“With all the resources at the disposal of the State” (Level 1, Studio 1)

The ‘Industrial Unrest Committee’ and Industrial Legality during the 1919 Railway Strike

This talk will explore the various tensions that existed within the Cabinet’s Industrial Unrest Committee, and its various sub-committees, as government officials sought to confront the different challenges thrown up by the national Railway strike of late September 1919. Reading the files and documents from the National Archives reveals the extent to which Government departments and quasi governmental agencies struggled to contain the strike within its original industrial bounds. In an age when […]

Mining Labour Wars

The Pennsylvania Coal Company and Organized Crime in the Anthracite Coalfields of Pennsylvania

miscellaneous events 2019
Based on his co-authored book, Anthracite Labor Wars, Prof. Bob Wolensky will speak about a 40-year "labour war" that resulted from the mining arrangements between the Pennsylvania Coal Company and a gang of organized criminals. Beginning in 1916, the company decided to subcontract and, later, to lease mineral rights to the mobsters in an effort to discipline the labour force, enhance productivity, and boost profits. Statistics indicated that the scheme worked quite well when it came to […]

Room 3: Shot at Dawn Campaign

The campaign to get pardons for the men executed for military offences in World War 1

Shot At Dawn campaign This unique session brings together a number of the campaigners who worked to get the men executed for military offences during the First World War pardoned in 2006. The National Union of Journalists' Shot at Dawn Campaign banner will also be on display. Speakers: Janet Booth, granddaughter of Private Harry Farr, whose life ended while tied to a post, without blindfold, shot to death by his fellow soldiers, branded a coward despite having been diagnosed with and treated for […]

Studio 1: Bristol Radical History Group Book Launch

Refusing to Kill: Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors, and Mabel Tothill: Feminist, Socialist, Pacifist

This book launch will include talks by some of the authors and time for questions and answers. Both booklets will be available to buy at the festival. Refusing to Kill: Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors by Remembering the Real World War 1 (Lois Bibbings, Jeremy Clarke, Mary Dobbing, Colin Thomas) This A4 colour booklet reflects the work of a community history project undertaken by Remembering the Real World War 1, with support from researchers around the country as well as […]

Mabel Tothill

Feminist, socialist, pacifist

Mabel Tothill Front Cover
June Hannam’s pamphlet examines the life and work of Mabel Tothill (1869 – 1964), Quaker peace campaigner, socialist and Bristol’s first woman councillor. It reveals how this committed social activist was part of a complex network of individuals and organisations working to improve the lives of Bristol women and men. As a campaigner for women’s suffrage and a stalwart of the Independent Labour Party, Mabel saw the causes of women and labour as intertwined. Her interest in education and desire to […]

How did World War One end?

And how is this remembered?

The centenary of the end of WW1 in 1918 will be widely commemorated across the country on Remembrance Sunday this year. However, the military style parades and ceremonies send a mixed message. On the one hand they are a moving display of mourning for the dead. On the other they tend towards a celebration of British military virtues, the heroic defeat of Germany and recent claims that WW1 was a 'just' or 'necessary' war. The popular memory in the UK of an allied 'victory' in 1918 leaves many […]

History walk – ‘Canting Humbugs’: Resistance and reaction in Bristol during World War One

This 1.5 hour history walk led by members of the Remembering the Real World War One history group explores resistance to the conflict in Bristol. From mass meetings of trade unionists opposing intervention in the war, to the struggles against conscription and the role of Conscientious Objectors this walk uncovers hidden histories and dispels some myths along the way. It also considers the divisions that arose amongst comrades in the labour movement, Socialists, Christians and those fighting for […]

Men of Fire

Work, Resistance and Organisation of Bristol Gasworkers in the Nineteenth Century

Men of Fire Front Cover
The emergence of ‘New Unionism’ in 1889, and the accompanying outburst of strikes across the country, was one of the most extraordinary and significant events in trade union history. Tens of thousands of ‘unskilled’ labourers, men and women, struck work, demanding an immediate improvement in their working conditions. In Bristol, gasworkers were at the helm of this revolt. Exasperated by the directors of the Bristol United Gas Light Company’s habitual disregard for their employees, early in […]

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. Equal pay and […]

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.

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