So, fine weather and a day free...what to do, what to do?
Off to Dorset to the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival.
What's that then? Well, on 24th Feb 1834, six farm labourers from Tolpuddle were arrested on a charge of taking part in an illegal oath ceremony. The real offence was that they had dared to form a trade union to defend their livelihoods. For this they were sentenced to seven years' transportation to the penal colonies of Australia. The sentences provoked an outcry, leading to the first great mass trade union protest. The campaign won free pardons and the Martyrs returned to England.
Considering the political situation in the UK at the moment this is ever more important, the festival was a great day, marches of all different trade unions, marching bands, Tony Benn did a rousing speech and many great bands.
Great weather, great company, for a great cause.
Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds