Yesterday’s To-morrow

Bristol's Garden Suburbs

Front Cover
In 1909, Bristol Garden Suburb Limited was set up to implement the ideas Ebenezer Howard popularised in To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform. However, Bristol’s most authentic Arts and Crafts-style garden suburb, in Shirehampton, boasted only two streets when the outbreak of the First World War halted construction. In the inter-war years, garden-city principles inspired the building programme designed to deliver ‘homes fit for heroes’, with developments at Sea Mills and the Fry’s chocolate […]

‘Race War’

Black American GIs in Bristol and Gloucestershire During World War II

Race War Front Cover
America's entry into World War II immediately served to highlight the issue of race relations and the contradictions between America's declared position as a defender of "freedom" and "democracy," and what was actually practiced. Prior to the D-Day landings of June 1944, there were just under 1.6 million American forces personnel located in various parts of the U.K, with the largest numbers gathered in the southwest. The pubs in Bristol were segregated with some serving whites only, others, […]

Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars

Thomas Clarkson In Bristol, 1787

Cry Freedom Cry Seven Stars Front Cover
Cry Freedom, Cry World Heritage Site In 1787 abolitionist Thomas Clarkson researched the slave trade with help from Landlord Thompson while staying at The Seven Stars public house in Bristol. This pamphlet looks at how the histories of the pub and the abolition movement are intertwined, and why it should be the first pub to have UNESCO World Heritage status. The Seven Stars public house is one of the most important buildings in the entire history of Bristol, if not the country. It stands as a […]

Hydra Books Opening Audio

Hydra books opened with a talk by Ian Bone on Saturday. Around 70 people turned up to listen to the talk and smell the still wet paint. Also, on Scouse Sunday Steve Higginson gave a talk about the 1911 dockers strike in Liverpool and Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign gave an update on the parliamentary debate, the Hillsborough Panel and the BBC's freedom of information request. Below you can find audio of all of these talks. Ian Bone - 1919 – Year of Revolution' Maria […]

Seven Stars, Slavery and Freedom!

The frontispiece from Clarksons essay.
The Seven Stars pub in St Thomas Lane (next to the Fleece and Firkin) is without doubt a remarkable pub. It has survived the Blitz, post and pre war planners, new roads (such as Victoria Street) and all of the brewery ‘re-organisations’ and changes in fashion. It even lost the community that surrounded it, but it’s still there, a beacon on our past. The reason its survival is so important is due to one man, Thomas Clarkson, and if it wasn’t for Bristol Civic Society nobody would have been aware […]

A Celebration of St. Wulfstan

In between the howling gales, we had a day of calm which coincided with a spur of the moment event; 'A Celebration of St Wulfstan', on his saints day, the 19th of January. After a brief rendition of his life was published in last months magazine, a number of people got together to try and celebrate the great man's life, in the actual church in which he served, as a contribution to Abolition 200 year. Several people had stated that we ought to do something, and contact was made through the […]

Some Thoughts And Observations On Bristol Radical History Group’s Summer Party

Reclaim the Hill!: A celebration of the radical history of Brandon Hill and Stop the College Green Dispersal Order Despite the vagaries of the English summer of 2007, a small but feisty mob of radical historians, skate boarders and cider drinkers gathered on Brandon Hill in Clifton on August 19th. We were both celebrating the 175th anniversary of the invasion of the Great Reform Dinner and protesting against the dispersal order served on Bristol citizens this summer. What is the connection? […]

The Seven Stars Pub & Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson.
A Transcript taken from a document found behind the bar at The Seven Stars Pub. It was an inn in the latter half of the Seventeenth Century, for in the Reign of Charles the Second, Richard Pope, Linen Draper, one of the sons of William Pope, merchant, granted to the feoffoes of Saint Thomas a yearly rent of 30/-d. out of the tenement called “The Starrs then in the possession of Michael Jaine, victualler, in accordance with his father’s will.” IT is interesting from its connection with the slave […]

James Nayler’s Ride into Bristol : October 1656

James Nayler From Bristol Past and Present Vol III by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor 1882.
350 years ago this month a small group of men and women approached the gates of Bristol, singing hosannas before a man on a horse. They appeared to be imitating Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The man was James Nayler (1617-1660), a leader of the upstart Quaker movement and onetime member of Cromwell's New Model Army. The Puritan authorities were outraged. Nayler was seized and charged with blasphemy. Sent to London where he was the subject of a full Parliamentary debate for ten […]

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