Brian Biggins Collection.


Reference Code

GB243 T/SOR/46


Brian Biggins Memorial Collection

Dates of Creation

c1970s – 2000s


2 archive boxes

Name of Creators

Dave McLellan

Level of Description


Administrative History

This collection has been named in memory of the Glasgow anarchist Brian Biggins by his close friend David McLellan. The materials within the collection reflect much of the core anarchist perspective which Brian embraced.

Brian Biggins passed away in October 2022. He was a highly respected Glasgow anarchist. A larger than life character who exercised an intellectually incisive mind and surgical political analysis and judgement.

He was born in 1935 in Pollokshaws, an area to which he had a lifelong affinity. Leaving Holyrood Secondary School and already a confirmed atheist Brian joined the Govan constituency Labour Party and was employed as a Cooperative Union Organiser where his considerable talent for public speaking and debate was nurtured and developed. Brian was involved with the Left Fraction, the British section of the Trotskyite Fourth International, his experience of National service in mid 1950s Nottingham ironically serving as a formative period for his political development and maturation.

He then served his time as a printer/compositor working in McNaughton and Sinclairs and the Albion Street newspaper print shops before opening Biggins the newsagent in Oswald Street which he ran with his then partner until the mid 1980’s. After that he went back to work, until early retirement, in the print room of the Daily Record/Sunday Mail on Anderston Quay where
he was a member of SOGAT 82 and delighted at showing visitors the pre-computerised “flying paste up”.

Brian had embraced anarchism by the mid 1970s while retaining an essentially Marxist analysis of social, economic and historical process. In between working constant night shifts he was energetically involved with the Clydeside Anarchists, early to mid 1980s series of public meetings, street speaking and fund raising for the Miners Strike. He also played a leading role in the occupation of Price Waterhouse in West Nile St, who were involved in the government
charged sequestration of National Union of Mineworkers funds. He was an ebullient character, warm, intelligent, humorous with a generosity of spirit and always the first to provide financial support for projects and people.

He was an inveterate reader and autodidact, a Guardian devotee and with musical tastes from Classical to George Melly to Jake Thackray. While his activism decreased with age his belief in the tenets of anarchism and sense of social and economic justice remained undiminished.

The Brian Biggins text was adapted from his Obituary in (Just a Wee) Glasgow Keelie No.36 Nov 22.

Scope and Content

This collection contains mainly anarchist books, serials and publications.

System of Arrangement

Items have been arranged according to record type.

Custodial History

Collected and held by David McLellan

Immediate Source of Acquisition

David McLellan

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

Appraised according to the Spirit of Revolt appraisal policy.


Further accruals expected.

Access Conditions


Copyright Reproduction

Application for reproduction should be made to the Spirit of Revolt group.

Existence of Copies

No known copies.

Finding Aids

Descriptive list available at Glasgow City Archives and on the Spirit of Revolt website.

Publication Note

No known publications.

Related collections

Other Spirit of Revolt (Ref: T/SOR) collections held at Glasgow City Archives.

Date(s) of Description

Compiled by Paula Larkin (Project Archivist) in January 2023.