Bristol: Clichéd Football; Radical History

Temple Meads via Swindon, 14 quid?
Temple Meads via Gloucester, only 7?
Well, that meant a ride through the warehouse edgelands,
And the buddleia rusting railway lines to Gloucester
(‘YES MATE’, as it said under the bridge),
But there was time enough for a trip down football’s memory lane
With a Swindon fan at Stroud:
‘No football at Ebley, now, look.
Nothin’ at Ebley anymore’
I said I was off to watch Derby at Bristol City,
And he recalled
Swindon beating Derby one nil,
November 5th 1968:
‘Best Bonfire Night I ever had.’
We talked of FGR:
‘You be careful at Forest Green on Friday.
I know about 200 Swindon fans will be at the FGR end.’
‘I know mate. I’ll be one of them. With my red and white scarf.’
He looked at me with new and slightly befuddled admiration.
He slapped me on the back:
‘Fair play on ya, mate. Fair play.’

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Painswick Beacon and Botany Bay

The solstice is a time for wonder and the imagination,
But sometimes you need facts, figures and measurements:
Lines of latitude and longitude – maritime chronometers too,
Were needed for New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land,
For those weavers, cloth-workers, hatters, labourers and servants,
Transported as convicts, far distant from their Painswick homes,
On ships such as the Emma Eugenia, Florentia, Lady Ridley,
Duncan, Gilmore, Persian, Lord Hungerford, Bengal Merchant;
People such as Ann Alder, Henry Beard and Samuel Beard,
John Birt, Isaac Estcourt, James Green, William Haines, Charles Cook;
And at winter solstice-tide, we gathered at Painswick Beacon,

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Sixty People Gathering

Sixty people gathering
In the welcoming woodland of Stroud Brewery,
Watching the preview of Day of Hope,
Listening to tales of weavers’ riots
And Chartist dreams;
Quaffing Chartist porter
While Paul Southcott sang us songs
Of the world we have lost …
Resting by a sun warm red brick bridge,

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Echo Chambers – Archibald and Dorothy

Echo Chamber: Voices of Conscience – a sound and photography exhibition marking 100 years of conscientious objection – owes its inspirational existence to Fiona Meadley, Dom Thomas and Ruth Davey. The exhibition includes information submitted by living relatives of Conscientious Objectors from WW1: it was a privilege to contribute to this history, with our performance of the story of Dorothy and Archibald.
The link: takes you to a recording made of Dorothy and Archibald , featuring the voices of Rachel Simpson and Stuart Butler, as they read the words of Alice Butler and Stuart, during the Stroud Book Festival in November 2016.

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Trains and Boats and Games

I was due to meet Andy at Temple Meads: He was coming on the train from Yate, I was coming from Stroud via Swindon (I wanted to call in at the Radical Book Fair, To collect a pamphlet on smuggling), But the signals were down at Parkway, So I sat on a bench outside...

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The Weavers and Workhouse Walk

Also see Angela’s website by clicking here! Well, that was a walk, that was, and even though it’s over, it’s hard to let it go. Well over one hundred people gathered in the Ale House in Stroud for the stroll through Stroud up to the cemetery, and then other...

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Radical History Weavers and Workhouse Walk: August 27th 4-6PM


Saturday August 27th 4 of the afternoone clocke , startinge at Ye Ale House:


Stuart Butler will lead a performative walk through the 18th and 19th centuries, meeting atte Ye ALE House: time for a 4pm drink and a chat about Chartism and the workhouse at the top of town. Then a walk thence, via a history of riots, anonymous letters, mass meetings, strikes, slave owners and the Black Atlantic.

The tour will then reach the cemetery where Angela Findlay, resident of the Cemetery Gate Lodge and artist of the 2009 installations Re-dressing Absence, will lead a stroll around the cemetery to reveal the history of the workhouse and the paupers’ graves.

Visit Angela’s Website by clicking here.

The walk will finish by 6pm, leaving you lots of time for getting ready to go out again.

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