May 01

We want a Slave Trade Memorial and Abolition Shed on Welsh Back, Bristol

For quite some while now the Long John Silver Trust has been working with three other community groups in Bristol, trying to save some old dockside buildings and turn them into an interpretation centre and memorial for a key aspect of Bristol’s maritime past.

The location of these buildings is roughly half way around our Treasure Island Trail and the project fits in perfectly with the LJST’s stated aims ‘to make more of Bristol’s literary and maritime past’. In fact the lead building, nearest Redcliffe Bridge, was constructed in the very year that Treasure Island was published as a book, 1883.

Three things came about to make Emancipation happen in 1833-4: –
1) Slave rebellions in the West Indies
2) Abolition Societies and literature
3) Reform in the Houses of Parliament (diluting the pro-slavery powerbase)

Bristol played a leading role in all three; in fact the massive Queen Square Reform Riots happened in the near of our proposed visitor centre and is one of the most neglected episodes of our nation’s history.

For more details please go to our online petition (below) and, if you like the idea, please support us by signing up: –
https://www.change.org/p/bristol-city-council-we-want-a-slave-trade-memorial-and-abolition-shed-on-welsh-back-bristol

The other three partner groups in this are Welsh Back Association, who are fed up with yet more bars and restaurants in their neighbourhood, Bristol Radical History Group and Counter Colston. Both of the latter two want the over-memorialisation of certain figures in Bristol’s past to stop and give others a chance.

None of Bristol’s famous women like Elizabeth Blackwell or Mary Carpenter have been remembered with a statue and nor has anyone from Bristol’s literary canon – other than a sculpture of Chatterton.

Most importantly there is no major Slave Trade Memorial in Bristol where people can go to remember and reflect, this location by the river Avon is second to none.