Lady Blackshirts

The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists

Lady Blackshirts Front Cover
During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. Over 50 regional branches of the British Union of Fascists, with Women’s Sections, opened across the United Kingdom. The branches were established to promote and normalise the ultra-right and position fascism as an acceptable political choice within […]

The Smoke-Dragon and How to Destroy it

Published with an introduction by Stephen E. Hunt

Smoke Dragon front cover
Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was one of the most progressive thinkers and writers and activists of the late-19th, early 20th centuries. He was an early supporter of the Bristol Socialist Society and paid regular visits to the city. Now remembered and celebrated mostly for his support for libertarian socialism and gay politics, he also took up ‘green’ causes. Carpenter’s campaigns for smoke abatement have rarely been revisited. His serialised essay on the subject, ‘The Smoke-Dragon and How to […]

The 1831 Bristol rising

Solidarity in South Wales

  After the defeat of the first reform bill in early October 1831 violent protests exploded in many British cities. The rising in Bristol was the most spectacular and suffered the harshest repression by the military. This talk considers this revolt and, using new research, solidarity actions in South Wales to aid the Bristol ‘rioters’. A workshop at Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair, Room 1, Cathays Community Centre, 36-38 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff CF24 4HX

Army of Shadows

By Joseph Kessel

By Joseph Kessel
Front cover of Army of Shadows
  My partner brought me this book for Xmas. It was priced at 2/6, about 12p in today’s prices. I hoped she paid more than that, but this classic is priceless. This copy was printed in 1959, but the original was written by Kessel in 1943, and it about the French Resistance to Nazi occupation. The German army had invaded France, and an armistice was signed near Compiègne on 22 June 1940. Life continued as normal at first, but the German war machine took more and more. France was partitioned […]

The Maltreated and the Malcontents on History Workshop blog

An article posted on History Workshop journal website by Mike Richardson on the Great Western Cotton factory in Barton Hill based upon his recent book The Maltreated and the Malcontents published by BRHG.

Spies and Trouble Makers

Wales's response to the Russian revolution

In 1917 in Britain, one of the government’s worst nightmares was developing. There had always been a ‘hard-core’ of opposition to the war on political, moral & religious grounds. Over the course of the war this opposition had developed as conscription was introduced. It began to be joined by industrial militancy as working conditions came under attack. With the February Revolution those opposed to the war could see an alternative and a way for the war to end. The authorities understood the […]

100 Fishponds Road

Life and death in a Victorian workhouse

The Kingfisher Cafe, 8 Straits Parade, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2LE In 2012 some radical historians poring over old maps came across a disused burial ground at Rosemary Green close to the site of Eastville Workhouse at 100 Fishponds Rd. Over the following years a team of local researchers revealed that more than 4,000 men, women and children, inmates of Eastville Workhouse, were interred in unmarked graves in Rosemary Green from 1851-1895. Eastville Workhouse, constructed by Clifton Poor Law […]

The Captain Swing Riots

United Reform Church Hall, Boulevard, Waterloo St, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1LF The ‘Swing riots’ were a massive wave of protests, machine breaking, arson and extortion carried out by impoverished farm labourers and village artisans between the summers of 1830-31. Beginning in Kent the movement spread rapidly to engulf numerous counties in southern England. The uprising became known as the 'Swing riots' as the collective destruction was usually preceded by threatening letters to landowners signed […]

The Dings and World War One

The Remarkable Story Of The Jefferies Brothers

Bethesda Methodist Church, 138a Church Road, Redfield, Bristol, BS5 9HH An illustrated talk by Geoff Woolfe author of The Bristol Deserter on the life and times of Arthur and Alfred Jefferies, both of whom were born in St Philips and lived in the Dings. Both fell as victims of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur was killed in action in Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916. Alfred was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. Organised by Barton Hill History Group (BHHG).

Slaughter No Remedy

Walter Ayles, Bristol Conscientious Objector

Upper Engagement Room, The Students' Union at UWE, Union 1, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY ‘Canting humbugs’ was the way some in Bristol characterised opponents of the ‘Great War’. But it is now clear that men like local councillor Walter Ayles, prepared to go to prison for their beliefs, had considerable local support. Colin Thomas author of Slaughter No Remedy: The life and times of Walter Ayles, Bristol Conscientious Objector recounts the life and times of Bristol's most […]

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