25 November 2023

Making History, then and now: Bristol Broadsides and Haunting Ashton Court

Forty six years ago Ian Bild began a remarkable venture. Bristol Broadsides went on to publish a series of works giving a voice to Bristolians who hadn’t been heard from before.

This was through booklets like Shush, Mum’s Writing; Looking Back on Bristol – Hartcliffe People Remember; Up Knowle West and St Pauls People Talking. History publications like Placards and Pin Money and Bristol as WE remember it provided inspiration for the Bristol Radical History Group.

On November 25th, Ian Bild returns to Bristol to talk about Broadsides. One of the Southmead Hut writers summed up its role: “For too long we’ve been sitting back, complacently accepting everything that has been thrown at us. Now we’ve been able to say what we think through our poems and stories.”

Bristol Broadsides was a member of the nation-wide Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers. Their founder Ken Worpole described it as “a recapture of stolen cultural territory”.

Haunting Ashton Court LIVE

Following Ian’s talk, there will be a performance and lively discussion connected to the recently published book Haunting Ashton Court: A Creative Handbook for Collective History-Making. This has been inspired by a community youth theatre project that took place at the mansion across Winter 2022.

The event includes performances from a company of young Bristolians responding to the gaps and silences in the official archives of Ashton Court Estate. This will be followed by a panel Q&A with the young people involved, chaired by the community project’s facilitators Elinor Lower and Jack Young.

Additional information

This event is in association with Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG)

Since 2006 BRHG have organised over 500 events; staging walks, talks, gigs, historical recreations, films, exhibitions, trips through the archives and fireside story telling. They have several active research projects and publish a range of books.

BRHG projects and events are organised by local people from Bristol and are NOT funded by universities, political parties, business or local government.