Tuesday, February 06, 2007

London's Brilliant Parade

Good comrade and friend, Keith "Keeef" Scholey* - who's greatest claim to fame is that he knows more obscure shit about the SPGB and the old De Leonist SLP (British section) than even I do - has recently written a pamphlet about the old long gone Communist Club of London, which, from the mid-nineteenth century up until the early twentieth century, was the political haunt of radical emigres, social malcontents, ner-do-wells and that one bloke who always turns up at radical meetings with his 'funny money' theories.

Naturally, the pamphlet gets the obligatory plug in the pages of the Socialist Standard, but I think I may have also stumbled across the text online at the rather excellent Past Tense website, which I believe has some connection with the South London Radical History Group, but it's too early and much too cold on this February morning in Brooklyn for me to be arsed to join the dots . . . and the political clots . . . to work out the connection between them all.

I'm hoping it's the full text but apologies in advance if it's incomplete. I'm sure Keith won't be too put out by my linking to the text. The couple of quid in lost royalties would only have been mispent on obscure political postcards from yester-year, and it's a welcome addition to the social history of radical London. It should be filed alongside such texts as Ken Weller's 'Don't Be A Soldier' and Stan Shipley's 'Club Life and Socialism in Mid-Victorian London'.

Finally, click on the link for a photograph that dates from 1905, and is of the first SPGB Conference, which was held at the Communist Club when its premises were in Charlotte Street. Sadly, I'm not in picture. I was doing a paper sale outside the Royal Court Theatre at the production of George Bernard Shaw's 'Major Barbara'.

* Yes, it's the self-same 'Keef' from this stream of consciousness post that dates from March 2005.

1 comment:

Will said...

In the picture - second row from back (extreme left -- ironically) ...It's Red Deathy!