Tolpuddle Radical History School War and Revolution


Thursday 13th July - Saturday 15th July 2017

Open to all, the history school is a great chance to learn more about radical and trade union history. Running ahead and alongside the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival it offers a chance to learn lessons from the past in beautiful, rural Dorset.

The theme for 2017 will be War and Revolution. On the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution the school will look back at those dramatic events and consider the legacy for trade unionism in Britain. The school aims to encourage discussion and thought and will have a wide range of professional historians, as well as enthusiastic amateurs, delivering talks on key elements.

Tickets for the Radical History School, and the Weekend Festival - £68 per person (parking and camping fee is separate).


The history school will take place at the Festival site near the TUC Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Museum, Tolpuddle, Dorset DT2 7EH.

Camping is available in the Festival field - and your tent or camper van and car parking tickets can be bought seperately. For other accommodation options in the area visit try

Draft Programme

Thursday 13th July

10.15               Introductions and Registration with Les Kennedy Tea and Coffee will be available

10.30               What we should celebrate about the Russian Revolution with Chris Reed Warwick University

11.45               The impact of the Russian Revolution on British feminists and radicals with Laura Schwartz Warwick University

1.00                 Lunch Please bring your own packed lunch. Tea, coffee or soft drinks provided

2.00                 Shire Hall Dorset: Justice in the Balance with Anna Bright and Ann Brown

3.15                 The story of Inessa Armand with Joanne Kaye South West Regional Secretary Unison  

4.30                 Tea and biscuits

4.45                 From Tsarist empire to Soviet empire? Nationalism, and revolution in Russian-ruled Asia 1900s-1920s withJoanna de Groot UCU President, York University

6.00                 Finish

7.00                 Village Barbecue

Friday 14th July

9.30                 Village Walk with Tony Gould and Visit to Primitive Chapel with Stephanie Jenner

11.30               The people in arms: through Revolution and war, 1789-99 with Dr John Callow GMB

12.30               Lunch

1.30                 The workers' movement in the Russian revolution, from 1917 to the 1920s with Simon Pirani Oxford University Writer and researcher, author of The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920-1924 and Change in Putin's Russia: Power, Money and People.

2.30                 Break

2.45                 Autocracy and revolution 1905-14 with Chris Ward Cambridge University

3.45                 Anti Semitism and the Russian Revolution with Brendan McGeever Birkbeck University

4.45                 The Poor Law with Les Kennedy

7.00                 Ballad for Southwell re-imagining the workhouse in the Village Hall

Saturday 15th July

9.30                 Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the USA, 1917-1919 withDr Steven Parfitt

10.30               The Russian Revolution outside Petrograd: how to overthrow an empire everywhere in a few easy steps with Alastair Dickins

11.30               The effect of the Russian Revolution on British Trade unionism joint Radical History School and Morning Star discussion with Chris Reed Warwick University, John Callow GMB, Liz Payne-Ahmadi and others tbc

12.30               Wind up and review session with Les Kennedy


Book online from here. £68 includes weekend festival pass and Thursday evening barbeque. Early booking is recommended as numbers are limited.

Radical History Scool 2014