Martin, Paul

First name/s: Paul
Last name: Martin
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 18/06/1959
Year of birth: 1959

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth: 16 June 1959 Worthing General Hospital, West Sussex
Family Father – Frank Martin, furniture mover / driver’s mate. Mother,Sylvia Martin (nee King) domestic cleaner, housewife, laundress ,domestic cleaner (in that order). Step-Father: Ronald Godfrey –builder and decorator. Brothers, Stephen and Lee.
Work: unskilled labourer, factory operative etc.
Politics/Trade union activity: Musicians Union 1970s, Shop Steward and branch committee member GMB Brighton No.1 Branch 1984-86,No political party / organisation membership but active in radical politics 1970s-80s (Rock Against Racism, Anti Nazi League, CND, Campaign Against The Arms Trade etc).

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin) GMB

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin: 1986 -8
Source of funding: State grant
Campaigns/political activity: Anti-Apartheid Movement, Justice For Mineworkers group, Ruskin Student Union, anti-health service cuts campaigns, Wapping printers’ Support Group, NU Seamen P&O strike support group, 1987 Labour Party general election campaign helper.
Subjects studied at Ruskin Modern British History, political philosophy, public speaking, social history (Raphael Samuel), political history (Victor Treadwell), economic history (Harold Pollins)
Dissertation: The Smallest Banner (later substantially added to and updated and published in 2002 as The Trade Union Badge:Material Culture In Action, Ashgate
Qualification: Diploma In British History; GDH Cole award for best dissertation.

Life after Ruskin

Education 1991 Sussex University, B.A (hons) 2:1 Modern British History with cultural and community studies; 1992 Tile Hill College,Coventry, City & Guilds 7310 certificate in adult teaching, 1997 PhD published 1999 as Popular Collecting and the Everyday Self: the reinvention of museums? (Leicester University Press).
Work Manual and clerical temping (1988-93); voluntary work in Museums – Sussex Archaeological Trust; Brighton Art Gallery and Mueum; Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry; Part-time museum attendant Hove Art Gallery and Museum (all 1988-93). Part-Time tutor in history, Ruskin College, Oxford 1997-2012. Associate tutor in Museum Studies by Distance learning, Leicester University 1998 to date.

Politics/trade union activity TGWU (as an office temp in 1992-3), UCU 2000 to date.
Family Twice married, one daughter.
Place & date of death

Date of death:
Year of death: 0

Achievements / Publications


(2013) ed. with Hilda Kean, The Public History Reader, London, Routledge

(2002)  ed. with Susan Pearce, The Collector’s Voice: Volume IV – The Contemporary Voice, Aldershot, Ashgate Press

(2002) The Trade Union Badge – Material Culture In Action, Aldershot, Ashgate Press

(2001)  Popular Collecting And The Everyday Self : the reinvention of museums?. Paperback by Continuum.

(2000) Kean, H.; Martin, P; Morgan, S. eds. Public History Now in Britain, London, Francis Boutle

(1999)  Popular Collecting And The Everyday Self : the reinvention of museums?. Hardback London, Leicester University Press

Edited Volume Chapters

(2002) ‘Echoes In the Wilderness: British Popular Conservatism 1945-1951’, Ball, S. & Holliday, I. eds Mass Conservatism: The Conservatives and the Public since the 1880s, London, Frank Cass, pp.120-138

(2000) ‘Sound Judgements: the compact disc reissue scene as public history’ in Kean, H.; Martin, P; Morgan, S. eds. Public History Now in Britain, London, Francis Boutle pub. pp.163-182

This looks at the burgeoning market for the reissuing of older music from past decades(using the 1960s as the model) as a form of public history and aural documentation.

(1999) ‘Look, See, Hear: a remembrance with approaches to public history at Ruskin’ in Andrews, G., Kean, H., Thompson, J. eds. Ruskin College: contesting knowledge, dissenting politics, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1999, pp.145-166

This contrasts and contextualises the History Workshop and memories of Raphael Samuel, its founder with the contemporary study of public history at Ruskin which he initiated, through my teaching on the M.A in Public History there utilising the idea of the ‘historical self’.

(1999) ‘Contemporary Popular Collecting’  in Knell, S. (ed.) Museums And The Future of Collecting, Aldershot, Ashgate Press: 73-76

This is based on the experiences of a collector and his motivations.


(2012) (October) Graphic Hot Wire To The Stomping ‘70s, Bucketful Of Brains magazine, #80, pp.8-9.

(2011) (December) A ‘Social Form of Knowledge’ in Practice: Unofficial Compiling of 1960s Pop Music on CDR, Public History Review, Vol.18, pp.129-150

(2010)  (December) ‘Can You Hear The Beat? reclaiming and reissuing marginal pop music of the 1960s’, Hard Times magazine

(2010)  Shout It Out! (Reflections on junk shop glam Bucketful of Brains magazine, #75 Summer 2010, pp.18-19

(2009) Reclaiming The Ryans Bucketful of Brains magazine, #72, Spring 2009, pp.10-11

(2007) Miss Pilkington’s Maid Shindig! Vol.2, No.1 Nov-Dec, p.10. An account of Geoff Mullen aka Jason James, an obscure British pop singer and song writer from the 1960s.

