September 5, 2013, by Kathryn Steenson
Papers of a ‘Professional Revolutionary’
The next exhibition at Lakeside Arts Centre’s Weston Gallery features the papers of a local activist and Communist Party officer, Fred Westacott. Flyers, pamphlets and speeches in his personal archive document a lifetime of campaigning, as a supporter of a variety of local and international causes, from the Miners’ strikes to the Vietnam War protests. Photographs in the collection capture evidence of attendance at rallies and May Day galas, and we were fortunate to have some help in the identification of these from Westacott’s two daughters.
We were delighted to discover that the photograph (below right) we had chosen to use for the exhibition’s gallery guide features Westacott’s wife, Kath, marching into Market Square in front of the Communist Party of Nottingham’s banner. This was the first May Day protest organised by the Party after the Second World War.
The exhibition Secret Intelligence and Hidden Evidence: Surprising Finds in The University of Nottingham’s Historic Collections opens on Friday 20th September and continues until Sunday 5th January 2014. Further information about Fred Westacott’s archive and career as a self-titled ‘professional revolutionary’ is available in our online manuscripts catalogue.