The 1831 Bristol riot from Brandon Hill
These skateboarders learn fast. Yesterday some of them attended Bristol Radical History Group’s 175th anniversary celebration of the Great Reform Dinner ruck of 1832 on Brandon Hill. Today they’re proclaiming from the pages of The Cancer that they’re oppressed like the ordinary people from Bristol’s past!
The skateboarders were invited to the celebrations on Brandon Hill to hear about some of the battles fought by ordinary Bristolian citizens for their rights to this public space, originally granted to all the people of Bristol in the 16th Century.
A talk by local history buff and UWE academic Steve Poole contained some compelling parallels between the battles to retain Brandon Hill as a public space and the situation on College Green today and obviously hit the right spot with some of the youngsters.
The Blogger was particularly taken with Steve’s story about the Chartist “police force” set up on the hill in the 1840s. Armed with large staves they took it upon themselves to police the authorities’ police force – based in a strategically built police station at nearby Jacobs Wells Road (now the RSPB HQ) – set up with the intention of intimidating Bristol’s Chartists who were meeting on the hill on a weekly basis.
Suffice it to say the meetings continued…