Event from: Miscellaneous 2024

BRHG Mayday event: When Bristol Fought Back

Printers, Trams and Trade Unions

Event Details
Date: , 2024
Venue: Tony Benn House, BS1 6AY
Price: Free
With: Rob Whitfield, Mike Richardson, Colin Thomas
Series: Miscellaneous 2024
Page Details

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 with their employer. It looks at their collective voice, disputes, strikes, workplace culture, mechanisation of typesetting, as well as the impact of other significant factors such as the First World War and the economic slump in the early 1920s.

Trouble on the Trams exposes the fight for union rights in the early twentieth century. At the time, workers could be sacked by their employer with impunity simply because they had joined a trade union. Rob Whitfield recounts how tram drivers and conductors fought back against owner George White when nearly one hundred of their number were dismissed in 1901, leading to a 30 year struggle for Union recognition.

150 Years of Struggle is an updated history of the Bristol Trades Union Council celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2023, and building on the original work of Rob Whitfield and the late David Large. Colin Thomas who directed the BBC Bristol film 100 Years of StruggleĀ on the 100th anniversary of the Trades Council in 1973 outlines the history of this important organisation.

Doors open 6.30pm


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