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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival 2008

On February 24th, 1834, six farm labourers from the Dorset village of Tolpuddle were arrested on a charge of taking part in an 'illegal oath' ceremony. In the eyes of their masters, however, the real offence was that they had dared to form a trade union to defend their livelihood. For this they were sentenced to seven years' transportation to the penal colonies of Australia. The sentences provoked an immense outcry, leading to the first great mass trade union protest. The campaign won free pardons and the Martyrs' return to England. A historic episode in the struggle for trade unionists' rights in Great Britain

To commemorate the bravery of the martyrs' struggle against poverty and authority, this annual festival features music, speakers and family entertainment.

Guest DJs Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt/Orpehus/Aidan Jolly/The Mauves

The Quangle Wangle Choir/Bedouin Jerry Can Band/Sean Taylor/Mark Steel/ The Tones/The Flatville Aces

Strels Band/Tracey Curtis/Puddletown School/Elvis McGonagall/Duckfeet/Ways of the Mouth/Robb Johnson & The Irregulars/Graham Moore/ Seize the Day/Grupo Lokito/Devon Sproule/Devon Sproule

Headlining the afternoon, on stage at about 4.15, folk / rock political icons The Levellers

Loads going on, by no means all folk but well worth a look.

The full programme can be downloaded from www.tuc.org.uk/tolpuddle

Entry to the festival is free. £10 charge per car for parking. Donations welcome!

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