This is a journey from pre-enclosure herbal brews made by ale-wives to the domination of hops and large breweries. But don't despair, this is a return trip thanks to the rediscovery of commoning and a recipe for nettle and juniper ale.
Four centuries ago a group of farmers from the West of England decided to see if they could make a living for themselves by growing tobacco. This put them at odds with the English state and its imperial ambition to build a mercantile economy driven by indentured and slave labour. This is their story of resistance. Fair-trade home-grown tobacco? Put that in yer pipe and smoke it
In 1909, Bristol Garden Suburb Limited was set up to implement the ideas Ebenezer Howard popularised in To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform. However, Bristol’s most authentic Arts and Crafts-style garden suburb, in Shirehampton, boasted only two streets when the outbreak of the First World War halted construction. In the inter-war years, garden-city principles inspired the building programme designed to deliver ‘homes fit for heroes’, with developments at Sea Mills and the Fry’s chocolate […]
America's entry into World War II immediately served to highlight the issue of race relations and the contradictions between America's declared position as a defender of "freedom" and "democracy," and what was actually practiced. Prior to the D-Day landings of June 1944, there were just under 1.6 million American forces personnel located in various parts of the U.K, with the largest numbers gathered in the southwest. The pubs in Bristol were segregated with some serving whites only, others, […]
Warren James was a man who was caught up in the social unrest that swept through the Forest of Dean in 1831, and who emerged as spokesman for the Foresters in their struggle to protect their ancient rights and way of life. The Forest Riots of 1831 were about insecurity, fear, poverty and starvation as a result of enclosures, enforced wage labour or unemployment. The Foresters fought to resist the twin onslaught from the Crown, who owned the Forest, and from businessmen who sought industrial […]
John Locke is the most famous philosopher born and raised in the vicinity of Bristol. He born in Wrington, Somerset about 12 miles from Bristol on August 29, 1632 and he was brought up in the market town of Pensford, about seven miles south of Bristol. Locke is also not only the main intellectual founder of liberalism, but also of neoliberalism, the “ruling idea” of the ruling class of today. George Caffentzis is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Southern Maine, […]
When Bristol Radical History Group staged a series of events called Down With The Fences! The Struggle For The Global Commons in May 2008, a group of leading academics found themselves together in an Eastville living room. They talked about what they would like to say to the leaders of the G8 countries who were soon to meet in Hokkaido, Japan. The result of their discussions, published under the name of the ‘Emergency Exit Collective’, is The Bristol Manifesto.
Where did corporations come from and how did they get the same legal rights as individuals? This pamphlet attempts to answer these questions in a manner that will not cause the reader too much distress. But if you want more jokes the pamphlet also includes a three page comic by Andy Singer which addresses the same questions. "An entertaining and educational read" - Noam Chomsky (As relayed to Dan by Ward Morehouse, honest)
A look at the history of smuggling in Dorset and the government responses to it. This pamphlet examines to whether smugglers should be considered folk heroes and to what extent smuggling was a community enterprise.
Cry Freedom, Cry World Heritage Site In 1787 abolitionist Thomas Clarkson researched the slave trade with help from Landlord Thompson while staying at The Seven Stars public house in Bristol. This pamphlet looks at how the histories of the pub and the abolition movement are intertwined, and why it should be the first pub to have UNESCO World Heritage status. The Seven Stars public house is one of the most important buildings in the entire history of Bristol, if not the country. It stands as a […]