Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Items of Interest for Activists, Socialists and Trade Unionists!

The Reading Trades Union Council has the following items of merchandise available, related to Reading's socialist and trade union activities, past and present!

Reading Trades Union Council: In Solidarity t-shirts. Available in the following sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-large, XX-Large. £10 (including postage).

Lorenzo Quelch, An Old-fashioned Socialist: An Autobiography (Reading: Lorenzo Quelch Memorial Group, 1992). 117 pages. ISBN 9780951969809. £5.00 (including postage).

“But the chairman was too quick for them. He slid the Red Flag off the staff, putting it in his pocket, whilst the staff he threw in the cab stand. The fight for the stick was terrific.”
“The wages of the agricultural workers at this time were from nine shillings to ten shillings per week with no specified hours per day. The Union succeeded in getting two shillings increase of wages, the hours remaining as they were.”
Len (Lorenzo) Quelch was born into poverty in rural West Berkshire in 1862. He started work at 8, eventually becoming a skilled iron foundry worker. In the early 1880s he discovered Socialism and remained a committed Socialist until his death in 1937. This is his fascinating story of his adventures as a Socialist.


Mike Cooper and Ray Parkes, We Cannot Park on Both Sides: Reading volunteers in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39 (Reading: Reading International Brigades Memorial Committee, 2000). 140 pages. ISBN 9780953544806. £9.95 – SPECIAL PRICE £6.00 (including postage).

“This was the finest and best and most important decision I’ve made in my life.” Thora Silverthorne, 1984
“I didn’t realise how close the bullets were ... they were cracking ... I remember looking up at a bush and all the leaves were falling off.” Jimmy Moon, 1996
Thora Silverthorne and Jimmy Moon were two of a small number of Reading people who volunteered to serve in the Spanish Civil War. Three Reading men died fighting in Spain, and are commemorated on the memorial which stands in the town’s Forbury Gardens.
We cannot park on both sides is the story of these volunteers and of the remarkable campaign at home to support Republican Spain. Most of this story has never been told before, and it appears here in their own words, in their letters home and in contemporary newspaper coverage.
Well illustrated with rare photographs, this is a book for anyone with an interest in Reading’s history, or in the Spanish Civil War.

Other items for sale:

  • David Marshall, The Tilting Planet: Poems (London: London Voices and the International Brigade Memorial Trust, 2005), £3 (including postage).
  • Paul Preston, The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution and Revenge (London:: Harper Perennial, 2006), £3 (including postage).
  • Gerald Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Spanish Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), £3 (including postage).
  • Richard Baxell, Angela Jackson and Jim Jump, Antifascistas: British and Irish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War in Words and Pictures (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2010), £5 (including postage).

For purchases of more than one item (or several copies of individual items), please deduct £2.00 from the price.
Please make cheques payable to the Reading Trades Union Council and send them to:

John Partington
Publicity Officer, Reading Trades Union Council
6 Jeffrey Place
Caversham Road
Reading RG1 7AY
If you have any queries, please email