History Workshop 24 was held at Glasgow College on 17 and 18 November 1990. This was the first time that the Workshop had been held outside England, and as with many Workshops, there was a strong local element in the schedule. The Workshop took place in the midst of significant political events, such as the end of the Cold War and the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. However, some observers felt that these events did not excite as much discussion at the Workshop as might be expected – suggesting that the contemporary political dimension to the Workshop was becoming increasingly detached from its historical studies.
The schedule for Workshop 24 was more modest than those of some Workshops of the late 1970s and 1980s. There was no plenary session and only eight discussion strands where there had sometimes been as many as twenty. Discussion strands included ‘The Re-packaging of Glasgow – “Glasgow PLC” Conflict and Class’, ‘Religion and Sectarianism in the West of Scotland’, ‘Technology, Work and Labour’, ‘People’s Health and Housing Struggles’, ‘Women’s Health’, ‘Working Class Culture and Education’, and ‘Anarchist Themes’. Themes of education, women’s history, and anarchism had long been mainstays of Workshop schedules, as had the examination of significant local events and social conditions.
A report back in History Workshop Journal remarked that Workshop 24 did not attract as many attendees as many other Workshops, estimating 100 people on the first day and 65 on the second. This, they suggested, gave the Workshop a ‘muted’ atmosphere compared with some of the more incendiary Workshops of earlier years, where there had sometimes been as many as 2000 attendees.