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From Black Dwarf to Red Mole

August 29, 2016

Ever wondered what really happened to prompt the split in the Black Dwarf editorial board in early 1970 which led to the IMG supporters breaking away to set up Red Mole?

Well, here, at least, is the IMG view of things- something which we will return to soon…

Red Mole

A statement on page two of Black Dwarf for 7th March 1970 puts some of the other side of the argument but we would like to invite comrades with long memories to give us their views of the split…

A planned upgrade… and an appeal

August 28, 2016

This site now hosts over a thousand papers, journals, pamphlets etc. and, over the past few years, the number of individual pages scanned must be well over ten thousand.


This is most definitely NOT what the RedMoleRising ‘office’ looks like!

My trusty A3 scanner has served me well but, in truth, it is demoralisingly slow and, even at a reasonably low resolution, it takes around thirty seconds to scan a single A3 page – so, for a 16 page newspaper like Red Weekly or Socialist Challenge that is 8 minutes just to scan. Multiply that by 100, 200, 500 and you see my predicament…

So, I am considering upgrading my equipment. I’ve found an A3 scanner which claims to be able to do the job in under three seconds but even a halving of the current time would allow me to motor through the remaining Socialist Challenges and tackle the tabloid paper Socialist Action… and then, who knows?

The drawback

The scanner isn’t cheap and therefore I’m launching an appeal to raise £300

First off, I intend to sell a few duplicate magazines on Ebay (copies of Inprecor are here already and I have plenty of International Viewpoint) and some books via Amazon.

I also occasionally make badges for groups and campaigns. There is about £20 in that kitty so I’ll add that.

We have a few remaining Red Mole t-shirts to sell- I’ll drop the price a bit ‘to clear’ and see if I can shift them.

And then, dear reader, there is you! If you would like to contribute towards the health of the Red Mole project, please feel free to make a donation via Paypal

If you wish you can consider it sponsorship for me running the Lichfield 10k race in a Red Mole t-shirt next month.

All donations gratefully received- you will receive an honourable mention and be emailed a copy of Songs of Revolutionary Struggle– a songbook put together by MacKensie and Larter for SW London IMG back in 1973 (yes, this pamphlet will eventually appear on RedMoleRising- but not until I have milked this cow thoroughly!)






From Vietnam to Indochina

August 28, 2016

VietnamThanks again to Tony Maguire- for sending us these copies of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign’s journal ‘Indochina’ which started as a duplicated magazine, under the title ‘Vietnam’ before becoming an 8-page tabloid.

Tony writes “Herewith the last ever duplicated Indochina, one of some 3 to 500 copies (I don’t remember the exact print run back then), printed, collated and stapled by myself and a comrade one Friday night in Whites Row, East London, late May 1970.

We used to finish in the early hours of the morning and join market porters in a nearby pub with special licensing hours. We managed to collate pages 17/18 round the wrong way. I’ve left it like that for authenticity.”

Ireland Socialist Review

August 27, 2016

ISRHere is an interesting magazine from 1980: Ireland Socialist Review no7

It contains major articles by Bob Purdie, Geoff Bell and Richard Chessum, amongst others, and so has the ‘feel’ of an IMG publication.

However, it does not say much about itself…

Do any of our readers know anything about ISR and its history? Better still, do you have any other issues you could lend us?

The Engineers Pay Claim

August 26, 2016

JacksonI was pleased to find, along with other materials Barry Buitekant lent us, a copy of a pamphlet I’d never seen before. The Engineers Pay Claim and the struggle to bring down the Tory government is by Ron Thompson (AUEW) and dated Fall (sic) 1973.

I was, then, doubly pleased when, only a few days later, Tony Maguire sent a copy of Jackson Worker 3 – a factory bulletin from Leeds issued by the AEUW Shop Stewards and dated October 1973 which also covers the pay claim.

Tony writes “Jackson Boilers was a small engineering factory at Elland Road, Leeds taken over by Tube Investments and eventually asset stripped. The site is now a car park for Leeds United.There were four AUEW shop stewards, of which I was senior steward we recruited another of the AUEW stewards to the IMG. There were also 2 steward from the Sheet Metal Workers Union and I was convener of the Joint Shop Stewards Cttee. The sheet metal stewards were of a more “moderate” disposition than us, thus the bulletin was produced in the name of the AUEW stewards.

I remember the pamphlet. Ron Thompson was in Leeds before he moved to Sheffield. I think he may have moved by October 1973. Does anyone know what became of him?”


Bob Pennington

August 25, 2016

Bob Pennington

Red Mole Rising has been asked whether a biography of Bob Pennington is available. Sadly, that is not the case but we are publishing here Bob’s obituary, by Jane Kelly, that appeared in Socialist Outlook dated 9 November 1996 along with a picture of Bob addressing a London IMG rally and a flyer for a 1972 Hull IMG meeting at which Bob was the speaker.   Bob addressed many such meetings over the years.

Bob Pennington Hull meeting

Bob Pennington Socialist Outlook 9 November 1996 xx.1


UPDATE- Thanks for John Plant for pointing us in to this appreciation of Bob by John Archer

And Bill Hunter’s obituary:

Bob Purdie “I remember”

August 23, 2016

PurdieIn his last few years, our friend Bob Purdie wrote several autobiographical essays on his Facebook page.

A number of these essays deal with his days in the IMG in the 1960s-70s.

In addition there are numerous essays on Irish politics in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.


You can view them all here:


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