The museum is delighted to congratulate it’s Chair of Trustees, Lord John Monks, for being awarded the Légion d’honneur earlier this month by the French Ambassador. Around 3,000 French citizens are made members of the Légion each year, while 400 people from other countries are awarded the honour annually. The highest decoration in France, the award was given to John for his work at the ETUC and for his support of workers in Europe.
Although he is remaining on the board, John will be stepping down as PHM’s Chair of Trustees in January 2016.
PHM Director Katy Ashton was proud to attend the award ceremony for John: ‘I was delighted to be there to see John receive this well deserved award, recognising his hard work supporting workers in Europe. John has been a fantastic Trustee and Chair for many years – a great advocate for the museum and has worked incredibly hard in lots of ways for the good of the museum, most recently helping to gain a great deal of support for our Join the Radicals fundraising campaign. John will be stepping down as the museum’s Chair of Trustees next year to spend more time with his family, though we’re pleased he will remain on the board, continuing his support of the museum and ideas worth fighting for.’
As part of the museum’s Join the Radicals fundraising campaign, John and his family sponsored their Radical Hero Ellen Wilkinson, Labour MP who led the Jarrow March.
We’re getting excited for our Winter Warmer event! Mulled wine, mince pies, carols, and a unique shopping experience – what more could you ask for? Come in from the cold on Thursday 10 December for our late night opening until 8.00pm and enjoy some Christmas treats whilst browsing our inspiring collection of gifts for all ages.
Why not give the gift that keeps on giving and treat a loved one to a year’s Radical Supporter membership for only £30, which includes a range of benefits: invitations to all museum exhibition Private Views for themselves and a guest, 10% discount in the shop and The Left Bank cafe bar, and much more. Purchase this gift at our Winter Warmer event and it will include a free gift-wrapped PHM mug, PHM badge and PHM poster!
From a radical bookshop to a wealth of independent craft products and prints, the PHM shop has something for everyone – including the feel good factor as every purchase made in the shop supports the museum.
Our Welcome to Manchester Party saw Billy Bragg perform a show stopping set at the museum. Billy has long been a supporter of ideas worth fighting for, and was included on our Radical Heroes list before being swiftly sponsored by Deb Milner.
Billy addresses a range of social and political issues through his songs, and throughout his career has been an advocate of the right to protest and fighting for justice.
Not only were we lucky enough to see him perform, our honourary Patron Stewy, the renowned graffiti artist, created a stencil of Billy at the event. It now features alongside our Mary Wollstonecraft, another Radical Hero Stewy creation in our galleries! Limited edition prints available in our shop now.
For this month’s update we asked one of our sponsors about their Radical Hero. John Nicholson sponsored Friedrich Engels, a German social scientist, author, journalist, businessman, political theorist, philosopher, and founder of Marxist theory, together with Karl Marx – also one of our 100 Radical Heroes (yet to be sponsored!). In 1845, Engels published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on his personal observations and research in Manchester.
Overall, the Join the Radicals campaign has highlighted how many people support the museum and the future of ideas worth fighting for. Though the chosen 100 Radical Heroes list is reflective of the museum’s collection and the story we tell, it has not come without contention. Acknowledging the debate around the Join the Radicals campaign, here’s what John had to say:
Why did you choose to sponsor a Radical Hero?
‘I chose to sponsor a Radical Hero because I support the People’s History Museum; it is unique, it is a truly national museum outside of London, and its importance is in setting out history through the eyes of the masses, not the millionaires. I also thought the scheme was an interesting one (definitely debatable as the inclusion of the war criminal Thatcher was unacceptable, given that the PHM was at the same time defining ‘radical’ as progressive and co-operative!) and one that got people talking.’
Why did you choose to sponsor Friedrich Engels in particular?
‘I chose to sponsor Friedrich Engels because his work on the ground in Manchester was what laid the evidential framework for Karl Marx’s essential theory of the transition from feudalism to capitalism to socialism. Engels saw the human havoc caused by the profit motive which developed during the Industrial Revolution in the cotton mills of Manchester and Marx went on to show how the working class must get control and ownership of the means of production and distribution. The theory is as important today as it was then.’
If you could nominate another Radical Hero, who would it be?
‘If I could sponsor another, I would probably go for Mary Wollstonecraft, whose parallel but slightly earlier writings ensured that women’s rights were equally vindicated. If I could nominate another person, it would be tempting to consider Bob Crow who died an untimely early death last year while at the height of defending public transport through the RMT union, and just now it would be optimistic to think of Jeremy Corbyn, whose campaign currently enthuses those who wishfully believe that the Labour Party can be reclaimed from the devastation caused by the war criminal Blair. But I think I might suggest Viraj Mendis whose campaign against deportation in the late 1980s gathered a huge momentum, in Manchester, against the racist immigration laws which have only worsened and worsened since his two year sanctuary in the Ascension Church in Hulme.’
Our #GetMary Crowdfunder campaign ended on Thursday 16 July, raising the grand total of £1,530! We would like to say a massive thank you to all the supporters who donated and helped us reach such a fantastic amount. This money will help us continue to tell the stories of Radical Heroes like Mary Wollstonecraft. A massive thank you to graffiti artist Stewy, whose stencil of Mary Wollstonecraft (a version of which we have in our galleries) inspired the campaign.
Supporters of the #GetMary campaign are as followed:
Our Sponsor a Radical Hero fundraising campaign has been going really well since we launched it at the end of last year, with 46 people generously paying £3,000 each to support the museum and put their name alongside their chosen museum Radical Hero. However, we are really surprised that some of the Radical Heroes we expected to be snapped up immediately haven’t yet been sponsored, despite the fact that they are widely admired.
Mary Wollstonecraft, the 18th century women’s rights advocate, philosopher and writer, is a case in point. We think Mary is such an important figure in the story of the museum and we would love to see her sponsored. So we have launched a crowdfunding campaign called #GetMary to encourage a collective of people to sponsor Mary, so she can take her rightful place amongst the other Radical Heroes who have already been sponsored. We want to invite people to join together to celebrate the achievements of this brave and forward thinking woman, who was at the forefront of women’s fight for equality. Why not join us and support our #GetMary campaign? You can pay £10, £50 or £300 and will receive a range of benefits, including fantastic limited edition postcards or prints featuring Mary Wollstonecraft, by graffiti artist and People’s History Museum Patron Stewy.
If we raise the money, Mary Wollstonecraft will be included on our Radical Heroes board in the museum, alongside other Heroes including Emmeline Pankhurst, Clement Attlee and George Orwell, as well as being listed on our website and our marketing materials as a sponsored Radical Hero. All the money raised will go directly to the museum’s collections, exhibitions and Learning Programme, and to help us continue to tell the story of great Radical Heroes like Mary.
Welcome to the first monthly update for our Join the Radicals campaign. We kick off with a huge thank you to those who have supported our fundraising since we launched the campaign late last year. In the last 12 months (April 2014 – March 2015), with all your help, we have raised a whopping £169,983.11! This is 12 times as much income as the previous year.
Here is how you have helped us this year:
The Join the Radicals fundraising campaign continues and we would love more people to get on board. Find more about joining the Radicals and supporting the People’s History Museum or contact email@example.com for more information.
Top image: Sponsor Laura Harper, who sponsored her Radical Hero William Wilberforce for her family Andy, Grace and Thurston.
Middle image: Sponsor Laura Harper viewing the Sponsors thank you board in the museum, with her daughter Grace.
Bottom image: Radical Patron Jon Snow at the Election! exhibition Private View, 20 February 2015, People’s History Museum
Sent out approximately every two months.