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 […]

Refusing to Kill – Bristol’s WW1 Conscientious Objectors

Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles. Others spent much of the war in prison, often under harsh conditions. This illustrated talk presented by Professor Lois Bibbings tells the stories of these men and the people in the city who supported them. This event is part of a series of Lunchtime Lectures by Bristol Libraries. There is no need […]

History Walk 3: Degrees of Dissent: Bristol’s radical educational history, and what we can do to take learning back…

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
Join collective bread, print & roses on a tour through Bristol’s radical past, present and future. Together we will bring to life the city’s dissenting history, its rich tradition of self-help and mutual aid, from the intellectual and political ferment of radical taverns, to pamphleteering, popular education collectives, the neo-liberal assault on education today and the radicalising impact of the UCU strike and ask what kind of education we need for all our futures.

Studio 2: From Festival to Carnival: 50 Years of St Paul’s

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
St Pauls Carnival is held, usually on the first Saturday of July in Bristol. The celebration began life in 1968 as the St Pauls Festival, when the idea was "to create an event to help improve relationships between the European, African, Caribbean and Asian inhabitants of the area." Called the St Pauls Carnival since 1991, it is run by a non-profit organisation, St Pauls Afrikan Caribbean Carnival Limited. In 1968 the St Paul's Festival, had the aim of bringing together the European, […]

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