Bridgwater Trades Union Council will welcome Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) to Bridgwater on Saturday, October 19. Bob will join in the celebration of the birth of Bridgwater Trades Union Council, 100 years ago.
In June 1913, the Bridgwater & Highbridge branches of the National Union of Railwaymen founded the Trades Union Council, to bring together working men and women under the banner of labour.
A banner parade was held through the town, ending in a rally, which will be repeated on October 19, with scores of wonderful banners old and new.
The parade will assemble at 12.30pm in Cranleigh Gardens, and march to the Baptist Church, St Mary Street.
The rally will be addressed by Rosemary Eaton, Minister at the Baptist Church, Nigel Costley, secretary of the South-West TUC, Rosie MacGregor, vice-Chair SW TUC, and Bob Crow.
The Brick and Tile industry was still dominant in Bridgwater in 1913, and workers from Ben Tillett’s Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourer’s Union, a forerunner of Unite, were there on the day, with bakers, printers, tailors, the various building trades unions, engineers (AEU), agricultural workers, Co-op workers, and, perhaps, the National Union of Seamen.
The 2013 centenary celebration commemorates 100 years of working-class political and industrial organisation in Bridgwater, and the Bridgwater Trades Council is still fighting the cause of the Bridgwater working-class.