Author Archives: a-hydra

Running down Whitehall with a black flag. Memories of anarchism in the 1960s

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair.

Di Parkin (BRHG)

Radical History Zone.

20th of April.



Di Parkin was a revolutionary activist from the early 1960s to the 1980s. She was employed as a community worker and an Equal Opportunities Adviser. Her PhD was on opposition to the myth of National Unity in Second World War Britain and she published a book on the history of a militant coal mine (Betteshanger) in Kent
Now retired, she devotes most of her energy to the Bristol Radical History group: working on recording the names of paupers in unmarked graves at the Eastville workhouse.
The talk focusses on her personal memories as an anarcho-syndicalist in the 1960s and on records/ interviews with other members of the Syndicalist Workers Federation (British section of the IWA) and its links to the Spanish CNT in exile in London.
Di recalls first-hand her journey towards the International Socialists and then anarchism, ‘disorderly demonstrations’ and attending meetings where she might encounter the likes of a Wobblie, a veteran of the Durutti column… or a police spy. “Viva La Revolucion, Viva El CNT!”

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Volunteer Open Day.

March 17th

2pm onwards.

Calling all students, comrades, friends and strangers.Hydra Books are looking for volunteers to help operate our community run bookshop, coffee shop and meeting/event space on Old Market in central Bristol. Run by local people as a volunteer workers co-operative, Hydra Books can provide a platform for individuals to expand their skills and horizons, as well as their social scene for people new to the city (such as students).

Along with providing a productive way to spend your spare time, volunteering at Hydra Books would provide you with key skills and experiences which would all look impressive on a CV or resume, such as;

. Experience in customer service
. Using a coffee machine
. Book-keeping
. Till work

As well as more sought-after skills, (depending of how much you would like to get involved) such as;

. Events management.
. Barista style coffee art.
. Sound-engineering (for music nights)
. Experience in marketing and advertisement.
. Graphic design

Volunteers can look forward to meeting friendly, interesting people, learning more about alternative politics, and perhaps even finding an unknown flair or passion for barista service or bookkeeping. At the very least, those who volunteer regularly can expect good references from Hydra when looking for future employment, and the gratifying sense being part of a wider community.


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African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence. Book Talk.

Thursday 28th of Feb. 7:30-9:30

The on-going revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East have
captured the world’s attention. But what is the state of social
movements elsewhere in Africa today? Are we witnessing a new wave of
social movement struggles? Based on their 15 year involvement in
Africa as activists and researchers the authors of a new book on this
subject will be discussing the prospects for social movements.

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Acoustic Night @ Hydra Books Freedom Press Fundraiser. 23rd of Feb.

All proceeds from this event will go towards Freedom Press to help pay for the damages suffered in a recent firebombing. More news here.

Rita Lynch
Rita Lynch is a singer songwriter who achieved a major profile in the UK in the early 1990s, her sound has been described as PJ Harvey meets At The Drive-In with a dose of the usual dark ambience that accompanies most Bristol releases. She retains a devoted following today and continues to record and perform. Her live performances currently feature a two-piece line-up with John Langley ( Blue Aeroplanes, Witness, The Mekons, Strangelove, Saturation Point) on drums. She is also known as backing singer and guitarist with cult Bristol band, The Blue Aeroplanes.

Damon T
New York City born singer-songwriter influenced by Blues & Americana roots music. His original music has a bluesy, cinematic style with a percussion form of guitar playing accompanied by soulful vocals, whilst performing a unique blend of popular covers. Now living in the UK, recording and performing gigs around Gloucestershire.

Ghost Trail
Ghost Trail are an acoustic duo, playing a wide range of covers from Adele, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac – right through to Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden. All have been adapted to their individual acoustic style and we just know you’ll love them!!

This event will be hosted by our very own coffee boy and “Musician” Michael McNeil.
As always, there will be open mic after the booked acts, so bring your Stylophone with you if you want to rock the joint and raise some money.

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Acoustic Night.

Saturday 26th of January.
Join us for our first music night of 2013! with some upcoming and sublime local talent.

Ryan Inglis
Ryan Inglis’ music is an acoustic guitar base, matured for over 10 years infused with gospel inspired rhythm, melodic bass-lines. Garnished with haunting strings & grade A lead guitar hooks and seasoned with chopped dance/trance samples. Connoisseurs will appreciate the thoughtful lyrics and the vocal tone (a particular delicacy) Low in fat, Ryan Inglis is also suitable for vegetarians and with a calorie count of 0 you can listen to as much as you like guilt free.

Rhiane Hacker
“I’d say I really began songwriting in february 2012, I had written a few songs beforehand but they were never really that great. Music has always meant a lot to me. It’s cliche but it’s there for me when the world isn’t. I think that music has the power to show the deepest secrets. You’ll understand this if you concentrate on some people’s lyrics. Not only that but you often can relate exactly to the words they sing. This is why I try to do with my own songs. They’re all personal, so the feeling in them is really strong. I want people to be able to relate and connect with the song, Lastly I want them to enjoy it, so it’s a treat for their ears.”

No Prima Donnas
QJB and The Ant mix original material penned by Q over the course of his career with carefully picked covers from the cheesy and humorous to the alternative and melancholy. The pair have played together for over 7 years in various guises and bands (inc.No Prima Donnas, Running With Scissors, ShellShoqued, and The Bonshells) at venues across Bristol, Somerset and Gloucestershire and as far afield as Bradford (and it was a field). Always delivered with a sense of humour and a desire to entertain, delight and baffle in equal measure in the original spirit of No Prima Donnas.

This event will be hosted by our very own coffee boy and “Musician” Michael McNeil. There will also be open mic after the booked acts, so bring your friends and your guitar (or whichever instrument is your favourite. We don’t discriminate).

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