Poole RCM Branch attended the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

By Nick Child, Senior Organiser (Networks) on 15 July 2018

Poole RCM Branch attended the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival as they have done in previous years to represent the RCM. The festival takes place in the village of Tolpuddle, Dorset to celebrate the birth of the modern day unions. In 1883, local farm workers who formed a union were punished with seven years transportation, this sparked national protests calling for their freedom.

They held a "Whose Shoes?" event as part of the RCM stall activities and on the Sunday they marched through the village of Tolpuddle proudly showing their RCM Poole Branch banner alongside many other unions.

Branch Chair Jillian Ireland was joined by Heidi Hurley, RCM Learning Rep and Annemie Legg, RCM Branch Secretary. It is hoped that with more recognition of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and our affiliation to the TUC in 2015 our presence can grow next year and more RCM branches can get involved for a weekend of camping, family fun, live music and great speakers. Attending the final day of the festival is free and if members only come for the march through Tolpuddle it will be memorable as Heidi said: "I didn't realise this was happening on my doorstep every year. It was brilliant to be a part of the big family of Unions from across the UK".

The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival takes place in July each year and is growing bigger than ever year on year. You can read more about the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs here.