If you are a community group looking for a space to meet, work and hold meetings, please do not hesitate to contact us, we might well be able to help you!

The Sparrows’ Nest presents

The Long Affray in the Nineteenth-Century East Midlands

A talk by Rosemary Muge

The terms ‘Long Affray’ and ‘Poaching Wars’ have been coined by historians to refer to the conflicts between poachers, particularly gangs of night poachers, and the gamekeepers and watchers employed by landowners. The Game Laws have been acknowledged as class-based, even by historians who would be reluctant to accept such a description. The passing of the 1831 Game Reform Act made the conflict even more clearly one between working-class people and the landed gentry. In Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, poaching was endemic. The talk focuses on the causes, patterns and effects of poaching in these counties.

Rosemary is a retired teacher (of Maths not History) who has recently completed a PhD in History at the University of Nottingham, after 7 years of research and writing up. Previously she completed an MA on Crime and Policing at The Open University. Her interest in the subject area arose from living in East Anglia for many years, an area where poaching was endemic; and from teaching in prisons for 7 years, which gave her an interest in crime and the people called ‘criminals’.

There will be tea. There might be biscuits. There won’t be pheasant.

Saturday 27th Oct 2pm at The Sparrows’ Nest, Nottingham.

Contact us if you need directions.

If you want to put on an event and are looking for a venue, please do not hesitate to contact us, we might well be able to accommodate you. We have often provided the space for talks, book launches etc., especially to groups and individuals who struggle to pay for rooms elsewhere. The Sparrows’ Nest can accommodate groups of up to 25 people, the use of multimedia equipment can be arranged if needed.

There have been many events at the Nest over the years and this list is by no means comprehensive. Other subjects covered included e.g. Anarchism in post-Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe, Anti-Fascism in Greece, the 140th Anniversary of the Anti-Authoritarian International, Anarchist writers in the nineteenth century and the strength of community organisation and solidarity actions.

Sadly many reports on these events went offline with the old Notts Indymedia website (thanks for the local Indymedia collective who have kept this once vital resource going for so many years!).

Cheese for nought!

Organised by People’s Histreh. An evening with wine, cheese and a talk about riots. This was the launch event for the group’s pamphlet Damn your charity… about the 1766 Great Cheese Riot.

A City of Light: Socialism, Chartism and Co-operation – Nottingham 1844

Launch event for Chris Richardson’s excellent book. Please also see this blog for details. The event was part of a series of events celebrating 150 years of Co-operation in Nottinghamshire.

Civil War and Revolution: Anarchism in Spain

A day featuring talks and an exhibition about anarchism in Spain, organised with the SolFed and People’s Histreh. It explored the role of the anarchists in the civil war and the social revolution, in particular the CNT-IWA. This tied in with a programme of events regarding the commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, organised by various local groups, also including a screening of Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom at Broadway Cinema, sponsored by the Sparrows’ Nest and People’s Histreh.

The Digital Library - What's in @?

A talk held at various conferences etc. Showcasing the content of the Digital Library and the research opportunities it contains. Please also see the presentation slides used at these talks (please note that various bits of information in that presentation are now outdated).

A Few Words on Poachers

A talk by Rosemary Russell, organised by People’s Histreh, about poachers and poaching in the East Midlands in the early nineteenth century. People's Histreh made an audio recording of the talk and uploaded it to Valentine Yarnspinner’s Youtube channel.

Fighting and beating the Poll Tax

Commemorating the twentieth anniversary of local councillors being surprised with custard pies whilst trying to set local rates. An evening featuring an exhibition of materials about the local struggle against the Poll Tax, talks, poetry, etc. A lot of old friends who had lost touch were reunited. A very good night for all.

La Commune (Paris, 1871)

Organised by People’s Histreh. A free film screening of Peter Watkins’ film.

Rethinking Luddism in Nottinghamshire

A talk by Matthew Roberts, organised by People’s Histreh. A reassessment of the Luddites in the early nineteenth century. People's Histreh made an audio recording of the talk and uploaded it to Valentine Yarnspinner’s Youtube channel

Strikes, Nukes & Overdue Subscription Fees

One of our talks, though not held at the Nest, but at the Nottingham Mechanics, the London Anarchist Bookfair and elsewhere. It focussed on the wonderful records in Ron's Collection (named after the person who rescued and donated the documents), one of the many different archival collections held at the Sparrow's Nest. Ron's Collection primarily contains internal documents such as letters or conference materials, recording activities of the Anarchist Federation of Britain (AFB), which subsequently became the Syndicalist Workers Federation (SWF). This collection was subsequently supplemented when the Solidarity Federation entrusted us with another sizeable archival collection, also containing numerous newspapers and pamphlets which tie in with Ron's Collection. Together these collections provide researchers with fascinating opportunities as they contain many unique records documenting the activities of syndicalists and other radicals from Britain and around the world during the period 1944-64. Most of Ron’s Collection is available in our Digital Library.

The Nottingham Spirit

A talk by Ray Gosling.

The Third Revolution? Peasant and worker resistance to the Bolshevik government

A talk by Nick Heath.