This is a list of all the events that we have ever done in chronological order. You can also see a list of Event Series, or a list of forthcoming events in the Event Diary.

Current & forthcoming Event Series:

Miscellaneous 2024 : to

BRHG Mayday event: When Bristol Fought Back

Printers, Trams and Trade Unions

To celebrate Mayday and three new Bristol Radical History Group publications focusing on the vibrant labour history of Bristol we are bringing the authors together at Tony Benn House for an early evening event. Deference and Dissent: Labour relations in a family firm by Mike Richardson is a study of the printing and publishing company J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd from 1855 to 1927, providing a window into the working lives of compositors, letterpress machinists, and bookbinders and their relationships […]

‘Walter Rodney: What they don’t Want you to Know’

Book tickets for the showing here. BRHG are very pleased to welcome Arlen Harris (co-director) and Luke Daniels to Bristol to discuss this new documentary profiling the Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney. ‘Walter Rodney: What they don’t Want you to Know’ is an original 72-minute documentary featuring a murder, Cold War conspiracies, Black Power, the end of Empire, and how that connects to the policing, surveillance practices and social movements of today. This is the first film where Walter’s […]

Revolution and What Happens After: Transgenerational Aftershocks

Ellen McWilliams is haunted by the killings in the period of Ireland’s War of Independence and Civil War and in particular by the Dunmanway Massacre of April 1922 which marked the area where she grew up. Her Great Grandmother was active in Cumann na mBan and her granduncle fought for independence as well as in the Anti-Treaty IRA while her Grandfather was a scout and messenger for the West Cork IRA while still in his teenage years. Ellen will talk about why the events of those days remain deeply […]

Fighting for two Republics : Irish volunteers in the British Battalion, International Brigades

Between 1936 to 1939 Spain was engulfed in a brutal Civil War, as the Republican government struggled to defeat a fascist military coup, which was supported by Hitler and Mussolini. Workers from all over the world volunteered to fight in the International Brigades against the fascist threat. This included a significant number of Irishmen, many of whom were veterans of the IRA and were part of the Independence struggle against British rule. In this talk the story of these Irish volunteers will be […]

Fighting Women: Interviews with veterans of the Spanish Civil War

Isabella Lorusso author of Fighting Women: Interviews with veterans of the Spanish Civil War will be speaking about her collection of interviews from the 1990s with women veterans of the fight against fascism in Spain in the 1930s. Fighting women is a choral book, a set of interviews conducted with Spanish women who took part in the civil war. Some took up arms and fought on the front, others joined the POUM, Free Women or different anarchist groups. They all fought against Francoism and for the […]

News From Nowhere: The Revolutionary History of Literacy

Reflections on the past present and future of autonomous working class education

In the UK we have been living through the dismantling of the public education system and its privatisation, with little oversight of what is replacing it. As the state retreats further from providing these and other vital community services it is useful to reflect on what preceded the current system in order to help imagine what might be created in its aftermath – with and without the involvement of the state and capital. We will look at education as an (always) a contested social space of power […]

Stokes Croft Squatted

  Squatting is central to Bristol's history. For the last 50 years Stokes Croft and the neigbourhoods that surround it have been one of the city's most squatted areas. This short walking tour includes a selection of buildings squatted in and around Stokes Croft and St Pauls in the 1970s, 1980s, 2000s and 2010s. The buildings were used by a variety of people and groups for housing, political organising, art, music and as social centres. Join us to look back at what Bristol owes to squatting, […]

Bristolians vs Blackshirts: militant anti-fascism in the 1930s

During the 1930s in Bristol and nationally much of the working-class identified Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists (BUF) as a major threat to their freedom, their organisations and to ethnic and religious groups within their number. This walk visits the venues that welcomed Mosley's Blackshirts and celebrates the community that vigorously rejected him along with Mussolini, Hitler and General Franco. It will introduce some of the flashpoints in the city-centre marking a proud history […]

What can we learn about mental health care from Bristol’s psychiatric hospital?

  In 1861, Bristol’s Lunatic Asylum opened its doors and 164 pauper patients transferred from the workhouse. What treatment did this new state-of-the-art hospital provide, and how did it evolve over the next 130 years until closing in 1994? Stella Mann of the Glenside Hospital Museum, housed in the old asylum chapel, will talk about the evolution of Bristol’s mental health provision from the Victorian age to the present day. History can be discovered through many different routes. Every […]

The London Recruits: undercover in apartheid South Africa

The history of the Anti-Apartheid movement brings up images of boycotts and public campaigns in the UK. But another story went on behind the scenes, in secret, one that has been never told before. This is the story of the foreign recruits and their activities in South Africa, how they acted in defiance of the Apartheid government and its police on the instructions of the African National Congress (ANC). Ken Keable made two undercover trips to Johannesburg and Durban in 1968 and 1970 to […]

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