Tuesday, 16 January 2018

RTUC supports the GMB’s Eleanor Marx Day Event

On 16 January 2018, members of the Reading Trades Union Council joined Reading & District Labour Party members and interested non-affiliates to support and enjoy the GMB’s Eleanor Marx Day event, held at The Outlook, Kings Road, Reading. The event was superbly compèred by Nikki Dancey, the GMB Regional Organiser.

Nikki Dancey (GMB & RTUC) welcomes guest and introduces the speaker
Coinciding with the 163rd birthday of Eleanor, the event celebrated the political and industrial life of this co-founder (with Will Thorne) of the National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers (a forerunner of the GMB union).

Dr Louise Raw on Eleanor Marx

The event was originally intended to host two illustrious speakers: Louise Raw, the author of 
Striking a Light: The Bryant and May Matchwomen and their Place in History (2011), and Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx: A Life (2014) – but unfortunately due to illness Rachel was unable to attend. Such is Louise’s knowledge of Eleanor, however, she extended her talk to 90 minutes and entertained and educated the audience with only occasional reference to her notes. There then followed 30 minutes of questions and discussion, plus additional conversation in a convivial environment.

The event was also a forum for leafleting, with topics such as saving the NHS, defending local mental health services and opposing the Conservative Party austerity agenda. Books relevant to Eleanor’s life and work were also available for purchase.

GMB Southern Region banner

The event was part of a joint initiative between the RTUC and RDLP entitled Reading Labour 100. The initiative, which has already organised the William Winterbourne Day at Kintbury, will be running a series of events throughout 2018 to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Reading Trades Council and Labour Party (the forerunner of the RDLP). Future events will be publicised on the RTUC Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ReadingTUC/) or interested persons can enquire with the RTUC secretary (readingtradesunioncouncil@gmail.com).