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 23rd December 1892. This ‘night of infamy’ saw the Corporation deploy military and police units onto the streets of Bristol to break up a pre-Christmas parade by thousands of the ‘new unionists’ and their supporters.
So join us to hear what happened on ‘Black Friday’ and learn more about what connected the ‘new socialists’, feisty Dockers, French revolutionaries and striking ‘Sweet Girls’.
Meet outside the Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA, for a 1.5 hour walk/talk ending in the Horsefair (Broadmead).