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Tolpuddle 2012

3 September 2012

The Tolpuddle Festival in Dorset always promises a fun weekend for all. It is an opportunity for trade unionists to come together to learn and commemorate our history, but also to relax and recharge their batteries


This year witnessed TSSA’s biggest delegation and most prominent appearance for years at the event, which marks the persecution and final triumph of six farm workers who attempted to form an early union.

From the start Tolpuddle has a real festival atmosphere and a very friendly feel. Regardless of the wet outside, the live music in the Martyrs Marquee on Friday night saw a warm, dry, party atmosphere full of dancing people.

Saturday was a great opportunity to push TSSA campaigns with other trade unions, with several thousand people already on the site. During the day there were activities for all ages and to suit everyone. The highly successful kids area was there in full force again, entertaining and educating throughout the weekend. Throughout the day there was the opportunity to listen to and join in debates around issues currently affecting working people such as regional pay and the right to demonstrate. The day was ended with ever-popular TSSA BBQ, where this year we were joined by colleagues from ASLEF.

Sunday sees coach after coach arriving to bring the number of people to around 11000. The parade through the village is the main event, with the streets of the small village filled with trade unionists and well-wishers. TSSA members and staff were joined by President Harriet Yeo and general secretary Manuel Cortes.

We would encourage members to come along next year even if just for the Sunday to experience this festival for themselves. Free transport is arranged from most major cities in the South and also from London.

Tolpuddle family

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