I am a PhD student in the History Department of the University of Wolverhampton, a parent of two children and servant to four cats.
In addition to working on my thesis, I write about the history of working people, and explore how the seemingly mundane was often world-changing. Labour history is full of amazing personalities that gave rousing speeches and won pivotal fights for freedom, but the people I find most interesting were not the ones on podiums or leading marches. My interest lies with the extraordinary people who had the most to lose by downing their tools with no plans for where their next meal would come from. Finding their stories drives me and my research forward.
My doctoral thesis centres on the early history of the General Federation of Trade Unions and 20th century British history from c. 1890 to 1950. The GFTU were founded in 1899, and were focused on resolving industrial disputes whilst also having a significant voice in many major political developments alongside the Labour Representation Committee and the TUC. Their work cultivated links with trade union organisations around the world, which led to the creation of the International Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). Closer to home, the GFTU campaigned tirelessly for reforms in the blossoming welfare system, pay increases for the armed forces and encouraged adult education services. In 1940, the GFTU set up their own scholarship program; this was the beginning of their present day focus on education for trade unionists.
Click here for details of conference papers, research interests and forthcoming publications.
Photo credit: Ade Marsh Photography