From Pirates to Proletarians

The Experience of the Pilots and Watermen of Crockerne Pill in the Nineteenth Century

Event Details
Date: , 2024
Time: to
With: Mike Richardson
Note: This event was not organised by BRHG.
Page Details
Section: Events
Subjects: Commons, Customary Rights & Enclosures, Workers Organisations & Strikes
Tags: , ,
Posted: Modified:
Pill Pilotsand Westernmen 1880
Pill Pilots and Westernmen 1880 outside the Waterloo.

Wednesday 17 January – 3.00-4.00pm – Portishead Senior Forum, Folkhouse, High Street, Portishead BS20 6PR

Mike Richardson charts the experiences, in the nineteenth century, of Bristol’s pilots, and their assistants, in their struggle to defend their jobs and their traditional way of working, particularly as steam power emerged to replace sail. Their relationship with the shipowners, masters and city authorities was a complex one, and broke down periodically into open conflict. They lived almost exclusively in Crockerne Pill, a small village, five miles from Bristol, situated on the south side of the river Avon. Pill people exhibited a lack of deference and were looked upon by the Bristol authorities, and many town-dwellers, as disorderly and difficult. As the nineteenth century progressed, however, the realization took hold that the interests of the pilots and watermen of Pill had much in common with trade unionists in Bristol and the wider labour movement.

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