Yesterday I went to Tolpuddle for the annual march and festival. You may know the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were arrested under a corrupt government and transported to Australia for simply joining a union. In the years following the Napoleonic Wars the government of this country was brutal, exploitative and only interested in those with money. Sound familiar?
Every year the TUC holds a festival to celebrate the people's victory over the tyrannical government. On the Sunday afternoon there is always a march. I decided to share with you some of the beautiful banners of the different trade unions. The title comes from Milton and is in its entirety:
Under the spreading ensigns moving nigh, in slow but firm battalion.
It seems to sum up for me the solidarity, dignity and power of working people. Especially when you compare it to those in elected office at the moment.
I should warn you there are a lot of photographs!
Lastly Tolpuddle would not be Tolpuddle without a closing set from Billy Bragg.