(1998) ‘A Load Of Old Rubbish?, M.A in Museum Studies by distance learning, Module II, Material Culture course book: 159-170.

This explores the creation of meaning from ‘rubbish’. It is intended to cause students to question the nature of material  value, worth and meaning.

(1998) ‘Contextualising Mosley’, History Today, Vol.48 (5) May: 62-63

A philosophical piece which looks at the Channel Four drama, Mosley and the wider historical, cultural and political contexts, both against which it was set, and which it omitted, as well as its postmodernist implications

(1997) ‘The Vermin Club 1948-1951’,  History Today, Vol.47 (6) June: 17-22

The Vermin Club was a conservative manifestation of reaction against the sweeping Labour victory in 1945. The paper tells the tale of the organisation which was formed as a result of Nye Bevan’s reference to the Tories as ‘lower than vermin’ for their record on health care provision, in a 1948 speech

(1996) ‘Tomorrow’s History Today: post-modern collecting’, History Today, Vol.46 (2) February: 5-8

A ‘think piece’, drawn from research for my doctoral thesis. I discuss the possible future of material culture in a society geared towards the material-less environment of the internet and cyberspace. The future of museums and heritage in such a society is posited.

(1995) ‘Collectors, Museums And Community’, Museological Review Vol.1 (2): 77-86

Relationships between collectors, museums, market traders and dealers etc. are discussed, and a proposal for a closer working relationship between them is made in the interests of the material collected, the knowledge of its context and history and the widening of definitions of ‘heritage’.

(1994) ‘The Origins and Relevance of Popular Collecting’, Museological Review Vol.1 (1): 42-45

The history of popular collecting is traced from the late Victorian seaside souvenir industry

(1994) ‘Badgering The Union’, History Today, Vol.44 (1) January: 9-12

It discusses the use of lapel badges by dockers and miners between 1890 and 1950 as a means of membership control and union organisation. My new book will expand on it.

(1992) ‘Spain’s Other Olympics’,  History Today, Vol.42 (8) August: 6-8.

This is an oral history project I carried out with one of the surviving participants of the abandoned ‘Olympiad Popular’ of 1936. This was to be held in Barcelona, in opposition to the official Berlin Olympics. It was abandoned because of the outbreak of the civil war

Books I have been featured in as a subject – contributor:

Byford, Phil (forthcoming, 2013) The Punk History Of Brighton (1976-81), Brighton Books. Entries for Fan Club, Siren, The Molesters, The Relatives, Life Size Models.

Panciera, Mario (2007) 45 Revolutions: UK Punk, New Wave and Indie singles In The Years of Anarchy, Chaos and Destruction – 1976-1979, Hurdy Gurdy Books, Italy. Entries for Fan Club; The Molesters (1,200pp hardback reference book)

Ogg, Alex (2006) No More Heroes: A complete history of UK punk 1976-1980 (Cherry Red Books, London). Entries for Fan Club pp.232-234; The Molesters pp.370-371

Virtual articles:

Adam Mike & Tim – Little Pictures, August 20th 1965 – Britain’s first popsike single?

The Grumbleweeds – In A Teknikolor Dream LP – an autopsy of an album! (22/11/2009)

Virtual articles appearing in (the lat) Sweet Floral Albion: the on-line journal of British psychedelia:

Mat Monroe’s ‘Dream Weaver’ Moment (#33, October 2004)

Magical Spiel update (#34, October 2004)

Magical Spiel: The Music of Paul & Barry Ryan 1965-1976 (#33 September 2004)

Think Pink: Proto psych musings (#31, August 2004)

Juke Box Juries??? (#27, March 2004)

All Grown Up?: ‘50s hit paraders in the later ‘60s (#19 July, 2003)

Virtual articles appearing in (the late)  Laura’s Garden : the on-line journal of British psychedlelia: (successor to Sweet Floral Albion)

Not Much Cheer For The People Living Here (#1, November 2007)

Pop group biographies / web pages for groups I played in 1978-82

1. Fan Club

2. Siren

3. The Molesters

4. Life Size Models


(2002 –2013) Shindig! website. Monthly reviews of 1960s reisssue CDs and LPs ( As of 27th October, a bi-monthly magazine available from WH Smiths etc

(2009) Gordon Thompson, Please Please Me:Sixties British Pop, Inside Out, Oxford University Press, Journal of Contemporary British History, Autumn 2009

(1996) ‘At Home With Constable’s Cornfield’, History Workshop Journal. No.42, Autumn:190-194

A critical review of the National Gallery exhibition on popular ownership of reproductions of this picture

(1996) ‘Canadian Folk Art’,  Museological Review, Vol 2 (1): 99-102

Critical review of the Canadian Museum of Civilisation’s publication Les Paradis du Monde: L’art Populaire de Québec (1995)




Material in archives or already published articles


Notes on Image/s

Comment of contributor/s and sources


Paul Martin

created 14/10/2013 at 4:13 pm, updated 11/12/2013 at 1:34 am

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