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Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

The National Council of Women of Great Britain was originally formed in 1895 as the National Union of Women Workers. It came out of the 1880s national movement of several women’s philanthropic organisations concerned about civil, educational, religious and social issues affecting women. A body which was part of this movement was the Aberdeen Ladies’ Union (originally called the Ladies’ Union for the Care and Protection of Women and Girls), founded in 1883. The Union had a key role in forming the Central Council of the Conferences of Women Workers in 1891, which was a precursor to the formation of the National Union. In 1897 the Ladies’ Union became the Aberdeen branch of the The National Union of Women Workers.

The Aberdeen Union of Women Workers was made-up of numerous affiliated organisations which worked with women and concerned itself with issues such as poverty, social reform, equal rights, family rights and also suffrage. The affiliated organisations had representatives on the Executive Committee: organisations such as the Aberdeen Clothing Society, Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Employment Exchange and the Aberdeen Women’s Citizen Association. In 1909 the Union worked with the Women’s Liberal Association, Primrose League, National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies to promote female representation on the school boards in Aberdeen and this included joint canvassing work for candidates.

The National Union of Women Workers changed its name to the National Council of Women of Great Britain in 1918. The Council is affiliated to the International Council of Women.

References: website and see below.

Sources: Aberdeen Union of Women Workers papers (1900 – 1926) and a few items as part of the Mary Esslemont papers (an Aberdeen physician) are held at University of Aberdeen Library. National records are held at London Metropolitan Archives.

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The Aberdeen libertarian socialist group formed at the start of 1967 yet had evolved for two years previous. The membership was made up of local anarchists, members of a revived Aberdeen Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the local Young Socialists. The group issued a publication called ‘Solidarity: for workers’ power (Aberdeen)’ from 1969 and also contributed/edited publications by the Scottish Solidarity group (which had been formed in 1962). The group took local actions on issues such as housing and also in local industry such as ship building at Hall Russell.

Solidarity was a British national group which had been formed in 1960 by former members of the Socialist Labour League. In 1977 Solidarity merged with another group called Social Revolution and published a journal called ‘Solidarity: for Social Revolution’. Solidarity continued on in some shape or form until the early 1990s.

References: information and issues of the magazines are available via website http://www.libcom.org. A copy of ‘Solidarity Scotland: for workers’ power’ from 1967 has a detailed report on the formation of the Aberdeen group. Also see this website entry for the ‘Aberdeen Libertarian Socialist Group, c.1973 – 1982’.

Sources: the national papers of Solidarity are held at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.

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A University of Aberdeen group, also called the Aberdeen Left Club, formed in Autumn 1959 and then folded not long after. The group was formed as a discussion forum for socialists. The active members were very close to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and was also made up of members of the communist party and left wingers from the Labour Party, all disaffected with the traditional left.

The group was part of a wider national movement called New Left which existed from about 1956 – 1960s and was actually a generic term for a number of organisations. The movement was formed after the world events in Hungary and the Suez and formed around journals such as New Left Review.

References: Out of the Burning House: Political Socialization in the Age of Affluence (Sandy Hobbs & Willie Thompson, 2011) which describes life at the University in the 1950s/1960s.

Sources: unknown. Papers of Sandy Hobbs and Willie Thompson are held at Glasgow Caledonian University Archives.

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A University of Aberdeen society which advertised in the Freshers’ magazines. The society was formed in 1961 but then does not appear in the magazines again until the end of the decade.

There was also an active Aberdeen Communist Party and Young Communist League in the city.

References: University Freshers’ magazines.

Sources: unknown.

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CND was founded nationally in 1957 with Scottish CND founded in 1958. CND has always drawn on a varied membership ranging from Christian pacifists, moderate Labour through to the Communist Party and more radical groups such as anarchists.

There was a University of Aberdeen Society, active by 1959, and in the early days travelled to demos in Aldermaston, Glasgow and Holy Loch. It would appear that the University society was also dormant for parts of the 1970s (between c.1970 and 1978).

There was also an Aberdeen Branch active at the very beginning and there was also a youth wing (YCND) which formed about 1963. There were also at certain periods a number of local branches across the north east.

Related entries: Aberdeen Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

References: University Freshers’ magazines.

Sources: unknown. A couple of items as part of Mary Esslemont’s (physician and local member of Aberdeen CND) papers (1960 – 1979) are held at University of Aberdeen Library. The national CND records are held across the British Library of Political and Economic Science and the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University. Some Scottish material is held at Glasgow Mitchell Library.

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Amnesty is a world-wide organisation that campaigns for human rights and was founded in London in 1961. There has been a University of Aberdeen society active since 1964.

There is still a current Aberdeen University society branch as well as an Aberdeen branch.

Related entries: Amnesty International (Aberdeen branch).

References: adverts in Aberdeen Peoples Press, University Freshers’ magazines and website for current group.

Sources: a few items as part of Mary Esslemont’s (physician and local member of Amnesty) papers (1973 – 1982) are held at University of Aberdeen Library. The national records are held at University of Warwick Library and the records of the international organisation are held at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.

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A University of Aberdeen society which advertised in the 1969 Freshers’ magazine. The Society stated that it was part of a movement that had gained prominence as a national body in the forefront of student revolt and that it is a body that believed in the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism internationally and replacement with that of a socialist society.

References: University Freshers’ magazines.

Sources: unknown.

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