In this article, Chris Montague looks the impact of the 1834 Poor Law amendment, and its impact on society's ability to help the poor. Furthermore, the essay covers how the "ideology of such a law was to be seen well into the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Bristol".
"Mary Jane Steer concentrates on farming life where Bristol expanded into the Severn Vale in the later 19th and 20th centuries. George Watkins and his family are the focus of her research. Like most of the rural population before 1900 they worked mainly as agricultural labourers, although George came to the area as a labourer on the Severn Tunnel in the early 1880s".
"Elmington Manor Farm is the best-documented farm in the Lower Severn Vale Levels, which is why James Powell chose as his topic 'The Estate Management of Elmington Manor Farm and environs 1066-1950'". From sources in "public archives, planning departments, libraries and museums" Powell looks at the earliest records of the farm, and how it survived to be surveyed by the "Second World War Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries".
"The Severn Vale salt marshes attracted our Prehistoric ancestors because of the wealth of food - especially fish and wildfowl. Regular flooding prevented permanent settlement but left silt behind which enriched the soil... Sue explores a wide range of records kept by church and state to piece together the lives of Redwick's medieval inhabitants".
"A Forgotten Landscape is an exciting project designed to reconnect local people with their heritage in the Lower Severn Vale Levels. One strand of this Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Project is a community history project called Tales of the Vale". Bainbridge introduces the project, and how it interprets the landscape of the South West.
"During the Second World War a handful of local fascists or former fascists were detained in the Bristol area as potential security threats. Others were prosecuted for apparently expressing pro-German sympathies and even trying to sabotage the war effort. Eugene Byrne looks at some of these cases".
"Not only does death connect human beings across place and time; few other areas of human experience than disposal of the dead are so replete with existential meaning,yet simultaneously quite so prosaic". Helen Frisby and Stuart Prior look at the management of cemeteries in Bristol, as well as reflecting on the Graves Commission, which they were both a part of.
"Three civil defence exercises covering Bristol – in 1939, the 1950s and 1960s – not only have an eerie fascination for their word-pictures of a city plunged into imaginary wars; the written scenarios also throw light on what concerned the scenario writers. As the likely damage in war became more than the authorities could handle, so the planners’ responses took a sinisterly authoritarian turn"
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.