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Regular Participants

David Alston: davidalston77@gmail.com    Research interests: Colonial Connections & North East Scotland 

Born and brought up in the Highlands, David Alston is a freelance historian and author who has been a youth worker in Toxteth (Liverpool), a schoolteacher in Wallsend (Tyneside), and (in the Highlands) an adult education organiser, a museum curator, a local authority councillor, and chair of an NHS Board. For 20 years he has been researching the role of northern Scots in the slave-worked plantations of the Caribbean, especially Guyana. He is among the first Scottish historians to address the issue of Scotland’s involvement with slavery.


Slaves & Highlanders: Sharing my research on Highland Scots and the slave plantations of Guyana www.spanglefish.com/slavesandhighlanders/

Simon Ferrigno:http://www.belongnottingham.co.uk/


Liz Millman: lizmillman@yahoo.co.uk  Main research interests: Shared History between North Wales and Jamaica, and learning about Australian history.


Dr Jim Thakoordin MBA:  

Jim was born in Demerara, Guyana and worked with his parents as a child labourer on Lord Booker sugar plantation before arriving in London age seventeen without any qualifications. He continued his involvement in the trade union and labour movement until this day.

Jim has been involved in local, regional and national politics, trades unions, and community organisations since the 1960’s.  He is well known and respected for his work on anti-racism, equality and diversity; challenging and working with institutions and bodies to promote fairness, justice, equality of access to opportunities andresources; supporting victims of injustice and racism; poverty, exploitation  and disadvantages. 

Jim's 2 page CV CLICK HERE 

Martin Pinder:  martinpinder7@hotmail.com

I am a retired community activist specialising in promoting home / heritage / language learning in the Borough of Newham, East London, the 2012 Olympic Borough, which is the most diverse ethnic borough in the country, arguably in the world, with 84% minority ethnic residents.

I worked for the UN for some 20 years, ILO and UNHCR, the latter being refugee agency, and I have travelled a lot. I am not a historian or writer but am interested by your Conversations. As a retirement job, I worked with minority ethnic communities in Liverpool from 2002 to 2010, which overlaps a bit with what Simon’s Nottingham organisation, Belong, does. So, overall, I am keen to be an attender at these sessions, who chips in in a modest way occasionally – or tries to link you with someone suitable for your conversations. I had a bad bike accident some 20 months ago, which has clipped my wings a bit but I am slowly recovering and picking up speed.

Lisa Y Gabbert – PhD focus

Lisa is based in Austin, Texas, and attended the conference held in July 2019 at the Museum of Wales to explore ‘Clothing the Enslaved in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic’

On her return to the US she confirmed the focus of her PhD studies, inspired by the story of the community research volunteers she met from the ‘From Sheep to Sugar’ project. Below Lisa summarises her focus:

“The Jamaican enslaved connection is intended to be only one of three micro histories that I connect using wool as the common lens that pulls them all together. It is through wool that I will be connecting three subjugated groups in three specific areas of empire.

The first will be a Welsh community with integral ties to Welsh Plains, the second will be the Jamaican enslaved persons who receive the wool, and the third is the convicts sent to Australia. Wool is the lens and the Pennant (Lord Penrhyn) connection is the conduit. His purchase of Welsh wool for Jamaican plantations, and the transportation of women convicts in the first fleet on the Lady Penrhyn ties the three groups together.

I intend to convey that cotton did not displace wool (as most historiography tells), rather wool provided the reliable foundation that allowed other commodities to flourish while the industrial growth subjugated to one degree or another, all of the three groups.

The Welsh wool producers were economically subjugated by empire's growth, the enslaved were victims to the desire for the commodity they were forced to produce, and the convicts were displaced and exploited due to changing economic stability that created a loss of jobs and movement from land.

I want to show the use of wool in prescribed clothing for the convicts, which mirrors prescription of clothing for the Jamaican enslaved.

I also want to point out the irony of hundreds of the transported convicted of stealing sheep, and the additional irony of the ones who completed their sentence and began to raise sheep on land grants, eventually participating in sending wool to factories in England to perpetuate the industrial systems that created the economic conditions that led to their desperation and petty crimes in the first place.”


Christine Whyte is a Lecturer in Global History at the University of Glasgow. She researches the history of slavery and its abolition in West Africa, with a particular focus on children and families.

She has been working since 2018 on the University of Glasgow’s programme of reparative justice in partnership with the University of the West Indies. Currently, she holds a British Academy / Wolfson Foundation Research Fellowship focused on the lives of liberated African children.

Dr. Christine Whyte (she / her / hers)
Lecturer in Global History - Òraidiche ann an Eachdraidh Chruinneil
School of Humanities - Sgoil nan Daonnachdan
University of Glasgow  +44(0)141 330 2000 Ext. 2374




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