Saltford Brass Mills: Bath, Bristol and Slavery

Sea Dog Doggerel:
A 21st Century Shadow

And Bristol fashion’:
Thanks to the Saltford Brass Mill,
Brass transported to Bristol and then bound for
Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Benin, Angola, Gambia.

Seeming innocence
Of brass pots and pans and domesticity:
Transformed by a voyage, exchange and barter,
Into chains, padlocks, handcuffs, slaves and expectant sharks.

The Door
Of No Return:
The Middle Passage,
Nevis, Barbados, Jamaica,
Virginia, Haiti, South Carolina.
Fill the hold with sugar, cotton, tobacco:
And then cast a ship-shape triangular shadow,
But not on the Saltford Brass Mill’s historical show.

No mention of this at all, on the Saltford Brass Mill’s website …


Richard White writes…

Greetings walkers and supporters!

A great little walk on Sunday out to Saltford.

This opens up the next stage of a longer walk or series of walks exploring the legacy of slavery. A walk out and back from Bath works with Saltford marking a good half way..or start/finish for those on the bus or driving. The historians working on the Saltford Brass Mill are clear that the Mills were producing goods for trading in West Africa. Check out this link:

Brassware – Saltford Brass Mill

The demand and destination for such items is evident from the following extract from the journal of Thomas Phillip, a member of the Royal Africa Company in the late …

I am intrigued by a thought that the woollen mills were possibly making cloth for the trade….and slowly a picture is emerging for me of a river flowing to Bristol and onwards carrying the work of the men and women of Wiltshire to be traded for the men and women of West Africa…..

A changing perspective on the legacy of slavery….we are all connected.

I wrote a quick blog entry here:

social media trail here:

I am really grateful for any thoughts or information from you to develop this and as ever please pass it on to anyone who you think may be interested. I hope you will join me on a future walk on foot or online.

The next first Sunday walk out is Sunday April 3, it will be an all day walk with an earlier start. I am planning to walk the entire stretch of the River Avon Navigation to Bristol, to see how this might connect to the Bristol slavery walk. More details to follow.

best wishes


Richard White

mob: 07717012790

tw: @walknowlive