Turbulence describes how the expanding armaments industry of the First World war drew thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled workers – women as well as men- into Bristol’s aircraft factories. Skilled men in the workforce resented their arrival. They also defended their own exemption from military conscription. Opposition to the dilution of skills through changes in the production process sometimes combined with traditional male hostility towards women at the work place. Nevertheless the […]
A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. The Smoke-Dragon and How […]
Due to popular demand, the Remembering the Real World War One history group are re-staging the Smoke, Gas, Strikes, Metal And Slums walk that was so well-attended twice last year. A two hour walk through St Philips and the Dings where Alfred Jefferies, the only man from Bristol shot for desertion, and his family lived and worked, including his brother Arthur who was killed in action on the Somme. Learn about the forgotten industries, back streets, schools and social history of Bristol in the […]
When Thomas Davis and his wife Annis and their family from Pillowell in the Forest of Dean decided to emigrate to Canada in 1890 they could not have known that their choice would have tragic consequences or that their personal tragedy would be remembered in Canada to this day. One of their boys, Thomas, would be killed in one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian mining history and another, William, would be shot dead by the police in one of the most violent strikes in Canadian labour […]
Bristol was rocked by two major strike waves in the late 19th Century, the first (1889-90) marked the emergence of ‘new unionism’ representing male and (significantly) female unskilled and semi-skilled labourers. Victory in these strikes improved pay and conditions for workers but led to an organised counter-offensive by employers in the autumn of 1892. The response of workers was a second strike wave which united miners, dockers and female confectionary workers, culminating in 'Black Friday' on […]
Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was one of the most progressive thinkers, writers and activists of the late19th and early 20th century. He was an early supporter of the Bristol Socialist Society and paid regular visits to the city. Now remembered and celebrated mostly for his support for libertarian socialism and gay politics, he also took up ‘green’ causes. Carpenter’s campaigns for smoke abatement have rarely been revisited. His serialised essay on the subject, The Smoke-Dragon and How to Destroy […]
An article posted on History Workshop journal website by Mike Richardson on the Great Western Cotton factory in Barton Hill based upon his recent book The Maltreated and the Malcontents published by BRHG.
In 1917 in Britain, one of the government’s worst nightmares was developing. There had always been a ‘hard-core’ of opposition to the war on political, moral & religious grounds. Over the course of the war this opposition had developed as conscription was introduced. It began to be joined by industrial militancy as working conditions came under attack. With the February Revolution those opposed to the war could see an alternative and a way for the war to end. The authorities understood the […]
The Enigma of Hugh Holmes Gore: Bristol’s Nineteenth Century Christian Socialist Solicitor. By Mike Richardson. This is the second book published by BRHG. Find out more... Please circulate this flyer.
The 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 revolutionaries in the Bristol Socialist Society. His eloquence as a speaker moved dockers and miners and attracted working class votes in local elections. He was popular as the ‘people’s […]