while insolvent. Subsequently all the staff were sacked by the trustees. I personally took the trustees to an industrial tribunal. The trustees refused to give evidence. Any one who would like to find out more about the hidden past of the National Museum of Labour History is welcome to access all of the files of letters and documentation I have available. Contact Phil @ Look forward to your views.-- Phil Mc----- ( Oct 26 2004