Papers of Sandy Hobbs, left wing activist, b.1937

Scope and Content

  • Papers relating to Sandy Hobbs' employed career including: Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland: Jordanhill Branch (ALCES) minutes, reports and correspondence 1972-1974
  • Edinburgh College of Education circulars and notes 1968-1969
  • Higher Education Communist Party: Scottish Higher Education Policy correspondence, notes and papers 1957-1977
  • Papers relating to Janey Buchan and Hobbs' as her Agent for 1965 elections and her subsequent political career 1965-1973
  • Hugh MacDairmid Rectorial campaign papers, University of Aberdeen 1960
  • Papers relating to teaching shortages and other aspects of education 1964-1973
  • Young Teachers Action Committee correspondence, papers and circulars 1965-1966
  • Papers relating to Sandy Hobbs' political affiliations and interests, including: CND pamphlets, correspondence, circulars, newsletters, newspaper 1957-1978
  • Dundee CND minutes and financial records 1960-1965
  • Fife Socialist League newscuttings and correspondence 1960-1975
  • International Socialists Bulletin 1966-1972
  • International Socialists Glasgow circulars, correspondence, newscuttings, minutes, leaflets and pamphlets 1963-1978
  • Left Fraction Bulletin and associated papers 1958-1974
  • Miscellaneous political pamphlets and newsletters 1961-1977
  • New Left Aberdeen and New Left Scotland newscuttings, papers, correspondence 1959-1972
  • Presscuttings regarding Norman and Janey Buchan 1961-1991
  • Subject files including: Anti Apartheid Movement 1960
  • Industrial Training notes 1970
  • Correspondence and newscuttings regarding the People's Palace, Glasgow 1992-1996
  • Racist leaflets and pamphlets 1963-1976
  • South Africa 1948-1994
  • 7 Days, Scottish radical newspaper 1977-1978
  • Presscuttings from Voices of Socialism 1964-1968
  • Published materials: miscellaneous political journals 1945-1997
  • Peace News newspaper 1963-1971
  • Socialist Worker newspaper 1969-1979

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Hobbs, or Sandy, as he is known, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in  1937 . In 1954, he started at the  University of Aberdeen studying psychology. Although not an actively political student he was a member of a small informal circle who saw socialism, humanism and science as intimately linked and also around this time became a member of the Aberdeen Humanist Group. After graduating in 1958 he continued at the University as a postgraduate although he never completed his PhD. As a postgraduate, he became heavily involved in political and cultural activities, becoming the first secretary of Aberdeen Left Club. He was also a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), New Left and attended many regional and national meetings, becoming friendly with, amongst others, ex-communists such as Norman and Janey Buchan. In the run-up to the 1959 General Election, Sandy worked nearly full-time for the South Aberdeen Labour candidate and also joined the party, remaining a member for 12 years. He was also an "outside" member of the Fife Socialist League. Also around this time, the Labour Party founded the Young Socialists, and Sandy's political activities focused on this movement until he left Aberdeen in  1961 .

That same year, Sandy married a fellow student, Lois Kemp, a leading member of the student CND and daughter of Labour Party Activist William Kemp. Through his association with the Young Socialists, Sandy came into contact with various Trotskyist groups who were working within the Labour Party at the time. As a result, he become close to the Labour Worker group but was never a member. He joined the Dundee Left Club but became more active in the CND, especially in publicising the Scottish CND. In  1965  Sandy moved to Glasgow, becoming more involved in the adult Labour Party, chairing his local branch and acting as Janey Buchan's campaign manager for a local government election. He was again involved in the election campaigns for the 1970 General Election after which time he resigned from the Labour Party having become disillusioned by Harold Wilson's government. The New Left was running out steam by this point but a number of single-issue campaigns were gaining in prominence and he became involved with the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) and the Glasgow Committee Against Racism.

In  1968 , Sandy started as a lecturer, he lectured at Edinburgh College of Commerce where he chaired the Staff Association before moving to Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow, in  1969  where he was involved in the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland (ALCES). On his move to Paisley College, Renfrewshire, Scotland, (later the University of Paisley) in  1975  he was a member of the Association of Lecturers in Scottish Central Institutions (ALSCI). Upon leaving the Labour Party, Sandy became attached to the International Socialists, who later became the Socialist Workers Party. However, he was never comfortable with the group and left a few years later in part because he found it much more congenial working on the less sectarian radical paper, Glasgow News. He also became involved with the Chilean Committee for Human Rights that supported refugees from the regime of Pinochet. For a time, he rejoined the Labour Party as a way of forwarding the work of this committee. From the mid-1970s onwards, Sandy dropped out of active politics while his wife, Lois, continued to play an active part in the Women's Movement and Glasgow Women's Aid. Instead, he concentrated on research, writing and publishing as a lecturer within the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the  University of Paisley and qualifying as a Chartered Psychologist which he achieved in  1990 . In  1997 , he became a Reader at the University of Paisley and in 2002 became an Honorary Research Fellow, concentrating on children and education.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information

Bona fide researchers only. Written research proposals should be submitted to the Research Collections Manager.

Acquisition Information

Received from the creator, Sandy Hobbs


Please note that the archive is not yet fully catalogued and further materials have yet to be identified.

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level lists are available in searchroom Please note, that as of 2002 the papers are still in the process of being catalogued and further material is still to be identified. Further information on the collection and its non-archival content can be found via the Sandy Hobbs web page at Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections .

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Research Collections Manager

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Sandy Hobbs


Accruals possible

Related Material

See also the Sandy Hobbs Special Collection and the Sandy Hobbs web page; GB 1847 AAMS: Records of Anti Apartheid Movement Scottish Committee; GB 1847; The Norman and Janey Buchan Special Collection; GB 1847 Kemp: Papers of William Kemp, Labour Party activist.

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 15 November 2002.