Members of Bristol Trades Council proudly marched alongside trade unionists from around the country in commemoration of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
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 against cutting 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 returned to England between 1837 and 1839.
There has been an annual gathering to mark the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs since 1930s. It began as a Sunday afternoon event with wreaths laid on the grave of James Hammett, followed by a procession of banners and speeches. Today, the annual event sees thousands of trade unionists from around the UK and the world descends on the small village of Tolpuddle in Dorset to celebrate the memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the legacy they left behind.