RCM at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

on 21 July 2019 RCM Branches

The RCM attended the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and march as we have done for a number of years now following our affiliation with the Trades Unions Congress (TUC).


The festival commemorates a group of six agricultural labourers in the village of Tolpuddle, Dorset, who formed a 'friendly society' (a forerunner to a trade union).


At the time in 1834 they had sworn an illegal oath to protect their falling wages and their punishment was transportation to Australia. The outrage about their punishment helped change the face of employment rights and was the beginnings of the trade union movement we see today. Every July their actions are remembered at a festival and march in the village.


Led by Poole RCM Branch who camped at the festival for the weekend we marched on the Sunday alongside many other trades unions, large and small. We encourage our members and branches to come along next summer, either for the weekend or just a day to celebrate the beginnings of our movement with colleagues, friends and family more information here.


Branch Chair Jillian Ireland and Steward Sonia Watson for Poole RCM Branch.