Abolition Shed

Bristol’s memorial landscape is woeful, there’s not one statue to any of the city's brilliant women, and a complete omission of the most important of all, a major memorial to the victims of enslavement - despite citizens calling for just such a thing many times over the past three decades. Apart from a single gallery in the city’s main museum, M Shed, and a notable display to abolitionist John Wesley in the New Room’s Methodist museum, there’s no specific memorial and nothing of any scale. […]

Abolition Shed 2 – details

A Vision for former Seaman’s Mission and Chapel, Bristol Currently owned by Sam Smiths Brewery (Yorkshire) Introduction After the rejection of our plans for Abolition Shed 1, alternative locations were then considered. These had to be within the parameters of our initial vision: In a highly visible central location, where the history actually happened In amongst other visitor sites with good transport links Fulfilling these requirements, these three new locations were then considered: - The […]

Abolition Shed 1 – details

A Vision for O & M Sheds, Welsh Back, Bristol Subsequently sold to a developer Introduction 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. 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 […]

The Hannibal Slave-Ship

  In 1693 the Royal African Company captain Thomas Phillips from Brecon, Wales set sail in the Hannibal from Gravesend to West Africa to purchase enslaved African people to be sold in Barbados. The journey was a disaster. 328 of his African captives died during the voyage, a horrific mortality rate of 47%. In 2018, while researching for the book Nautical Women, (BRHG, 2019), it was discovered that Brecon Town Council had erected a plaque to Phillips in 2010 without reference to his role in […]

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 […]

Support the Colston 4 – Repeat Film Screenings

Due to people reaching out and wanting to see the films we have added this screening of the short films and the recorded Q n A On January 25th, 2021 four defendants appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court on charges arising from the toppling of the Colston statue at a huge Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 7th 2020. That toppling reflected the frustration of many about the continued memorialisation and honouring of the slave-trader Colston, despite years of campaigning to reveal the truth […]

Countering Colston comment on the first hearing of the Colston 4

Today, the 25 January 2021 four people, Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, will appear at Bristol Magistrates Court charged with causing criminal damage to the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City Centre during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest on 7 June 2020. The BLM demonstration attracted thousands of protestors. These four young people were selected out of a crowd of hundreds who cheered as the statue of Edward Colston, a leading organiser and […]

Support the Colston 4 – Film Screenings

Miscellaneous 2021
On the day of the first scheduled court appearance of the Colston 4, there will be a online film screening and conversations to provide a context for that event. January 25th, 2021 will see four defendants appearing at Bristol Magistrates Court on charges arising from the toppling of the Colston statue at a huge Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 7th 2020. That toppling reflected the frustration of many about the continued memorialisation and honouring of the slave-trader Edward Colston, […]

Benign Force? – The Society of Merchant Venturers

Shielded by their Royal Charter of 1552, the Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) helped shape Bristol’s past and present, but will they shape the city’s future? Regarded today as the doyen of Bristol’s charities, this undemocratic, unelected club for wealthy business(men), is guardian to a goodly proportion of Bristol’s schools and university, presenting itself as an innocuous force for good. Others are convinced that the SMV are outdated and outmoded. The Charter was granted at the time of a […]

Bristol Festival of Literature: Colston, Fact And Fiction

This event is part of Bristol Festival of Literature and you can can register for the meeting here. In this two-part event authors Roger Ball and Mark Steeds of Bristol Radical History Group and Countering Colston discuss how facts, fictions and silences about the history of Edward Colston became part of the collective memory in the Victorian period and were subsequently challenged by historians, writers and artists. Ros Martin is a literary-based artist and activist of many years standing. She […]