Culture in Society: Dumfries Working-Class History

Friday 18 November | 19-21:00

Dumfries Panel event / author reading Adults

Paid (ticketed)

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Ian Gasse will launch his book, Mobbings, Struggles and Strikes, about the organised Dumfries working class – from their late 18th Century food riots ('mobbings') to a series of significant local strikes, involving bakers, stonemasons and women hosiery workers, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The book uses Raymond Williams' core definition of working-class culture as 'the basic collective idea - and the institutions, manners, habits of thought and intentions which proceed from that' as its point of departure. 'The culture which it has produced,' says Williams, 'and which it is important to recognise, is the collective democratic institution, whether in the trade union, the co-operative movement or a political party.'

During the launch Ian Gasse will outline the history of Dumfries from the late 18th Century, as it expanded from market town, port and administrative centre to larger urban centre, with established textile and engineering industries. Ian will introduce Mike Dibb's film "Raymond Williams: The Country and the City", originally broadcast by the BBC in 1979, to illustrate the wider social and economic context of the development of British agrarian, mercantile and industrial capitalism from the 18th to the 20th Century. The film will be followed by a Q&A.

Venue information

Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre

Mill Road


It is a 69 seat cinema in a former mill on the banks of the river Nith in the heart of Dumfries. It is fully accessible with a ramp to the front door. The cinema is on the first floor. The Film Theatre is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs and has an accessible toilet. The cinema has space for 4 wheelchair users - advance booking these spaces is recommended. There is a disabled badge holder's space in the car park. The restaurant area and museum on the first floor can be reached via a stair lift. The auditorium is fitted with a loop receiver which is suitable for people with hearing aids with a T switch. The RBC accepts the CEA Card (Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card). This is a national card that can be used to verify that the holder is entitled to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema.

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