Oxford Inscriptions: Pergamon Press

Pergamon Press inscription


At this site, between May 1989
and September 1992, 23 members
of the National Union of Journalists
mounted a continuous and united
picket in defence of union rights
at Robert Maxwell’s Pergamon Press.

His empire collapsed, the union lives on.

This plaque is set in a flower-bed at the top of Headington Hill outside the entrance to Headington Hill Hall.

In 1951 Robert Maxwell founded Pergamon Press Limited (PPL). He moved to Headington Hill Hall in 1959, and premises for Pergamon were built in its grounds. Pergamon started off as a small publisher of textbooks, but Maxwell built it into a major publishing house.

In May 1989 Maxwell accused 23 journalists who had taken part in a one-day strike over union recognition of being “lemmings” and sacked them. They picketed the entrance to Pergamon Press at the top of Headington Hill for three years. During that period, in March 1991 Maxwell sold Pergamon Press to Elsevier, but it retained offices on the site.

Robert Maxwell’s empire collapsed following his bankruptcy and death in 1991. The above is probably his only memorial.

Wikipedia: Pergamon Press

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013