‘The Lion of the Occasion’: Frederick Douglass in Bristol

miscellaneous 2018 poster
In the summer of 1846 the famous American abolitionist Frederick Douglass took to the stage of the Victoria Rooms in Bristol, enthralling his thousands-strong audience with vivid denunciations of slavery. He was feted by the mayor and received great support from the people of the city, maintaining friendships with many of those he met for the rest of his life. Douglass biographer Laurence Fenton will discuss the background to and details of the great abolitionist's visit to Bristol in a talk at […]

Otherstory puppet show: ‘Taking a holiday’ and research workshop

This will be the last chance to see the Refusing to Kill exhibition at the Bristol Archives and an opportunity to see the excellent Otherstory puppet show 'Taking a Holiday' and take part in a research workshop. From 1.00 pm – the opportunity for a guided viewing of the exhibition 2.00 pm – ‘Taking a Holiday‘ puppet show by Otherstory Puppetry In 1916, a man of conscription age who “took a holiday” was probably on the run from the military autorities. The show tells the amazing story of how a […]

Refusing To Kill: Walter Ayles and Harry Patch

The 'Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors' exhibition has been at Bristol Archives since June 5th. Just as when it was shown elsewhere in the city, it has attracted lots of interest. It runs until July 14th. While including much of the material displayed previously there is plenty that is new – both from local archives and CO relatives. See Bristol Archives website here for opening hours and how to get there. Alongside the exhibition there are a number of events […]

Frederick Douglass in Bristol

Time for the African-American Abolitionist’s Visit to the City to be Commemorated with a Heritage Plaque?

After the Frederick Douglass event in the city on Bank Holiday Monday (28 May, 2018) in which BRHG members took part and which drew several hundred people we are publishing this article by Laurence Fenton. Laurence has just written a new book on the African American abolitionist's visits to Victorian Britain and is calling for a more permanent memorial to this important moment in the history of the city and the struggle against slavery. BRHG fully support this initiative. While actions from the […]

Exhibition: Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors

The exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ which was in Bristol Cathedral and the Central Library from September 2017 until February 2018 is in Bristol Archives from June 5th until July 14th. The exhibition tells the story of the almost 400 men from Bristol and the surrounding area who, for moral, religious or political reasons, refused to fight in World War 1. Alongside most of the material displayed previously, there will be new exhibits. These include […]

Film Showing: Make More Noise

The suffragettes in struggle

miscellaneous 2018 poster
This fascinating British Film Institute compilation of original footage highlights the passion and media savvy of the suffragettes in struggle, offering a fascinating portrait of British women during this time. “You have to make more noise than anybody else” said Emmeline Pankhurst. A special Bristol Radical History screening to mark the centenary of some women in Britain getting the vote, it will be introduced by Dawn Dyer, librarian at Bristol Central Library, who will provide a Bristol […]

Petition to give Bristol a slave trade memorial & Abolition Shed on Welsh Back NOT another bar!

Sign the petition. Throughout time Bristol has played a key role in events, ideas and literature that have shaped people’s freedom and parliamentary reform. Previously these topics have been neglected because they don’t quite fit the national narrative. The narrative has to change for the 21st Century. By recognising this there’s a great chance Bristol can lead the way. For a fleeting moment there’s a golden opportunity to make it happen; a vital retelling of the role Bristol has played on the […]

A Brief Political And Economic Introduction To Bristol Glass

There were a number of economic and political changes during the 16th and 17th centuries which prepared the ground for the establishment of the glass industry in Bristol. In 1522 the ‘Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol’ was incorporated. It grew in power and influence through the 17th century during which the Society revitalised and effectively reorganised itself to allow Bristol’s maritime merchants to take the fullest advantage of the Britain’s developing colonial […]

Studio 2: Strikes, equal pay and workers’ control: the workplace in ’68

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
    The events of 1968 are often represented by university occupations, protests against the war in Vietnam and the rise of the counter-culture. This however is a partial picture which excludes the aspirations of workers and their organisations in the period. Although action by Trade Unions was improving wages and conditions particularly in large industrial enterprises, the strength of these sections of the working class in Britain was being reflected in new, more radical demands. […]

Outcasts, Cowards and Quakers – Re-examining the Conscientious Objectors of the First World War

This talk given by Professor Lois Bibbings will consider conventional ideas about objectors alongside an exploration of who these men (and women) were, what they did and why, what happened to them and how they were viewed. A complex picture emerges which takes us a long way from stereotypical images of objectors as, for example, despised, rejected, unmanly, lacking courage and/or devotedly religious. This event is organised by the Bristol Skeptics Society and takes place at the Smoke and Mirrors […]

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