Showing posts from January, 2013

Commemoration of the execution of 17 Luddites, York, 19 January 2013

On Saturday 19 January, York's Alternative History held an afternoon of talks and commemoration for the Luddites tried and executed at York.

In the huge space of the Guild Hall, Adam Gutteridge, one of the organisers, introduced the themes of the day. His speech echoed the two interesting articles publicising the event in the Guardian (by local historian Paul Furness, here, and by another organiser Helen Graham, here). They argue that now that York's industrial economy is no more (chocolate and railways), York has remade itself round the past: an economy of tourism. Yet the past as presented to tourists and indeed to residents, is a sanitised and normalised history, centring round Vikings, medieval religion, and Georgian middle-class pleasures. The recent York 800 celebrations had no place for the popular protest and resistance that had a distinguished history in the city.

I began the talks by explaining the context and meaning of the Luddites for the non-converted, although m…

5 celebrations of the Making of the English Working Class and counting...

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the first edition of E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1963).

As far as I am aware, there are at least half a dozen events/workshops/colloquia/conferences celebrating the anniversary. I keep getting invited to them, and at this point, I have to start declining them as
a) no one wants to hear me talk five or six times, and
b) I don't want to end up saying the same thing five or six times.

The continual stream of invitations and notifications makes me wonder whether it would better serve the purpose if there was just one giant conference.

But on the other hand, having lots of little regional events, each with its own theme and its own local as well as academic audience, is perhaps more appropriate. All the different events are testimony to the type of influence Thompson had. His work had such a sense of place, and much of The Making is rooted in a regional approach, es…

two lectures, wake, and workshop

here are my upcoming engagements. All welcome.

Sat 19 January - York's alternative history/radical York presents a commemoration of the Luddites executed at York Castle. It's followed by a wake in a pub for the executed Luddites.

Sat 2 March - New approaches to the history of protest and resistance - workshop 3, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham.

Tues 9 April - Enfield branch of the Historical Association: lecture on the Luddites

Google fusion tables now exports styles to kml

Good news for anyone using google fusion tables to produce maps. It has finally (after 2 years of requests) allowed users to export styles in their tables into kml files.

For some unknown reason, previously it didn't allow map styles (e.g. colour of pins or symbols) that you can easily do in google maps to be exported in a kml file. So, as I do, when you made a table of points with different coloured pins for different places (e.g. I use blue pins for loyalist events and places, pink pins for trade union events and sites, etc), you couldn't export those styles to, say, google earth. Now you can, which makes life so much easier as I can now use my colour-coded data on google earth.

So, for example, here is a shot from my google fusion map of Manchester political meetings:
And here's how it looked, exported without styles to google earth, on Green's 1794 map. Not that useful (there are still problems: it still compresses multiple points on the same lat/long into one, s…