The Executive Committee of the Keir Hardie Society will meet in Saltcoats on Friday (30 March).

The Society was set up in August 2010 to keep alive the ideas and promote the life and work of Labour’s first leader, James Keir Hardie.

Committee member Joseph Cullinane said that he was delighted that the Committee was holding its meeting in North Ayrshire where Hardie was active as the Secretary of the Ayrshire Miners Association as well as in his political role as a Labour pioneer.

Joseph said:

“Today we need more than ever to keep the spirit of Keir Hardie alive in the Scottish Labour Party. As a founding member of the Society and someone raised in this area I am delighted that the Keir Hardie Society Executive is coming to the town.


Keir Hardie Society Secretary, Richard Leonard said:

“Keir Hardie’s links with the area are strong. None more so than in his role as a journalist, writing for the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald between 1882 and 1887. It was then a Liberal paper owned and edited by Arthur Guthrie. He wrote a weekly column under the nom de plume, “The Trapper” headed “Black Diamonds or Mining Notes Worth Minding”. Here he exposed the safety practices of the mine owners and iron masters, advocated votes for women, and made the case for land reform and free education.

“In this the 130th anniversary of the Trapper column first appearing it would be great to see the re-publication of these columns. Self taught, Hardie was a great communicator and the best of these pieces of writing deserve to be re-published and re-read.”

The meeting takes place at 5 pm on Friday 30 March at the Saltcoats Labour Club. The Committee is chaired by Cathy Jamieson MP.

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