Subject Index: Workers Organisations & Strikes

The content on this site is put into subject categories. These pages list content filed under each subject. You can also use the Tag Index to see a full list of keywords used on the site.

City Pit

Memoirs of a Speedwell miner

By Fred Moss
This 70-page booklet, City Pit: memoirs of a Speedwell miner, tells the story of Fred Moss who lived and worked in east Bristol as a collier in several different pits. Fred starts his story as a boy, telling of a strong community, living difficult hard lives but with sturdy solidarity in the face of adversity. He describes the benefits of mutual aid and respect in an area dominated by mining and associated trades, in a community which has largely passed and is now a historical memory. He […]

One Year! Photographs From The Miners Strike 1984/5

Exhibition Presented By The Martin Parr Foundation In Bristol

transparent fiddle Not A BRHG Event
The Martin Parr Foundation (MPF) is presenting a valuable exhibition of photographs & ephemera to mark the 40th anniversary of the Miners Strike 1984/5: One Year! Photographs from the Miners Strike 1984/5. The exhibition will run from 18 January to 31 March 2024, at the MPF building at 316 Paintworks, Bristol BS4 3AR (check this page for map, access, transport etc) Alongside the exhibition wil be a series of events - see here for tickets - of which the following are recommended: 18 January, […]

From Pirates to Proletarians

The Experience of the Pilots and Watermen of Crockerne Pill in the Nineteenth Century

transparent fiddle Not A BRHG Event
Wednesday 17 January - 3.00-4.00pm - Portishead Senior Forum, Folkhouse, High Street, Portishead BS20 6PR Mike Richardson charts the experiences, in the nineteenth century, of Bristol’s pilots, and their assistants, in their struggle to defend their jobs and their traditional way of working, particularly as steam power emerged to replace sail. Their relationship with the shipowners, masters and city authorities was a complex one, and broke down periodically into open conflict. They lived almost […]

H.H. Gore – Bristol’s Nineteenth Century Gay Christian Socialist Solicitor

transparent fiddle Not A BRHG Event
BRHG are very pleased to announce that as part of LGBTQ+ History Month 2024 Mike Richardson will be speaking about the 'people's lawyer' Hugh Holmes Gore, the subject of his excellent book. Anglo – Catholic convert to the left, Hugh Holmes Gore, was a key figure in Bristol’s labour movement during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Gore linked Clifton Christian Socialists, morally concerned about the poverty and suffering caused by economic depression, with the working class […]

Deference and Dissent

Labour relations in a family firm

J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd, 1855–1927 Deference and Dissent provides a window into the working lives of compositors, letterpress machinists, and bookbinders and their relationships with their employer. It looks at their collective voice, disputes, strikes, workplace culture, mechanisation of typesetting, as well as the impact of other significant factors such as the First World War and the economic slump in the early 1920s. Mike Richardson’s work contributes to understanding the complexity of the […]

North-East to North-East in 2023: Ken Loach’s The Old Oak and the Rojava Film Commune’s Kobanê

People marching in front of a trade union banner at Durham Miners' Gala
The pandemic of crises that nationalistic hostility and capitalism unfailingly deliver is seemingly intensifying. While the asymmetric Israel-Palestine conflict is currently the most prominent flashpoint, two 2023 films recently screened at the Cube Microplex deal with the global ramifications of the still critical situation in Syria. The action in the Rojava Film Commune’s Kobanê takes place on Syrian soil, featuring a world-changing episode in the conflict whereas, nearer to home, Ken Loach’s […]

150 Years of Struggle

A history of the Bristol Trades Union Council

History of Bristol Trades Council front cover showing trade union banner
1873-2023 In 1973, Bristol Trades Union Council marked its centenary year. Bob Whitfield and the late David Large wrote its history for the Bristol Historical Association and BBC Bristol screened 100 Years of Struggle, a film produced by the Council and directed by Colin Thomas. Now, in 2023, to celebrate the Trades Council’s 150th anniversary, Colin has brought the story up-to-date. This booklet incorporates the BHA pamphlet, extracts from the BBC film and an update on the last fifty years. […]

The Dean Lane Pit disaster of 1886 and its repercussions

  In September 1886, an explosion deep underground at the Dean Lane Colliery led to the deaths of 10 miners and life changing injuries to many others. Tony Dyer will explain the mistakes that led up to the disaster, how and why the explosion happened, the repercussions both for the miners and the local mining industry, and how it impacted safety regulations in the Bedminster mines immediately following the explosion. A descendent of Bedminster coalminers himself, Tony will look at how the […]

Trouble on the trams

In the summer of 1901 the Bristol Tramways Company sacked 90 employees who had recently joined the Gasworkers’ and General Labourers’ Union. Another 300 tramways employees went on strike in support of their dismissed fellow workers. This action by the Tramways Company was a direct challenge to the trade union movement in Bristol and beyond, and the wider labour movement rallied in support of the tramwaymen. The company threw all the resources they had into defeating the union and were ultimately […]

1873-2023: 150 years of struggle

transparent fiddle Not A BRHG Event
  Engine Shed, Station Approach, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QH Marking the 150th Anniversary of the Bristol Trades Union Council, Bristol Radical History Group will be launching 150 Years of Struggle, the history of the Council at the Engine Shed, Temple Meads. In 1973, Bristol Trades Union Council marked its centenary year. David Large and Bob Whitfield wrote its history for the Bristol Historical Association (BHA) and BBC Bristol screened 100 Years of Struggle, a film produced by the […]

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