The Cry of the Poor

Being a Letter from Sixteen Working Men of Bristol to the Sixteen Aldermen of the City

Cry of the Poor front cover with a William Morris print
"Being a Letter from Sixteen Working Men of various trades, to the Sixteen Aldermen of Bristol." This impassioned and lucidly argued letter, written in 1871, set out demands for improvements to the quality of life for Bristol’s working people: clean air, parks, bathing places, libraries, a fish market and an end to bridge tolls. Over the subsequent 20 years most of these demands were met. However, 150 years on from that letter we find ourselves fighting to retain some of those historic gains, in […]

Hilda Cashmore

Pioneering community worker and founder of Bristol’s Barton Hill Settlement

Hilda Cashmore front cover depicting the cottages that became Barton Hill Settlement.
Hilda Cashmore (1876-1943), her life and community work in Bristol and beyond. Over 100 years since its foundation, Bristol’s Barton Hill Settlement is still operating as an important community hub in the city. This book tells the story of its first warden, Hilda Cashmore, her campaign to establish the Settlement, and her approach to social work as exemplified by its activities in its early days. But Cashmore’s commitment to providing social care went far beyond Bristol. The book covers her […]

Tremors of Discontent

My Life in Print 1970-1988

Tremors of Discontent Front cover showing Mike Richardson speaking into a microphone
While there are many academic studies of workers’ resistance and consciousness during the 1970s and 1980s, few accounts relate the personal-political experiences of the activists involved. Tremors of Discontent, however, explores how Mike Richardson’s individual consciousness came to change during that period. It shows how gradually his participation in trade union and left politics broke through his boyhood reserve, intensified by the external political, economic and social circumstances. By […]

De-Convicted

The convicts who got a second chance

De-Convicted cover - man's hands holding prison cell bars and a pencil
This pamphlet analyses British penology by focussing on three case studies, spread across two centuries, all with Bristol connections. Francis Greenway, originally sentenced to death for forgery in Bristol, was transported to Australia where he became the colony’s leading architect; Douglas Curtis, who moved on from Cotham Grammar School to specialising in the theft of luxury yachts, eventually graduated from Cambridge University but didn’t forget the interests of those who were once his fellow […]

State Snooping

Spooks, Cops and Double Agents

State Snooping front Covers. I man's face split in two, ha;f copper, half crusty activist.
In the 1550s Elizabeth I claimed that she had “no desire to open windows into men’s souls” while seeking to do just that. This pamphlet traces a near 500 year history of British governments snooping into the lives of its citizens. From the anti-Catholic paranoia of the sixteenth century to the effect of the radical ideas underlying the French Revolution of the eighteenth, the state increasingly expanded its surveillance activities. Industrialisation in the nineteenth century gave birth to mass […]

The Forest of Dean Miners’ Riot of 1831

Forest Of Dean Miners' Strike 1831 Front Cover
In June 1831, the free miners and commoners of the Forest of Dean rioted. This book considers the background to the uprising and the motives of the participants. Chris Fisher contends that the uprising was a clear expression of considerable and justifiable resentment towards the state and capitalists as they encroached on the customary rights of free miners. The Forest of Dean Miners’ Riot of 1831 places the events in the context of a social and economic transformation which favoured private […]

Steps Against War

Resistance to World War 1 in Bedminster

Front cover showing two puppets from the history walk
In World War 1 there were at least 40 conscientious objectors in Bedminster, as well as others who resisted the war and conscription. Fred Berriman took an uncompromising stand and faced repeated prison sentences. Annie Chappell co-ordinated a network of support for objectors. William Livingston went on the run in Scotland with London anarchists. George Barker and Walter Told excavated a secret chamber beneath a bike shop to hide objectors and deserters. These individuals were part of a network […]

God’s Beautiful Sunshine

The 1921 Miners’ Lockout in the Forest of Dean

Front cover with a photo of striking miners and their families enjoying a picnic
In 1921, in response to a severe depression in the coal trade, colliery owners, supported by the government, slashed labour costs. Refusing to accept this cut in wages, a million British miners, including many war veterans, were locked out of their pits. The consequences for the 6,000 Forest of Dean miners, their families and the whole community, was brutal. However, the miners fought a determined battle for an alternative which included public ownership of the mines with decent pay and […]

Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’

The counterculture in 1960s and 1970s Bristol and Bath

Front cover with a portrait of Angela Carter
Socialist and feminist novelist Angela Carter is one of the most acclaimed late-twentieth-century English writers, famous for short-story collections such as The Bloody Chamber and novels including Nights at the Circus and Wise Children. Angela Carter’s ‘Provincial Bohemia’ takes Carter’s life and work in Bristol (1961-1969) and Bath (1973-1976) as a starting point to explore the artistic, radical and experimental communities that flourished at that time. Newly recorded interviews and other […]

Facing up to the Fascists

Confronting the National Front in Bristol

Facing up to Fascists front cover
As the ultra-right tries to spread its message of hate, Colin Thomas reminds us that we have been here before. This is how the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism resisted the National Front in Bristol in the 1970s and 80s – and won.