The ‘Edwardians Family Life and Work Experience Before 1918’, Bristol People’s Oral History Project and the Somerset Oral History Archive, contain hundreds of interviews covering a wealth of memories and perspectives on everyday life in the early twentieth century. Harrison’s article uses these oral histories to investigate the perspectives of young people on growing up in rural South- West England, and perceived problems in rural communities. Additionally, the article evaluates the use of oral history as historical evidence for a study of rural life.
"While popular memory associates the summer of 1940 with debonair young men in Spitfires duelling the Luftwaffe in the sky, there was frantic building activity going on below in preparation for the expected German invasion. Eugene Byrne looks at some of the defence works made in anticipation of the ground war in the west of England".
"During the 1810s and 1820s, the Tory merchant and banker Richard Hart Davis rode high in Bristol electoral politics. Elected as one of the city's two MPs at a bye-election in 1812, he retained his seat at the general election of that year and at subsequent elections in 1818, 1820, 1826 and 1830". John Stevens looks at how Toryism was in the ascendancy, restricting the influence of Whiggism in Bristol.
In this article, Michael Weller looks at two contrasting cases from the Consistory Court, showing the variety of disciplinary cases which occurred in the Diocese of Exeter in the 19th Century. It explores the proceedings that were taken in reaction to individual disciplinary cases, and what punishment befell those who broke the rules.
The passing of the Slave Trade Act in London in March 1807 did little to ease the burden of slaves already held in the British Caribbean. They had to wait until the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which began the slow move towards emancipation. The bicentenary of the 1807 Act was accompanied by new publications, exhibitions, and an urging of urban communities to engage in a commemoration of Abolition 200. English Heritage invited people to follow in the footsteps of the abolitionists and recall the lives of those slaves who were to end their lives here in Britain, far from their ancestor's African homelands. Visits to the graves of Africans were encouraged; one such grave was of Scipio Africanus. Colin Godman uncovers the life of Africanus through the information that is available about his master, the Earl of Gloucestershire.
The study of linguistics can often tell us more about a place than we realise. In this article, Richard Coates looks into the etymology of two Bristol Hill names, contextualising one as being of Celtic origin, while the other appears to have ancient linguistic roots. This article highlights the significance of place name evidence, making a case for its value in historical studies.
Although the greatest popular movement in Georgian Britain was probably that formed around military volunteering during the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, historians have written comparatively little on the subject and even when an attempt has been made the maritime volunteers have hardly ever commanded more than a few vague paragraphs. This is unfortunate as an examination of pay lists in the Public Record Office, letters in the Bristol Record Office and the columns of contemporary local newspapers have revealed a useful amount of information. John Penny investigates this shadowy corps, put in place to protect the Severn Estuary against possible French naval incursions.