On Saturday September 15th Bridgwater Trades Union Council hosts Somerset’s second-ever history day with a specific working-class bias and held at Eastovers ‘The Shack’ – or, as it’s also known, the Railway Club on Wellington Road, Bridgwater. Packed with great stories from different episodes of the twentieth century and different towns and villages, the conference speakers include professionals with a socialist commitment, participants in struggles speaking from the heart of memory, or genuine working-class intellectuals.
Sessions include “Somerset radicals”; “Socialism in Bath”; “The Bridgwater Poll Tax Rebellion”; “Somerset Farm Workers”; “The Black Experience”; “The Pill Pilots”, while the last session on Somerset support for the miners in 1984/5 leads into a rare showing of the inspirational film “Pride”, introduced by none other than Dai Donovan, whose early contact with the London Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners inspired the whole film.
Dave Chapple, Bridgwater TUC Secretary and Eastover resident, said:”Somerset’s first ever Socialist History Conference in 1987, with one of our greatest ever historians, Christopher Hill, as guest speaker, was a great success and, as places are filling up fast, so will this second conference be. Now, “Socialist” history may mean different things to different people: it is definitely an adjective that seeks to redress and reverse the downgrading of the intelligence, the passion, the struggles and the achievements of Somerset’s working-classes.It is definitely not limited to Labour parliamentary party politics. Socialist history can also mean the deliberate unearthing of inspiring stories that encourage today’s Somerset left-wingers to carry on the age-old struggle for equality and justice.The Somerset working-class has never been all white, male and straight, which is why women, black and gay people are central to several conference sessions. Finally, “Socialist History” encompasses everything that socialists and trades unionist themselves deem worthy of their own commemoration, uninfluenced by TV and media pundits, or the condescension of millionaire public-school mandarins in power and authority.Maybe it is time to make this event an annual one, instead of once every 30 years, and publish the annual conference proceedings, as the Somerset Socialist History School.”
- Date: Saturday 15th September 2018
- Time: 9.30am for 10am to 5pm
- Venue: GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, TA6 5HA
- Car Park: Bridgwater Rail Station, 100 yards away.
- The event is free, with a buffet lunch.
- Organised by Bridgwater Trades Union Council with the support of the Trades Union Congress.
- Full programme and flyer attached and below.
- For further information please contact Dave Chapple on 07707 869 144.
- Places are limited and early booking is advised.