Working-class adult learning was a significant feature of political agitation, industrial religion, and civic associations between 1820 and 1900. The importance of learning was such that all working-class political movements had stated educational aims, and most religious dominations used adult education to retain the loyalty of their congregations. The talk will explore the efforts of men and women in Huddersfield, Halifax, Leeds and the smaller towns and villages of the West Riding to educate themselves and attempt to explain the impact that this had on them and their communities.

Hebe Gilbert grew up in Birmingham before moving to Yorkshire to study history at Leeds University in 2011. She stayed in Leeds for her teacher training and continue to live and work here, currently as a history teacher at Roundhay School. The teaching of Malcolm Chase and Simon Green at the University of Leeds led her to fall in love with the history of industrial Yorkshire and in particular the story of working-class political and educational associations. Whilst working as a teacher, she studied for a research Masters in history, through the University of Leeds, which she completed in 2019.