Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Laughing through the Darkness

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Laughing through the Darkness

Article excerpt

Scousers' acts of resilience are celebrated in a study of the city's struggles, says Lisa Mckenzie

We Shall Not Be Moved: How Liverpool's Working Class Fought Redundancies, Closures and Cuts in the Age of Thatcher By Brian Marren Manchester University Press 272pp, £75.00 ISBN 9780719095764 Published 1 January 2016

My sister has a teddy bear called Joe. She got it for Christmas in 1984. Joe is still propped on my sister's bed, where he's been sitting since she was 10 years old. We never actually found out where Joe came from, other than what we knew from the label he had tied around his neck: "To a striking miner's child. Merry Christmas. Love, Postman Joe (Liverpool branch)".

During the 1984-85 miners' strike, every Friday Liverpool postmen and women used to finish their early shift and drive down to Nottingham, bringing the food and money they'd collected from their trade union branches and from the wider community in Liverpool. These were dark times in the collective history of working-class life. Thatcherism as an ideology made no secret of its aim of smashing trade unions and putting an end to the collective class identity that had long been such a force in northern industrial towns and cities. But during those dark times there was also an incredible show of strength, humanity and love that my family - a striking family - was fortunate to experience first-hand.

Social historian Brian Marren's rich and perceptive account of Liverpool during this period brought all this home to me. The love, the warmth and the experiences we shared are as remarkable as they are essential to remember in an age when working-class history is being rewritten by the victors. Marren brings the history of Liverpool to life in all its peculiarities and unique nature: a working-class city that has had many of its own dark times, but has always resisted and found humour in its struggle. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.