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Tilpuddle Festival

Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival

175th Anniversary Commemoration Friday 17 to Sunday 19 July 2009

The annual Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival is an ever popular fixture in the Trades Union calendar. The festival commemorates the transportation of six Dorset farm labourers in 1834. The men whose heinous crime of swearing an illegal oath and forming a union, the Friendly Society of Agricultural workers, and campaigning for a wage of at least 10 shillings a week. They were sentenced to seven years Transportation to Australia, under an obscure law from 1797, although all were freed by 1837 following a massive campaign.

Each year the SW Region TUC hosts the festival which includes music, food, beer, stalls, speeches and entertainment for all the family. There is always a large and lively march through the village of Tolpuddle on the Sunday.

There is also a Green Camp, which runs from 15-19 July, and is open to all trades unionists interested in organising around environmental issues in their workplaces. There is a mixture of presentations, discussion and workshops. Free camping is available.

For more details, go to

Picture of Martyr's Oak and the matryrs'  names

For more details of the festival, including the program, visit


Plymouth TUC will run a coach to Tolpuddle on Sunday 19th - this is always the biggest day, with a commemorative march, Tony Benn, Billy Bragg, and fun and entertainment for all the family!

The itinery for the coach will be

7:00 Home Park - Park & Ride

7:05 Alma Road - Bus Stop opposite Citybus Garage

7:10 Bus Stop outside Plymouth Railway Station

7:15 Bretonside Bus Station

7:30 Coypool Park & Ride

7:40 George Plympton

8:40 Sowton Services Exeter

We will stop for breakfast at the Killington Chef, and arrive at Tolpuddle around 10:30, in time to enjoy the day. We will leave Tolpuddle at 17:45, dropping of at all of the pickup points, and aiming to be back at Home Park by 20:30.

Coach tickets are £8 in advance or £10 on the day. To book:

Phone Tony on 07803 620390

or click the button below to pay securely via PayPal


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