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Upcoming events

Wednesday, 26th October 2016

14:00 – 15:00

"Organise, educate and agitate": trade unionism and office workers in Britain, 1914-39

Talk by Nicole Robertson, Sheffield Hallam University.

The rising prominence of the clerical sector was one of the most important changes in the twentieth century workplace. As organisations grew larger and more complex the need for greater communication and documentation transformed office work. Clerical workers became a key component of cityscapes and urban communities. Trade unionism during the 1914-39 period is often associated with manual workers; however, office workers were engaged in trade union activity. This talk explores how these white-collar workers challenged, resisted and negotiated their working conditions through clerical unions.

This free talk is part of our autumn Invisible Histories series. All welcome.

Thursday, 27th October 2016

18:30 – 20:00

Museums at Night - music from Quiet Loner and Jennifer Reid

Broadside ballads from the Manchester region from the ‘Middleton Linnet’ Jennifer Reid form a counterpoint to Battle for the Ballot, in which singer-songwriter Quiet Loner uses original songs to tell the story of how working people came to have a vote. The story will take in events like the Peterloo Massacre and introduce the people – Chartists, politicians and suffragettes – who fought for the ideal of universal suffrage.

Free; all welcome.

Saturday, 29th October 2016

12:00 – 15:00

An Afternoon of Co-operative History: The people’s Global Colossus and Co-operatives in the Northeast

Join us for an afternoon of co-operative history with guest speakers Peter Sagar and Professor Tony Webster. Peter sager has a keen interest and researched co-operatives in the Northeast of England and professor Tony Webster is a trustee of the Co-operative College and has written publications around the history and development of the CWS.

Sunday, 30th October 2016

14:00 – 17:00

Prison abolition reading group

We're starting an open, relaxed study group on the theme of prison abolition, and alternatives to the criminal justice system.

The first book: "Are Prisons Obsolete", by Angela Y Davis:

We're still deciding which chapters to start with: e-mail to stay up-to-date.

All welcome! The venue is wheelchair-accessible; please contact us if you have any other access requirements. A "safer spaces" policy is in place: oppressive or harmful behaviour will be challenged.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016

19:00 – 20:00

Stop the new prisons! Organising meeting

Organising to resist the government's planned new mega-prison in Manchester.

All welcome; message or email us ( if you'd like to find out what we've been doing so far or be added to the organising e-mail list.

The venue is wheelchair-accessible. Funding is available to reimburse travel and child-care costs; please contact us to discuss, or if you have any other access requirements. A "safer spaces" policy is in place: oppressive or harmful behaviour will be challenged.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016

18:00 – 20:00

Charlotte Delaney's 'Sweet Responsibility' - first UK reading

In April 2016 Charlotte Delaney, playwright and daughter of Shelagh Delaney (the Salford writer of A Taste of Honey, Dance with a Stranger and other plays) retraced an epic rail journey across America that her mother had first made in 1972. She was accompanied by Selina Todd, historian and author of The People: the rise and fall of the working class, who is now writing the authorised biography of Shelagh Delaney. The journey helped shape Charlotte's latest play, Sweet Responsibility, which is having its first reading in the UK at this event. Come and hear Charlotte and Selina discuss the life of one of Salford's most famous daughters - and listen to members of MaD Theatre Company read 'Sweet Responsibility', Charlotte's play about friendship and activism between two 70-something women in Greater Manchester.

Admission free.

Friday, 4th November 2016

10:00 – 17:00

Hacking the Energy System

A one day conference of discussion and collaboration on future energy system opportunities, innovation and change.

