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Bristol Radical History Group was formed in 2006 after the cricket and football teams we were playing for got sick of us going on about the book the Many Headed Hydra (see books) and its connections to Bristol. This book inspired us to look into our local history and its connections with the revolutionary Atlantic. We organised the first Bristol Radical History Week in Oct/Nov 2006 with the following aims:
- To open up some of the ‘hidden’ history of Bristol and the West Country to public scrutiny and challenge some commonly held ideas about historical events.
- To approach this history from ‘below’ by examining the actions and perspectives of those involved rather than the views of the contemporary establishment histories.
- To recognise that the history of Bristol is inexorably linked to that of the Atlantic and former British colonies through its seafaring and trading activities.
- To engage academics, local historians and the general public (including children) in the process through lectures, public debates, films and other events.
The events were a resounding success and showed that there was a significant public interest in radical history. Since then we have organised more than 90 events attended by several thousand people. Bristol Radical History Group group now operates within a much wider network of footballers, artists, techies, drunks, rioters, publicans, ranters, ravers, academics, Cancan dancers, anarchists, stoners and other ne’r do wells.
Through our events we have both created and expanded that network, meeting many interesting and supportive people on the way (as well a lively bunch of nutters and stalkers, we salute you!). We would like to say thank you to all those who have helped and inspired us, and wish you all ‘a long life and a merry one’.
Our events are free or of minimal cost and open for anybody to attend. The lectures and talks are given by members of the public, local history groups and visiting expert speakers.
Bristol Radical History Group events are organised by local people from Bristol and are NOT funded by Universities, Political Parties, Business or Local Government. To break even we rely on donations from the audience at meetings and the sale of books.