Old Market March and Riot – 80th Anniversary

February 23rd 1932 was the scene of a confrontation between the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement and the police. It had begun as a march of 3,000 demonstrators, largely of unemployed workers, who had intended to send a deputation to the City Council. They were stopped by a double line of police as they attempted to march down Old Market. The Evening Post reported that police baton charged the unemployed Bristolians and a riot ensued.

History Talk

Date: Saturday 25 February 2012

Time: 4:00 pm

Place: Hydra Books

Historians Roger Ball and Dave Backwith will consider the impact of the events of that day and the wider context of the struggles of the unemployed during the great depression.

Dave Backwith is a researcher of Bristol’s working class history in the inter war years particularly 1919 and the unemployed workers movement in the 1930s. He is a family and community studies lecturer at the Anglia Ruskin University.

Roger Ball is a doctorate researcher in the history of riots from the University of the West of England.

History Walk

Date: Sunday 26 February 2012

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Place:  Meet at Hydra Books

Meet at 2pm at Hydra Books for a History Walk through the streets of Old Market and Central Bristol, where Roger Ball and other Bristol Radical History Group members will recount the stories associated with the various scenes on route.


These events are both organised by the Bristol Radical History Group. Entry is free.


Further history and links to direct evidence of events is contained in our earlier post last November a few days before we opened.



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  1. Pingback: Events – Tues 21st to Sun 26th February | Hydra Books

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