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pile of booksWMC LITERATURE WEEKENDS 2017-18

Continuing a long tradition of Literature weekends, WMC Literature draws people from far and wide for weekends devoted to in-depth discussion and study of books, plays and poetry, under the guidance of a tutor.

A typical weekend will focus on one or two books which we have read in advance. The tutor brings information about authors, context and themes, and a tutor-led discussion follows. Each of the six weekends may be attended as a stand-alone course.

The course begins late on Saturday afternoon with tea and biscuits and concludes with Sunday lunch, with two sessions before and after dinner on Saturday and two further sessions on Sunday morning. A bar is available on Saturday evening.



There are three venues, (bedrooms ensuite), all easily accessible by road or train:

Shallowford House is in a pleasant rural location, 5 miles from Stafford and 3 miles from Junction 14 on the M6. (Shallowford House, Shallowford, Stone, ST15 0NZ)

Wistaston Hall is in a leafy suburb, between Crewe and Nantwich, 2 miles from Crewe station and 8 miles from Junction 16 on the M6. (Wistaston Hall 89 Broughton Lane, Crewe, CW2 8JS)

Foxhill House, near Runcorn, is set in 70 acres of beautiful Cheshire countryside 10 miles from Chester. It is within 3 miles of both Frodsham and Helsby stations. Runcorn station is a 20 minute drive. (Foxhill Retreat & Conference Centre, Tarvin Road, Frodsham, WA6 6XB)

A number of places are available for £40 for those aged 18 to 40 thanks to the Raymond Williams Foundation. The Raymond Williams Foundation will also look favourably on anyone outside this age range who applies for a grant to enable them to attend. To apply, contact Jean Lowthian (Phone: 07952 799783 e-mail:

If you have any questions, contact Maggie Washington,
phone: 01538 751848, e-mail:



The Long Revolution - towards participative democracy...

Wortley hall


This was another successful RWF weekend please read the participants evaluations here

Fri-Sunday 19 – 21st May 2017.
at stunning Wortley Hall, near Sheffield
From 4.00pm onwards on Friday to 2.00pm Sunday.
Participants can arrive at WHall, S35 7DB, any time from 2.30pm onwards


The 2017 Raymond Williams Foundation (RWF) residential will use RW's books The Long Revolution and his later (1983) Towards 2000 (new edition 2015) to review and up-date the analyses of global neo-liberalism, austerity and the post-Brexit situation. We will also engage with the May Day Manifesto, edited by RW, published 50 years ago, with the famous Penguin edition following one year later. The prescience of Williams’ writings will inform the weekend which will also seek to look forward 'towards a journey of hope', within a 'new social movement' embracing the Labour, Women's, Peace and Ecology movements...

This special programme will follow the pattern of successful discussion-based events at Wortley Hall ( and other venues over recent years.


Discussion. throughout the weekend, in small seminar groups/workshops (up to ten in each) There will also be another Lecture by a distinguished author (details later). On the Saturday evening we will have short presentations on the big screen from the latest YouTube video postings by Yanis Varoufakis, Noam Chomsky, Caroline Lucas and these will be discussed in a plenary session.

Topics for discussion circles may include:-
Brexit up-dates; DiEM25; ; From Occupy to digital democracy - 'The emerging landscape of thought & practice'; Keeping up Momentum… ; Compass, 38 degrees and RWF partnership potential; Scotland and new community engagement; The future of Public libraries; Women and Democracy; Liberty and liberation in Poetry; Trident; Constraints on Democracy; Review of the May Day Manifesto 1967 with proposed up-dates…: Independent Working Class Education – looking back, and forwards; Keywords session/s on Socialism; Representative Democracy; Anarchism; Volunteering; Proportional Representation (PR), including the case now for electoral alliances and pacts.

Notes with references, quotes, and suggested advance reading/watching/listening on the above will be posted on RWF web, from now on..
Broad themes embracing most of the above will be offered for larger group discussions on the Sunday morning.


Discussion Notes....

1)Notes on Anti-semitism here
2) Donald J Trump “Is there a better, more apt description of the incoming Trump administration than 'kakistocracy', which translates from the Greek literally as government by the worst people? Notes here
3) Are we going backwards in terms of girls being judged mainly on their looks?
Notes here
4)Notes on a Progressive Alliance here
5)Notes on "Post-truth: Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016" here
Advance reading(though not necessary) Seeing Reason here
6) Notes on Prostitution here
7) Notes on "Generations" here
8) Notes on "Neoliberalism" here

Recommended Advance Reading....

1) The May Day Manifesto edited by Raymond Williams - there is a free edition here
2) The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava(in Syria)
3)On Tyranny here
4) On Populists here


The provisional programme as at 2 May 2017 here


Given the exceptional nature of this event, we anticipate that it will be fully booked, as soon as promoted and advertised. Even so RWF is subsidizing the special rate charged by Wortley Hall.

All-in (subsidized) fee – only 135.00pp,
includes en suite bedroom, all meals, refreshments and all sessions.
£40pp deposit
with balance payable at least 3 weeks in advance.
Non-residents welcome. Fee pro rata, depends on when you come and go. Phone: 0161 477 9376 to Book

Up to six Bursaries for un-waged in receipt of benefits/students – aged between 16 and 40: £40pp all-in Ask for details. Phone: 0161 477 9376

To Book and Pay for the Residential Course go here

Some tickets (perhaps 90) will be available for the Jeremy Corbyn lecture only, from February 2017.
Advance booking only: Fee £10.00pp (including tea/coffee/fruit juice from 11.00am…). Notice to book the lecture only will be posted in February.