Callout for feedback on our 4th Bristol Radical History Festival

How time flies in the midst of the multiple global crisis of capitalism! A week ago our 4th Bristol Radical History Festival was just beginning, and we at BRHG were pretty pleased with how it all went, especially as we put it on at fairly short notice after the event was postponed due to covid in 2020 and 2021. A big thank you to all the excellent speakers, to the radical history walk guides, the stallholders who came from near and far, the singing of Red Notes socialist choir, and the films we […]

You are invited: to the 4th Bristol Radical History Festival on 14th May

We are delighted to welcome people back to M Shed this Saturday, 14th May, for our 4th Bristol Radical History Festival. It's been a frustrating two years of delays and postponements due to covid since this was first planned, but now all systems are go! All are welcome - this is a free event, you do not need to buy a ticket. Here's the Directions to M Shed. We have organised a full programme of events for our 2022 Radical History Festival, in collaboration with our hosts at M Shed. The Festival […]

Downs row – Merchants hit back over criticism

In a report in the Bristol Post of Wednesday 26 January 2022, the Society of Merchant Venturers [SMVs] hit back at critics who want them to give up their half of the Downs and their role in managing the public common. The article, Downs row – Merchants hit back over criticism, was based upon the outcome of a meeting of the Downs Committee that was held on Monday 24th Jan, where campaigners in the ‘Downs for People’ [DfP] pressure group, backed by a Green councillor, demanded that the ancient […]

Congratulations Barbados

Ripples across the Pond

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
On Tuesday 30 November 2021, marking the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, Barbados proudly became a Republic. In 2020 the then governor-general of Barbados, Sandra Mason, now president and head of state, stated that "the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state." The former Barbadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Guy Hewitt, stated in an interview that many Barbadians believe that the country was due for "a […]

Deliberately Maintaining the Silence on Slavery History

Calls for ‘an international memorial to the victims of enslavement’[1] sound reasonable, but my own experience this year uncovered a strong tendency to keep slavery history hidden. I was ambivalent last year when Colston was toppled. Of course, black lives matter, but so does history. I was apprehensive about other groups damaging historical objects. The protest, however, set me thinking, recognising my limited understanding, and eventually investigating slavery issues. Last year, I began to […]

The Dragon has two tongues rises again…

After more than 35 years in obscurity the hugely influential TV series The Dragon Has Two Tongues, a history of Wales, has risen again. This week the Welsh Underground Network made the following statement: Subject of copyright strikes, legal threats, and much discussion, we are extremely proud to host every episode of ‘The Dragon has Two Tongues’, the classic series featuring Gwyn Alf Williams and Wynford Vaughan-Thomas debating Welsh history. First broadcast over forty years ago, each attempt […]

If you are Glad Colston’s Gone – support the Colston Topplers Defence Fund!

One year on from the fall of the Edward Colston statue from it's pedestal during the Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June 2020, there's been another media feeding frenzy focused on Bristol. The iconic statue toppling event continues to buzz around the world's newswires. But let's not forget that some participants in that event remain severely under pressure from the British state and its lackeys with a Crown Court trial due to start on 13 December 2021. We support the call to #DropTheCharges. We […]

Statement of Support for the Toppling of the Colston Statue & for the Four Colston Defendants

Early this morning, on the first anniversary of the toppling of the slave-trader and former Tory MP Edward Colston from his plinth, the campaign coalition @GladColstonsGone issued the following statement and a press release. Amidst the chatter from policiticans, celebrities and media, it will likely be ignored, not least because it calls for the charges to be dropped against the four Colston Statue Defendants. But we reprint it here in full and unedited, because it's a collective work of […]

The M Shed Colston ‘Consultative Display’ – What’s in and what’s out?

Introduction After months of secrecy instigated by the Mayor’s Office finally M Shed are launching their ‘Consultative Display” entitled The Colston Statue: What Next? For many of us the Colston statue should have been left to ‘sleep with the fishes’, where many thousands of his Company’s victims ended up during the middle-passage. But a mixture of paranoia in the Mayor’s Office about a public backlash which might have affected his chances for re-election or perhaps seeing an opportunity to up […]

Abolition Shed 2 – details

A Vision for former Seaman’s Mission and Chapel, Bristol Currently owned by Sam Smiths Brewery (Yorkshire) Introduction After the rejection of our plans for Abolition Shed 1, alternative locations were then considered. These had to be within the parameters of our initial vision: In a highly visible central location, where the history actually happened In amongst other visitor sites with good transport links Fulfilling these requirements, these three new locations were then considered: - The […]