Bliss Tweed Mill Strike, 1913–14

Causes, Conduct and Consequences

Bliss Mill Front Cover
Eighteenth of December 2013 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the commencement of the Bliss Tweed Mill strike in Chipping Norton. The years 1910 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 witnessed an upsurge in strike activity in Great Britain and Ireland involving many thousands of workers. By the summer of 1914, strikes, in the coal, cotton, transport, metal, engineering, shipbuilding and building industries, were viewed by the government as a crisis of severe proportions. This […]

Friendly Societies Against The Big Society

The National Health Service founded in 1948 was inspired by a self-help system which Aneurin Bevan had participated in as a young man. After working as a coal miner in South Wales, he served on the hospital committee of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society which ran hospitals and convalescent homes for miners as well as employing family doctors and even providing benefits for the dependants of the members. Later as a Labour MP for Ebbw Vale he took up the idea which was familiar to him and, as […]

Tolpuddle And Captain Swing: Hidden History?

armageddon
In 1834, six Dorset farm labourers were condemned to transportation to Australia for forming an early trade union. These 'Tolpuddle Martyrs' have become an iconic part of modern British history. But three years before the events in Tolpuddle, rural England was rocked with a massive upr1sing of farm labourers known as the 'Swing Riots'. Dr. Ball analyses why 'Tolpuddle' has lodged in popular memory and the far more significant events of 'Swing' have been distorted and forgotten. W.l. Hall, North […]

Werqin’ 9 to 5

Article: Werqin’ 9 to 5: cursory notes on antiwork politics from Dolly Parton to Shangela Laquifa Commet: Coincidentally, I have been reading Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the last days of the working class (J. Cowie 2010) which looks at the changes in labour relations that occurred between the 1960s and 1980s (i.e. the assault on the 'Keynesian' social contract by the US working class, the rightward shift of sections of the white working class in the late 70s, and the struggles over ethnicity […]

Why Blackadder Goes Forth could have been a lot funnier

Black Adder Goes Fourth
Tommy Atkins' hidden tactics to avoid combat on the Western Front in WW1 or why ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ could have been a lot funnier (and more subversive)… A young Army, but the finest we have ever marshalled; improvised at the sound of the cannonade, every man a volunteer, inspired not only by love of country but by a widespread conviction that human freedom was challenged by military and Imperial tyranny, they grudged no sacrifice however unfruitful and shrank from no ordeal however […]

New Unionism, New Women and Black Friday

The Bristol Strike Waves of 1889-1893

armageddon
Meet at Gardiner Haskins Car Park (near Old Market), New Thomas Street, BS2 0JP As a belated launch for three new pamphlets released by BRHG in 2012-13 (The Bristol Strike Wave of 1889-1890 Socialists, New Unionists and New Women - Part 1: Days of Hope, Part 2: Days of Doubt and The Origins and an Account of Black Friday - 23rd December 1892) authors Mike Richardson and Roger Ball will navigate us through one of the most intense periods of class struggle in Bristol in the late 19th Century. In […]

British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19

British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19: a radical history project for the anniversary of World War I BRHG’s very own Roger Ball will kick off the afternoon with the conveniently forgotten history of British armed forces’ post WWI strikes and mutinies. Roger reveals how the mass refusal of troops across Europe included expressions of militant dissent in Britain. Such widespread revolt led to the collapse of the Allied invasion of Soviet Russia. The second part of the meeting will […]

The Fight against Blacklisting

armageddon
Di Parkin has been a left activist since the 1960s. She is a historian and published “60 years of struggle” history of Betteshanger, a militant Kent pit. She will be speaking about the actions on the Economic League in the 1970s, providing blacklisting information to employers and the impact on militants in places such as Cowley car works and Kent coal field. An electrician who has worked in the construction industry for 40 years will talk about his experiences of victimisation and the campaign […]

The Origins and an Account of Black Friday – 23rd December 1892

Black Friday Front Cover
Autumn 1892 in Bristol saw a violent class war between employers, strike-breaking labour and police on one side and strikers and their mass of working-class supporters on the other; picketing, mass marches and public meetings of thousands of ‘new’ industrial unionists were common. The strike-wave culminated in the use of military and police by the local state to break up a pre-Christmas parade which had been organised to collect money for strikers and their families. This event, which popularly […]