Blacklisting and corporate surveillance [Postponed until further notice]

"As old as the pyramids" - is blacklisting still with us? Phil Chamberlain A former member of the Economic League told MPs that blacklisting was as "old as the pyramids". That organisation was shut down in the mid 1990s and its successor, The Consulting Association, in 2009. Where might we see their handiwork today? Journalist and co-author of Blacklisted: The Secret War Between Big Business and Union Activists Phil Chamberlain will use a contemporary case study to explore how corporate […]

‘Malevolence Imposes Vigilance’: State and Corporate Surveillance (1911-1921) [Postponed until further notice]

The modern relationship between the British state and corporate surveillance dates back to a time of rapid industrial change between 1911 and 1921, when socialism and syndicalism formed a key part of public debate. To industrial workers these philosophies offered new ways of understanding industrial work, of organising protest, and of reorganising democracy. But to employers they threatened the smooth operation of industrial production and the free use of capital, while for the government they […]

John ‘O’ Reiley – ‘Man of Fire’.

Men of Fire Front Cover
For Christmas 2019 I bought my father a copy of BRHG’s pamphlet ‘Men of Fire -Work, Resistance and Organisation of Bristol Gasworkers in the Nineteenth Century'. Since his retirement he has been researching family history and I remembered that there was an ancestor who worked as a gas stoker in Bristol. We assumed Eastville as, in his youth, my father supported Bristol Rovers and we didn’t know there were two other coal gas production sites in Bristol. After both reading ‘Men of Fire’ we agreed […]

1949 Dockers’ Strike (Avonmouth): Labour Government use troops [Postponed until further notice]

The 1949 Docks Strike was notable as an international solidarity action in support of strike action by Canadian seamen of the Canadian Seamen’s Union. Canadian employers had used scab crews (in the Seafarers’ International Union) to load ships. One of these, the SS Gulfside, had remained strike bound in Avonmouth from 1st April. A second ship, the SS Montreal City arrived with a cargo of tomatoes and bananas. As tugmen and dockers refused to work the blacked ships, the Labour Government brought […]

The REAL Black Friday

23rd December 1892

Glenside Museum, The Chapel, Glenside Campus, Blackberry Hill, Stapleton, Bristol BS16 1DD Bristol Radical History group author, researcher and co-founder Roger Ball talks us through the REAL ‘Black Friday’ i.e. not the end of November shopping spree but the strikes and protests of autumn 1892 in Bristol, starting with the ‘Sweet Girls’ dispute at the Redcliff Confectionery works. Come and listen to a tale of ‘thousands of working class Bristolians’ marching to the Horsefair with lanterns & […]

“With all the resources at the disposal of the State”

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 […]

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 […]

Bristol Radical History Group Book Launch

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 descendants […]

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 […]