Bristol Squatted

  So much of what we love about Bristol was made possible by squatting. Bristolians have taken over buildings and public spaces for housing, protest, art, gigs, raves, libraries, food and laughter from Leigh Woods to Easton. We’ve squatted in the aftermath of the Second World War, during the Miners’ Strike and in response to 21st Century austerity. But the memory of squatted spaces is all too easily lost to eviction and criminalisation. This projects seeks to map when, where and why us and […]

Activists’ Memories

In recent years there have been many initiatives to celebrate the contribution of particular groups in Bristol’s history, but we know a lot of good people and achievements are excluded or forgotten, including older people. We plan to bring their contributions to life to celebrate and share by collecting and publishing their oral histories through the Activists’ Memories project. The project is a collaboration between Bristol Older Peoples’ Forum (BOPF) and Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) […]

James Acland and The Bristolian (1827-1831)

In 1827, radical journalist James Acland launched the West Country’s first daily newspaper. He called it The BRISTOLIAN. Undercutting the advertising rates of existing weekly papers, conducting a lively letter column and breaking the law by publishing at one and a half pence without paying the newspaper stamp tax, Acland’s publication was a muck-raking popular radical paper for the working classes. The paper concentrated on exposing the abuses both of the unreformed Corporation which ran Bristol […]

Christmas Webinar 2: Steps Against War – Resistance to World War 1 in Bedminster

Miscellaneous Events 2020
Emma Byron and Trevor Houghton present the story of a network of neighbours, workmates, families and comrades who stood together and refused to take their part in the war machine. Steps Against War is an innovative micro-history of resistance to war in a working-class district of south Bristol. The book grew out of a community project to create a history walk with puppets, and the talk will be illustrated with short videos and images of puppetry, as well as pictures from Bedminster in the […]

Christmas Webinar 1: Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’

Miscellaneous Events 2020
The first in our series of Christmas Webinars.... Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Angela Carter lived in Clifton during the 1960s, where she wrote her early novels known as the 'Bristol Trilogy'. Steve Hunt will introduce some of the themes of his new Bristol Radical History Group Book: Angela Carter's 'Provincial Bohemia'; the Counterculture in 1960s and 1970s Bristol and Bath with a journey through the places and times that inspired her breakthrough works. You can join this one hour […]

It Felt Like Year One: A Tour of Angela Carter’s 1960s Bristol

Stephen E. Hunt of Bristol Radical History Group will be presenting an online tour, based on the Bristol Radical History Group publication Angela Carter's Provincial Bohemia': The Counterculture in 1960s and 1970s Bristol and Bath. This event is part of Being Human 2020, the national festival of the humanities. Angela Carter was one of the late 20th century’s most acclaimed novelists and came of age as a writer in 1960s Clifton, where she experienced life in post-war Bristol, looking at a […]

Bristol – Hot spot of resistance to World War One

An excellent new book Communities of Resistance has just been published which takes a systematic look at the networks of war resisters connected to conscientious objectors in World War One. Based upon a nationwide survey of COs it appears Bristol was a hot spot of war resistance as the author, Cyril Pearce, explains: The work which has resulted in this new book, Communities of Resistance, began almost twenty years ago in a study of the 1914-1918 anti-war movement in Cyril Pearce's home town of […]

On Brandon Hill

Popular Culture in Bristol since World War Two

By Nick Gilbert
This is an absolutely epic overview of Bristol culture – literary connections, film, music, gossip and much more since WW2. That’s around seven decades’ worth. You need to read it on an electronic device for two reasons: first, it’s an e-book; second, you will find yourself checking search engines, wikis, and music sites on every other page. In the words of the author, Nick Gilbert: "On Brandon Hill is the first ever comprehensive history of post-war Bristolian culture, and covers all the major […]

Memories of 1960s Bristol

I came to Bristol from Newport in South Wales in August 1962 when I was 12 years old. I had been brought up there and my family came from the Pontypool area. I had once been to Bristol Zoo on a school trip and spent a family holiday in a small caravan at Portishead, both times coming by trail under the Severn. I had also been on a school day trip by steamer from Cardiff Docks to Weston-super-mare when I was about 10. My family moved to Bristol because he had become a Methodist minister, getting […]

Bristol History Commission – some questions….

In the aftermath of the pulling down of the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston on 7th June, elected Mayor Marvin Rees announced the formation of a 'History Commission' to "help us tell our full city history" and to "shape the future of Bristol". Since the announcement we have waited for some clarity about the Commission, its members, processes, timescales and remit but none have appeared. Several people have asked questions of the Mayor's Office but received no answers (as yet). As Bristol […]