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.

Mabel Tothill

Feminist, socialist, pacifist

Mabel Tothill Front Cover
June Hannam’s pamphlet examines the life and work of Mabel Tothill (1869 – 1964), Quaker peace campaigner, socialist and Bristol’s first woman councillor. It reveals how this committed social activist was part of a complex network of individuals and organisations working to improve the lives of Bristol women and men. As a campaigner for women’s suffrage and a stalwart of the Independent Labour Party, Mabel saw the causes of women and labour as intertwined. Her interest in education and desire to […]

Men of Fire

Work, Resistance and Organisation of Bristol Gasworkers in the Nineteenth Century

Men of Fire Front Cover
The emergence of ‘New Unionism’ in 1889, and the accompanying outburst of strikes across the country, was one of the most extraordinary and significant events in trade union history. Tens of thousands of ‘unskilled’ labourers, men and women, struck work, demanding an immediate improvement in their working conditions. In Bristol, gasworkers were at the helm of this revolt. Exasperated by the directors of the Bristol United Gas Light Company’s habitual disregard for their employees, early in […]

Nautical Women

Women sailors and the women of sailortowns: A forgotten diaspora c.1693 - 1902

Nautical Women Front Cover
In Nautical Women, Rosemary Caldicott explores the stories of women whose lives were inextricably linked to the sea. She tells of the women of sailortowns struggling to keep out of the dreaded workhouse and resisting the prowling press gangs; and of the courageous and skilful cross-dressing women sailors who went to extraordinary lengths to hide their gender. We learn about these women’s motivation as well as their adventures and inevitable exposure. Rosemary Caldicott also considers the fate of […]

Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old

The Forest of Dean World War One Conscientious Objectors

Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old - Front Covers
During World War One, 28 men from the Forest of Dean sought recognition as conscientious objectors rather than be called up to fight. This is the story of these men, the options available to them, the way they responded and what they did after the war. Ring Out the Thousand Wars of Old explores the role that religion, class, culture and place had on these individual decisions. It argues that the actions of the conscientious objectors were an expression of a much wider anti-war sentiment, […]

Censured

The prejudice faced by biracial GI babies and their mothers

Censured Front Cover
Mike Richardson’s intriguing account of his aunt, Beatrice Richardson and her biracial daughter Gillian, brings into stark relief the racism and sexism that existed in Britain during and after the Second World War. Sexual relationships between white British women and black American soldiers were regarded with disapproval both in the governing establishment and among many ordinary people. The women, the men and their children faced innumerable obstacles. Censured reveals the extent to which the […]

Turbulence

Labour and Gender Relations in Bristol’s Aircraft Industry during the First World War

Turbulence Front Cover
Turbulence describes how the expanding armaments industry of the First World war drew thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled workers – women as well as men- into Bristol’s aircraft factories. Skilled men in the workforce resented their arrival. They also defended their own exemption from military conscription. Opposition to the dilution of skills through changes in the production process sometimes combined with traditional male hostility towards women at the work place. Nevertheless the […]