13/07/2011 - Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and Rally

TOWARDS the end of last month we took a brief look at the Tolpuddle Martyrs. 

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were the six brave men (George Loveless, his brother James, James Hammett, James Brine, Thomas Standfield and Thomas's son John) who formed the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in 1834.  This trade union was formed to protest about their poor pay and a third wage cut in as many years.

These men (from the rural village of Tolpuddle in Dorset) were later arrested and sentenced to seven years’ transportation to Australia.  However, after a massive campaign in their support, they returned home.

Since then, the village has hosted the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and Rally.  This year it runs from Friday 15th July to Sunday 17th July.  Here, according to the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum and Festival Website:

“thousands of people come to Tolpuddle to celebrate trade unionism and to remember the sacrifice made by the six farm workers of the village.”

In the spirit of solidarity, we send greetings to our fellow trade unionists who will be attending the celebrations.  It is particularly fitting that at this time of year all Solidarity Trade Union members and supporters remember the sacrifice of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. 

Check out the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum and Festival Website here.