The Papers of Hilary Wainwright (1949-)

Scope and Content

The papers reflect Wainwright's political work and interests including; interviews and research into the changing direction of the Labour Party in 1980s; material from Wainwright's involvement with the striking miners, including the organisations Women Against Pit Closures and Miners and Families Christmas Appeal; papers on the Popular Planning Unit of the Greater London Council (GLC); reports and leaflets on women and the Labour Party, socialism and feminism including material relating to the 1980, Beyond the Fragments conference; research papers on a study of the Lucas Aerospace open door project including material from the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards Committee; papers researching the impact of rationalisation on the workforce of Vickers; miscellaneous material relating to Wainwright's involvement with various socialist organisations including student political activity in the 1960s, correspondence of the Socialist Society, the Socialist Conference and the Broad Left Organising Committee. There is also material on trades councils, trade unionism, Thatcherism, unemployment etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hilary Wainwright, daughter of Liberal MP Richard Wainwright, was born in 1949. Although never a member of the Labour Party, Wainwright has for many years been involved with the extra-parliamentary Left. She worked with the shop stewards collaborating with Tony Benn on alternative industrial policies when he was Industry Minister and also with the Greater London Council's Popular Planning Unit during the Margaret Thatcher years.

Wainwright describes herself as a socialist feminist and a strong believer in popular democracy combined with parliamentary democracy. She was a founding member of Charter 88 and is on the editorial board of the UK political think tank, The Catalyst Trust.

She is currently a Transnational Institute (TNI) Fellow and Senior Research Associate at the International Centre for Labour Studies at the University of Manchester. Wainwright is also the editor of Red Pepper an independent magazine of the green and radical left.


The papers are arranged into seven series; the Labour Party in the 1980s; the Miners Strike; The Greater London Council; Women Socialism and Feminism; Lucas Aerospace; Workers report on Vickers and miscellaneous files.

Access Information

Access by appointment.

Acquisition Information

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 and managed by the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.


Collection level description created by Janette Martin.

Other Finding Aids

The collection has been file listed by Qualidata. A finding aid is available for consultation at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre (LHASC).

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Prior written permission must be obtained from the Archive for publication or reproduction of any material within the Archive. Please contact the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD Tel.: +44 (0)161 228 7212.

Custodial History

The Hilary Wainwright papers were deposited at the People's History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History) by Qualidata in January 1999.


Accruals are not expected.


Hilary Wainwright has published widely, the key texts associated with these papers are as follows:

Labour a Tale of Two Parties (Hogarth Press/Chatto Windus, London, 1987)

A Taste of Power. The Politics of Local Economics, co-edited with Maureen MacIntosh, (Verso books, London, October 1987)

The Lucas Plan. A New Trades Unionism in the Making?, co-authored with David Elliott (Shocken Books, 1981)

Beyond the Fragments. Feminism and the Making of Socialism, co-authored with Sheila Rowbotham and Lynne Segal, (Merlin Press, 1980).

The Workers Report of Vickers, Co-authored with Huw Benyon, (Pluto Press, 1978).