Festival of Labour

Scope and Content

The collections comprises minutes, correspondence files, circulars, leaflets and photographs of floats and other material created during the organisation of the festival

Administrative / Biographical History

The Festival of Labour took place between 15 to 17 June 1962. Most of the events were held in London, however across the country local parties organised local celebrations. Mr Morgan Phillips, General Secretary of the Labour Party, conceived the original idea for the the festival and the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party approved the proposal in July 1960. The festival organiser, Mr Merlyn Rees, was appointed on 1 Sept 1960 for a fixed term until 31 August 1962.

The Aim of the festival was to 'show that the Labour Party is concerned not only with the material advantages of life but also with its quality... it will mark the renaissance of the Labour Party as a force to be reckoned with; it will be a spring board from whence the Party will move towards victory at the next election'.

Events included art and handicraft exhibitions, soccer tournaments, netball competitions, displays of folk dancing, a fashion show, Punch and Judy Shows, a jazz concert held at the Royal Festival Hall, art exhibitions, the final of the Young Socialists public speaking contest and fire work displays.


Letter and minutes have been arranged chronologically

Access Information

Access by appointment, email archive@phm.org.uk

Other Finding Aids

A file level list is available at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre.

Conditions Governing Use

Standard reprography conditions apply and are available on request from the archive

Appraisal Information

No appraisal, destruction or scheduling has taken place.

Custodial History

In 1990 The Labour Party deposited its archive at the People's History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History) in Manchester. The collection is now held at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, which is based at the head office of the People's History Museum.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Coventry Borough Labour Party's arrangements for the Festival of Labour can be found at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University.

Notes used by Hugh Gaitskill in preparation for his speech at the Festival of Labour are held at London University, University College London.