Help to build this part of the rebel road by sending details & photographs of museums in your area to Mark Metcalf at or tel: 07952 801783. 

The Museum of Liverpool
The Dick Institute 
Working Class Movement Library  
Bradford Industrial Museum     
The Burston School Strike

The Museum of Liverpool is housed in a new purpose-built building at the Pier Head in this famous city.  With 8,000 square metres of exhibition space there is room for more than 6,000 objects. In a city rich with the struggles of working people then it's perhaps no great surprise that some of the objects on display recall some momentous events including the Liverpool Dockers heroic struggle in the 1990s.
Visitors will be able to find Trade Union & Labour history objects through out the museum, in particular on the second floor in the People’s Republic gallery (Working & Health section) and the Wondrous Place gallery (Writing Liverpool exhibition), as well as in the Great Port Gallery on the ground floor. The Museum won the Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013. The Museum opens everyday 10am -5pm and entry is free.
For more details go to The layout of the museum can be found here

Some exhibits
Gizza Job Gizza job badge display
'Gizza Job' became a Liverpool catch-phrase after Boys from The Black Stuff was broadcast in the early 80s. The British Film Institute described it as a "seminal drama series......a warm, humorous but ultimately tragic look at the way economics affect ordinary people.......TV's most complete dramatic response to the Thatcher era and as a lament to the end of a male, working class British culture." 

The exhibit is made up of a selection of Liverpool people’s trade union and protest badges from the museum’s collections.
Dockers shirtsDockers t-shirts
The Liverpool Dockers' strike lasted from 1995 to 1998. After refusing to cross a picket line the dockers were sacked by the Merseyside Docks and Harbour Company. For two & a half years the dockers waged a highly publicised campaign for reinstatement that included aligning themselves with dockers worldwide and support groups such as Reclaim the Streets. A t-shirt was designed to show support for the dockers incorporating the Calvin Klein (CK) into the word docket. This was worn by a number of celebrities but most famously by Liverpool (football) striker Robbie Fowler during a goal celebration. One of the hallmark's of the dispute was the political involvement of women. The organisation Women of the Waterfront was formed and dockers' wives, girlfriends, aunts and mothers took on an overtly political role including holding vigils and all-women pickets.

The dispute went on to be one of the longest in British industrial relations with a settlement being reached in February 1998 and after which some of the dockers purchased the CASA. (see section on exhibitions elsewhere)
'Unemployment in Merseyside - Campaigning for the Right to Work' by Mike Jones, 1993.
Unemployement in Merseyside paintingVisitors to the museum can explore the stories and issues behind the events depicted in this powerful painting by Mike Jones. Listen to a series of interviews with Liverpool people who have actively campaigned for the right to work, or who have experienced the dark days of unemployment in the city.

Hunger marches of the 1920s and the People's Marches for Jobs in the 1980s are shown in the painting alongside the Merseyside Trade Union Community and Unemployment Resource Centre, and training and employment initiatives like the Technology Centre for Women at Blackburn House Women's Project and the Eldonian Garden Market. The painting also features Liverpool's docks and shipyards, the Tate and Lyle building, the Liverpool Unemployed March on London and Fords assembly line.

In the foreground you can see young unemployed people, one who is burning papers about job losses and the recession.
The artist Mike Jones describes how:
"...the boy is gazing into the future, the smoke going up behind him transforming into a woman training at Blackburn House, giving a sense of optimism, which is supported by the figures of two children marching forward out of the picture from the Give Us a Future Campaign".

The Suffragette statueThe Suffragette Statue

This statue is part of the Taking liberties - women's suffrage in Liverpool display at the museum.

It is a mosaic sculpture depicting Mary Bamber (1874-1938), and is covered in tiles printed with the names and roles of the women who contributed to the local Suffragette Movement.

Mary Bamber worked as an official for the Warehouse Workers Union. In 1919 she became the Labour Councillor for Everton, campaigning on everyday issues such as milk, education and municipal laundries. She was a local committee member and was present at the key demonstrations throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

Visitors can listen to oral recordings of a number of Suffragettes to hear their experiences first-hand.

Mary Bamber - A Revolutionary Woman

The Dick InstituteOver a century old, the Dick Institute is one of the most important cultural venues in the south-west of Scotland, with the South Museum and Loom Room featuring stories of the local and social history of East Ayrshire.

Unite member Jim McDowall is a big fan of the Institute: “It houses a vast wealth of local treasures including the mining memorabilia which displays the heritage on which the area was built and developed.” 

The Dick Institure, Elmbank Avenue
Kilmarnock KA1 3BU
Tel: 01563 554330

Working Class Movement Library, SalfordTony Benn called the Working Class Movement Library (WCML) in Salford “One of the greatest educational institutions in Britain.” It is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s most important collections of working class history as embodied in the trade union movement, the co-operative movement and the political parties and campaigns of the left.

The library, which is wheelchair accessible, is built upon the personal collection of Ruth and Edmund Frow and its forty rooms hold tens of thousands of books and pamphlets, as well as archives, posters, banners, newspapers, photographs and artefacts. This extensive collection means that over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women for social and political progress is maintained.

The WCML has library exhibition space which hosts an array of information displays, open to the public. Anyone who wants to study in the library should ring in advance in order that staff can assist in ensuring all relevant materials are available from its extensive catalogue. The WCML also hosts regular talks, lectures and guided tours. A range of pamphlets is published each year and there is a library e-newsletter.

Inside the Working Class Movement Library 2Inside the Working Class Movement Library 1

The library receives a very small sum of public money each year and as an independent charity it largely relies on donations from individuals and trade unions with occasional grants from trusts such as the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Working Class Movement Library, Jubilee House, 51 The Crescent, Salford M5 4WX,, 0161 736 3601, @wcmlibrary.


Bradford Industrial Museum 1
The museum is sited in Moorside Mills that was built around 1875 as a small worsted-spinning mill by John Moore.

Bradford Council bought the property in 1970 to create an innovative museum that opened in December 1974. It contains permanent displays of textile machines; steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles. There is also a regular exhibitions programme. Mill-workers’ terraced houses and Moorside House where the mill manager lived can also be viewed.

The experiences of these mill workers are charted in the display boards on the walls and you can get a real feel for just how dangerous the jobs they did were.

Bradford Industrial Museum 2 Bradford Industrial Museum 3

                                                                                          Entry is free and donations are welcome.

Address: Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD2 3HP
Open: Monday to Sunday.           


Burston SchoolMany thanks to Paul Crisp, who is the Unite secretary of the NEY&H branch 410/01, who proposed adding Burston to the Rebel Road site. Paul and his partner Margaret attended the annual rally, at which Jeremy Corbyn was a guest speaker, at the school on 4 September 2016.

The Burston Strike School stands as a living monument to working class education and the struggle against rural tyranny - a true free school of the community. It was officially opened on 13 May 1917. Why?

This article (with some very slight factual corrections made since) was written in 2001 by the late John Breen of the Graphical Paper and Media Union and Mark Metcalf. John was a printworker who was on strike at Wapping in 1986/87. John was a great friend of Tony Hall, whose cartoons can be viewed at

Read the full article.