|Tolpuddle Martyrs' festival
|Third week in July
|Tolpuddle, Dorset, England
The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival and Rally is an annual festival held in the village of Tolpuddle, in Dorset, England, which celebrates the memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The event is a celebration of trade unionism and labour politics organised by the Dorset Committee of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers, now a section of Unite the Union, and the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The festival is usually held in the third week of July, and features a parade of banners from trade unions, a memorial service, speeches and music.
Each year a wreath is laid at the grave of James Hammett, one of the martyrs, in the churchyard of Tolpuddle parish church.
The main festival events are held outside the Martyrs' Museum on the western edge of Tolpuddle village. The main speeches and performances take place on a small stage in front of the Tolpuddle cottages and museum, with audience space on the green. The adjacent field, as well as having camping space, has a marquee, Workers Beer Company bar and merchandise stalls.
Recent festivals have featured speeches from politicians Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, Jim Knight, Estelle Morris, and former Labour Leader [update] , Jeremy Corbyn, as well as British trade union leaders and international union organisers, especially from countries where organising unions is difficult, such as Iraq and Colombia. Musicians have included Billy Bragg, Dick Gaughan, David Rovics and Graham Moore. The UK Youth Parliament and Dorset Youth Council run youth debates annually.
Woodcraft Folk is a UK-based educational movement for children and young people. Founded in 1925 and grown by volunteers, it has been a registered charity since 1965 and a registered company limited by guarantee since 2012. The constitutional object of this youth organisation is "to educate and empower young people to be able to participate actively in society, improving their lives and others' through active citizenship."
The Tolpuddle Martyrs were six agricultural labourers from the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, England, who, in 1834, were convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. They were arrested on charges under an obscure act during a labour dispute over cut wages before being convicted in R v Loveless and Others and sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. They were pardoned in 1836 after mass protests by sympathisers and support from Lord John Russell and returned to England between 1837 and 1839.
Tolpuddle is a village in Dorset, England, on the River Piddle from which it takes its name, 8 miles (13 km) east of Dorchester, the county town, and 12 miles (19 km) west of Poole. The estimated population in 2013 was 420.
The 1987 IUSY Festival was organised by the International Union of Socialist Youth in Valencia, Spain in July of that year.
The National Minority Movement was a British organisation, established in 1924 by the Communist Party of Great Britain, which attempted to organise a radical presence within the existing trade unions. The organization was headed by longtime unionist Tom Mann and future General Secretary of the CPGB Harry Pollitt.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is the world's largest trade union federation.
The National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers (NUAW) was a trade union in the United Kingdom which existed between 1906 and 1982. It represented farmworkers.
The Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of 1834 was an early attempt to form a national union confederation in the United Kingdom.
Andrew Conley was a British trade unionist.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing the majority of trade unions. There are 48 affiliated unions, with a total of about 5.5 million members. Paul Nowak is the TUC's current General Secretary, serving from January 2023.
R v Lovelass and Others (1834) 172 ER 1380 is a formative case in the history of UK labour law. It saw the Tolpuddle Martyrs, farm workers who wished to form a union to prevent wage cuts, convicted and deported to Australia. It triggered protests, which led to the workers' eventual release and return to Britain.
A labour festival is a festival related to the labour movement usually occurring annually. Labour festivals are some of the biggest political gatherings in Europe. Often they are outdoors in the summer and they incorporate music, parades, film, historical commemoration and food and drink. One of the well-known ones is Durham Miners' Gala attended by some 100,000 attendees. Some are run by communist or socialist parties such as Fête de l'Humanité, Fête de Lutte Ouvrière, Avante! Festival, Odigitis festival and Festa Democratica. Some were formerly so, such as Edinburgh Labour People's Festival. Some commemorate trade unionism or history such as Burston Strike School and Tolpuddle Martyrs festival. Glastonbury Festival has a The Left Field and has been addressed by Labour leaders.
International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day in some countries and often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement and occurs every year on 1 May, or the first Monday in May.
The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement or labor union movement on the one hand, and the political labour movement on the other.
The National Agricultural Labourers Union (NALU) was a trade union representing farm workers in Great Britain.
There are several cottages associated with the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Most are in Tolpuddle in Dorset while one is in Essex.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Tree is a sycamore tree in the village of Tolpuddle, Dorset. The tree is approximately 336 years old. It has become associated with the birth of the trade unionist movement.
Ruby Docie Quarrell Part was a British trade unionist and political activist.
Thomas Standfield was an English agricultural worker, Methodist and trade union organiser.
Media related to Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival and Rally at Wikimedia Commons