Between January 2008 and May 2009 Bristol Radical History Group raised over £3000 for a new plaque outside The Seven Stars pub in Thomas Lane, Redcliffe, Bristol. The pub is not only an important historical landmark in Bristol but also holds a unique place within world history.

The Seven Stars Plaque in Mike Baker's Workshop.
The Seven Stars Plaque in Mike Baker’s Workshop.

The Seven Stars, and the help given by Landlord Thompson, played a major role in enabling abolitionist Thomas Clarkson to gather evidence which changed British Public Opinion about the slave trade, demonstrating first the terrible fate that befell sailors, and then the even more horrific fate of the enslaved.

The finished plaque
The finished plaque

The pub already had a blue plaque, but this barely depicts the actual importance of the pub – both nationally and internationally. In fact this plaque does not even mention the anti-slavery movement or use the phrase “slave trade”, it only says that Clarkson stayed at the pub while gathering information concerning the conditions on slave ships.

Mike Baker with the plaque
Mike Baker with the plaque

New studies initiated by Bristol Radical History Group revealed a set of amazing coincidences that symbolise the decades of struggle that finally led to the end of large scale slaving.

The new plaque, designed by Mike Baker, a local artists, is made from cast aluminium and painted with a motifs that depict Thomas Clarkson, the pub itself and references to the slave trade and anti-slavery movement.

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The plaque was unveiled by Richard Hart on Friday 1st May 2009.

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Special Thanks To …

Mike Baker (the plaque designer, sculptor and painter)
Steve and Katy (Seven Stars)
St. John’s College Cambridge
South West TUC
Living Easton
Wards Signs
The Bristol Civic Society
Marcus Rediker (University of Pittsburgh)
Who’s Afear’d and friends
Garry Brooke
Gordon Young (BFVS)
Miles Chambers (Radio Ujima)
Mel Plumer
Dave, Anny & Bill Cullum
Richard Jones (Tangent Books)
Sophy Gardiner
Harvey Tadman
Mark Steeds
The Lipman-Miliband Trust
Unision (University of Bristol, UWE Frenchay)
Unite
Steve Plumeridge (Pints West)
David Duff
Madge Dresser (University of West of England)
The Surfin’ Turnips
Martin Maudsley and the Cheese Strings
Eugene Byrne
Jim McNeil
The Long John Silver Trust
Fred & Vera Trinder
Randall Brantley
Colin Thomas
Ian Bone

Programme:

Date Time Title Details With Link
, 2008 The Surfin’ Turnips/ Who’s Afear’d/ Paul McCoch An evening of local legends. Surfin' Turnips,
Who's Afear'd,
Paul McCoch
, 2009 Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars! During the Abolition bicentenary of 2007, Bristol Radical History Group commissioned a commemorative plaque to celebrate the anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson and the Bristol sailors who […] Richard Hart
, 2009 Wet The Plaque’s Head An evening celebration the new plaque featuring live music, poetry, beer and more... Featuring Tekla, Milo and The Shin Kicking Privateers.

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