Struggle or Starve: Working-Class Unity in Belfast’s 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots

By Seán Mitchell
Struggle or Starve is a compelling account of the 1932 Outdoor Relief riots in Belfast, an episode of widespread working-class unity while engaged in militant struggle that is often airbrushed over in favour of the more typical focus on Northern Ireland’s sectarian politics. Seán Mitchell is however a socialist from West Belfast who has finally given this unique event the historical study it has long deserved but not received. The period under study in fact extends from the working-class of […]

Bedminster Union Workhouse

The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire

Clevedon Library, 37, Old Church Rd, Clevedon BS21 6NN Author Rosemary Caldicott focuses on the draconian workhouse system that housed the vulnerable poor, and in particular women and children. Rosemary will be examining the history of the workhouse by offering an illustrated talk based on evidence extracted from reports published at the time about the violent death of Hannah Wiltshire who resided in Weston in Gordano. The involvement of Sir Arthur Elton of Clevedon Hall is pivotal to this true […]

Nautical Women – Women Sailors in History

By invitation of Pill Library and Children's Centre Crockerne House, Underbanks, Pill, BS20 0AT Wednesday, 19 February 2020 @ 2pm Author Rosemary Caldicott will be telling us about her book in which she investigated the intriguing histories of nautical women. These include stories of cross-dressing women who went to sea to earn a living and the mad, tragic and often funny consequences they encountered and endured. Living in or near Bristol, we’re all quite familiar with images of sailing ships – […]

Gadael Tir / Leave Land the story of land rights and protest in Wales [Postponed until further notice]

Bristol Radical History Group, the Cube Cinema and the South West Land Justice Network are delighted to present the English Language version of Gadael Tir / Leave Land. Owen Shiers and Gwilym Morus-Baird will treat us to a live-performance show that tells the story of land rights and protest in Wales. This follows the popular and successful performance at the Cube by their English sibling show Three Acres and a Cow, which we hosted in October 2019. Description from the Gadael Tir / Leave Land […]

The REAL Black Friday

23rd December 1892

Glenside Museum, The Chapel, Glenside Campus, Blackberry Hill, Stapleton, Bristol BS16 1DD Bristol Radical History group author, researcher and co-founder Roger Ball talks us through the REAL ‘Black Friday’ i.e. not the end of November shopping spree but the strikes and protests of autumn 1892 in Bristol, starting with the ‘Sweet Girls’ dispute at the Redcliff Confectionery works. Come and listen to a tale of ‘thousands of working class Bristolians’ marching to the Horsefair with lanterns & […]

Mining Labour Wars

The Pennsylvania Coal Company and Organized Crime in the Anthracite Coalfields of Pennsylvania

miscellaneous events 2019
Based on his co-authored book, Anthracite Labor Wars, Prof. Bob Wolensky will speak about a 40-year "labour war" that resulted from the mining arrangements between the Pennsylvania Coal Company and a gang of organized criminals. Beginning in 1916, the company decided to subcontract and, later, to lease mineral rights to the mobsters in an effort to discipline the labour force, enhance productivity, and boost profits. Statistics indicated that the scheme worked quite well when it came to […]

The Sons of Belial

Protest and Community Change in the North West 1740-70

By David Walsh
This is a very good book, extremely informative. Even though the bulk of the book is set in the North West of England, there is a wider historical scope. Which would be very useful for the student or historian of the period. The book opens with an in depth examination of developing economic theories. It charts the shift from a largely agrarian, paternalistic society, to an industrialising nation, and rapid urbanisation. Furthermore, the study looks at the development of a mercantilist philosophy […]

History Walk 2: Bristol – Feeding the people

Markets, trade, transport and conflict (17th-19th Centuries)

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
On this history walk we will discover how Bristolians were fed during the early modern era (17th-19th Centuries). Hear how a rapidly expanding urban area, without the ability to feed itself, was kept supplied. How Bristol in turn helped supply the rural hinterland and its relationship with Wales and the wider world. How the market system worked, and how it was regulated, at times by the civic authorities, or by the “moral economy” and the crowd. What happened when the chain broke, and how did […]

The Gallows Pole

By Benjamin Myers
Cover of novel featuring silhouette of figure with noose for hanging in background.
The Gallows Pole is a wonderful novel set in 18th Century Yorkshire. It is based on a true story about the Craggs Vale Coiners. Coiners clipped coins. If you look at your £1 coin, you will see the rim is serrated. This is due to the age old crime of clipping. Back in the day, silver and gold coins were actually made of the precious metal. Coiners were engaged in slightly clipping the edges off, melting the scrapings and re-pressing coins. These would then be circulated. Nowadays, the Bank of […]

Studio 1: Starting the flame: Agitators, Conchies and Miners in the Forest of Dean

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
In August 1917 a meeting of Forest of Dean Miners passed motions against the conscription of miners and in favour of an immediate negotiated peace to end the war. This talk will discuss the role agitators and conscientious objectors played in this process and what happened next. Ian Wright recently authored Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old: The Forest of Dean World War One Conscientious Objectors.