The Smoke-Dragon and How to Destroy it

Published with an introduction by Stephen E. Hunt

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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 […]

The Maltreated and the Malcontents on History Workshop blog

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.

Spies and Trouble Makers

Wales's response to the Russian revolution

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

Hugh Holmes Gore Front Cover
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 […]

Rebel Crossings

At Waterstones, use Union Street Entrance. Sheila Rowbotham recounts the interweaving lives of four women and two men – Helena Born, Miriam Daniell, Gertrude Dix, Robert Nicol, and William Bailie – as they migrate to America from Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester. Radicalised by the rise of socialism, they cross the Atlantic dreaming of liberty and equality. Their lives open fascinating slants on both political and cultural movements and upon influential individuals like Walt Whitman, Eleanor […]

Bristol May Day

Three talks by BRHG at the The Trades Union Councils' May Day Rally

The Haymarket, Chicago and Mayday On the evening of Tuesday May 4th 1886 near the Haymarket, Chicago, armed police attempted to violently disperse a few hundred members of a peaceful demonstration called to protest about the police killing of striking workers. As the police moved against the crowd a bomb was thrown by an unknown person wounding several of their number. In the ensuing chaos the police opened fire slaughtering demonstrators and police alike. In the days following the incident […]

90th anniversary of the 1926 General Strike

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Dear Friends and comrades, Swindon TUC would like to invite you to an exciting event to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1926 General Strike, to be held from midday on Saturday May 7th . As part of an afternoon of activities, we will assemble at midday at Central Community Centre (Emlyn Square, Swindon, SN1 5BP) for a march to re-enact and commemorate the large marches that took place in Swindon in 1926 to support the strike. Edwardian dress is encouraged, but not compulsory! Union […]

The Maltreated and the Malcontents

Working in the Great Western Cotton Factory 1838-1914

The Maltreated and the Malcontents front cover
The history of Bristol’s Great Western Cotton Works in Barton Hill, which opened in 1838, is little known. The story of its workforce — mainly low-paid women and children — has never been told. From the 1830s to the early twentieth century, Barton Hill workers endured long working hours, high rates of industrial accidents and ill-health from the cotton dust and humidity. Moreover, they were subjected to wage cuts and fines by a series of unrelenting managers. Divided along age and gender lines […]

The Real Conspiracy

The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign’s Fight for Justice

Radical History Zone 2016 Poster
It is 44 years since the first-ever national building workers strike in Britain. Five months after the strike ended, 24 pickets were picked up and charged with over 200 offences, including unlawful assembly, intimidation and affray. Six of the pickets were also charged with ‘conspiracy to intimidate’. None of the pickets had been cautioned or arrested during the strike. There were no police complaints laid against the pickets at the time. At the first Shrewsbury trial, beginning in October 1973, […]

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