When: 10.30am-5pm, Friday 4th November 2016
Where: Great Hall, Sackville Street Building (former UMIST Campus), University of Manchester

Keywords: energy efficiency, battery storage, aggregation, demand side response, Community Owned Aggregation, smart meters, open source, smart grid, smart cities
Attendance from: Local Authorities, Energy Retail Companies, Community Energy organisations, academics, grid organisations, start ups, technology startup companies

The energy system is changing fast, with traditional roles starting to blend, mix and reshape; driven by:

* Ever more ambitious carbon reduction targets
* Increasing amounts of distributed generation
* New technologies in the fields of battery storage, electric vehicles, local generation, electrified heat, smart meters and grid
* A proliferation of new entrants in to energy retailing including municipal energy companies
* A broad based community energy sector, increasingly looking for new business models including direct supply to local people

Against this backdrop the governance and regulatory environment has been slow to change in particular in the fields of generation and energy efficiency.

Convened by community energy organisation Carbon Co-op in collaboration with the University of Manchester, this one day conference is an opportunity for key players within energy system to discuss the change, challenges and opportunities ahead. The aim of the conference is to share knowledge and experience, catalyse new collaborations and document keys 'asks' from the sector around regulatory change.

The event will be followed by the Manchester launch of Nobel Grid, a European-wide smart grids project of which Carbon Co-op and University of Manchester are partners.


Confirmed speakers listed - more to follow

Introduction to the day & Nobel Grid
* Jonathan Atkinson, Carbon Co-op
* Teresa Chilton, Manchester Energy: University of Manchester

10-11am Challenges and opportunities ahead: setting the scene
* Matt Fawcett, Carbon Co-op
* Electricity North West

11.15-12.45 New business models within the energy system
* Mark Atherton, Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
* Simon Minett, Managing Director, Challoch Energy
* Ben Aylott, Carbon Co-op

11.15-12.45 UK Energy Policy – where are we heading?
* Marianne Heaslip, architect, URBED
* Mary Gillie, Energy Local
* Emilia Mellville, Buro Happold

12.45-13.45 LUNCH

13.45-15.00 Technological change and the energy system - opportunities and challenges
* Steve Cox, Electricity North West
* Mary Gillie, Energy Local

13.45-15.00 Democratising of the energy system - municipal and community energy
* Julian Packer, Low Carbon Investment Director, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
* Alan Simpson, Independent Advisor on Energy and Climate Change
* Emma Bridge, Community Energy England

15.15-16.30 Plenary session: what lies ahead for the UK energy system?
* Steve Cox, Electricity North West
* Matt Fawcett, Carbon Co-op
* Alan Simpson, Independent Advisor on Energy and Climate Change

---Conference Ends---

17.00 Nobel Grid Manchester Test Site - Public Launch reception

Supported by Nobel Grid, University of Manchester, Electricity North West and Community Energy England

Wednesday, 9th November 2016

14:00 – 15:00

Talk, 'Engels, the Burns Family and the Manchester Irish'

Talk by Mervyn Busteed, British Association for Irish Studies.

Mervyn will discuss Engels's personal background in both Germany and Manchester, his reliance on the work of earlier sanitary reformers and help from Mary Burns for the material on the Manchester Irish in his classic work on the condition of the working class in England, and the possible influence of the Burns family on the evolution of his thinking about Irish affairs.

This free talk is part of our autumn Invisible Histories series. All welcome.

Sunday, 20th November 2016

10:00 – 16:00

Voting for Change edit-a-thon

The Library and the Museum are working together to acquire material related to the fight for the vote, from the Peterloo protest in 1819 to lowering the voting age in 1969.

We need your help to share knowledge of these significant moments in British history and invite you to come and spend a day researching and editing Wikipedia. Wikimedians Tomasz Kozlowski and Doug Taylor will be on hand to show you the ropes, and staff from both venues will help decipher source material. Please bring a laptop, and we’ll provide the coffee! In partnership with Wikimedia UK. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Part of UK Parliament Week 2016.

Suitable for adults and young people – particularly suitable for those with experience of editing Wikipedia or knowledge of British political history.

Booking required via Eventbrite –

Free, refreshments provided. Please bring a packed lunch.

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