The right to trial by jury has been traditionally acknowledged as a pillar of the English legal system. Under the principle of ‘twelve good men and true’, juries had been trusted for centuries with the responsibility of dispensing justice impartially and according to evidence. Defendants had the right to be tried ‘by their peers’, but juries had always been composed entirely of men. In 1919, reforms in the law allowed women to take their seats as jurors in a criminal trial for the first time. The trial took place here in Bristol in 1920, and not everyone was entirely happy about it.
After 20 years of research, the Filton Community History Group closed in 2018. Some notable contributions included the BAC 100 (Bristol Aeroplane Company) oral history project, the Millennium Schools Project, and the ‘Inspiring Women’ exhibition for South Gloucestershire Council. All these successful projects have connected the local community of Filton to their rich and proud history. Jane Tozer, Treasurer of Filton Community History Group looks back on the group's achievements.