Top artists entertain Dorset at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival

One of Dorset’s biggest summer live music events, the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival, made a welcome return this weekend, July 17-19, with a range of top musicians and expert speakers entertaining and educating the crowds.

Singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, two-tone band The Beat and folk singer Seth Lakeman took to the stage on Sunday afternoon, while a host of other bands played across the festival throughout the weekend, including Jonny & the Baptists, Chris T-T and the Hoodrats and Naomi Bedford.

A number of speakers also gave talks on various political topics and the current state of trade unions, including TUC president Leslie Manasseh, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and Angela MP.

Organised by the South West TUC, the event commemorates the six farmworkers who were transported to Australia after forming a trade union at a tree in Tolpuddle seeking a pay rise. After a huge reaction from the public, the martyrs were eventually brought back to Britain and pardoned.

Athelhampton House is situated conveniently close to the village of Tolpuddle, and enjoys historical links with the people of Tolpuddle. If you’re planning on heading to the festival next year, Athelhampton House have self-catering accommodation in Dorset in the form of River Cottage, which sits within the beautiful grounds of our manor house.

Image: Nigel Mykura, available under Creative Commons

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