‘The Lion of the Occasion’: Frederick Douglass in Bristol

miscellaneous 2018 poster
In the summer of 1846 the famous American abolitionist Frederick Douglass took to the stage of the Victoria Rooms in Bristol, enthralling his thousands-strong audience with vivid denunciations of slavery. He was feted by the mayor and received great support from the people of the city, maintaining friendships with many of those he met for the rest of his life. Douglass biographer Laurence Fenton will discuss the background to and details of the great abolitionist's visit to Bristol in a talk at […]

Refusing To Kill: Walter Ayles and Harry Patch

The 'Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors' exhibition has been at Bristol Archives since June 5th. Just as when it was shown elsewhere in the city, it has attracted lots of interest. It runs until July 14th. While including much of the material displayed previously there is plenty that is new – both from local archives and CO relatives. See Bristol Archives website here for opening hours and how to get there. Alongside the exhibition there are a number of events […]

Frederick Douglass in Bristol

Time for the African-American Abolitionist’s Visit to the City to be Commemorated with a Heritage Plaque?

After the Frederick Douglass event in the city on Bank Holiday Monday (28 May, 2018) in which BRHG members took part and which drew several hundred people we are publishing this article by Laurence Fenton. Laurence has just written a new book on the African American abolitionist's visits to Victorian Britain and is calling for a more permanent memorial to this important moment in the history of the city and the struggle against slavery. BRHG fully support this initiative. While actions from the […]

Exhibition: Refusing to Kill

Bristol's World War I Conscientious Objectors

The exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ which was in Bristol Cathedral and the Central Library from September 2017 until February 2018 is in Bristol Archives from June 5th until July 14th. The exhibition tells the story of the almost 400 men from Bristol and the surrounding area who, for moral, religious or political reasons, refused to fight in World War 1. Alongside most of the material displayed previously, there will be new exhibits. These include […]

Level 2: Poster making: make a print poster with Cato Press

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
Cato Press, Easton’s very own print workshop, continues the tradition and art of relief printmaking. Members of Cato Press will be on hand in the activities and exhibitions area on Level 2 with some radical designs. Be sure to pay them a visit to print your own poster to take away!

Refusing to Kill – Bristol’s WW1 Conscientious Objectors

Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles. Others spent much of the war in prison, often under harsh conditions. This illustrated talk presented by Professor Lois Bibbings tells the stories of these men and the people in the city who supported them. This event is part of a series of Lunchtime Lectures by Bristol Libraries. There is no need […]

History Walk 2: Bristol – Feeding the people

Markets, trade, transport and conflict (17th-19th Centuries)

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
On this history walk we will discover how Bristolians were fed during the early modern era (17th-19th Centuries). Hear how a rapidly expanding urban area, without the ability to feed itself, was kept supplied. How Bristol in turn helped supply the rural hinterland and its relationship with Wales and the wider world. How the market system worked, and how it was regulated, at times by the civic authorities, or by the “moral economy” and the crowd. What happened when the chain broke, and how did […]

Studio 2: The Granary: Music in Bristol ‘68

Bristol Radical History Festival 2018 Poster Light
The Granary opened its doors as a jazz club in Bristol in 1968, establishing itself as a rock venue in 1969 when the collective Plastic Dog moved in. This session explores the Bristolian music scene, in a pioneering venue from the 60s to the 80s. From the tail-end of 1968 and into the Eighties the Old Granary in Bristol’s historic city docks became home to rock music and outrageously liberal attitudes. It is still remembered fondly by its acolytes. Al Read and Ed Newsom were part of a foursome […]

Film: Tony Benn’s Defining Moments

Introduced by the programme's producer David Parker

miscellaneous 2018 poster
Tony Benn was a great chronicler of his times and in this final chronicle of his life he reflects on the moments that defined his political and personal life experiences. This programme uses interviews recorded over time and an exclusive wide ranging final conversation in his later years together with unique, unseen family and personal film archive to chart the defining moments in his long political life. The programme is introduced by its producer, David Parker.

Bristol from Below

Law, Authority and Protest in a Georgian City

By Steve Poole and Nicholas Rogers
Within the Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG), we are constantly pressing for more history from below. Researching, writing and celebrating our history. The history of those who have built, fed, and run Bristol through the ages, and those who have just lived by their wits. Therefore, we were quite excited to see this book. However, the book is priced at £70. Yes, that’s right, this is not a typo. Seventy pounds sterling. Whilst most of the present day working classes are struggling, with […]

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