“To inflame the imagination of others” – that is the way shop steward convenor Mike Cooley saw the Lucas Aerospace Alternative Plan. The Plan had arisen out of the threat of massive redundancies at Lucas Aerospace in 1976 where half of its output depended on military contracts. Why, asked its workers, can’t we use our skills in creating socially useful products instead of making killing machines? And wouldn’t it make more sense spending money on things that society needed rather than on […]
As part of the Journey to Justice events this walk is about the struggles of Bristol’s men and women workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It starts on Valentine Bridge (behind Temple Meads Railway Station) with an introductory talk, crosses over to Avon Street, continues through the old industrial working class areas of St Philip’s and Barton Hill via the Great Western Cotton Factory, and ends at the Old Council House in Corn Street. Starting at Valentine Bridge on the Floating […]
"Battling for Bristol" is an evening of films, put on by the Bristol Radical History Group as part of the Journey to Justice month. The series of short films cover Bristol struggles for equal rights. It will include the risings of 1831,1980 and 1986, the demands for decent housing and for equality for women workers, as well as a documentary of the boycott that ended job discrimination on Bristol buses.
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.