People’s History

Image of former Bristol police chief John Henderson Watson surrounded by his constables

People's History

The Bristol police chief embroiled in corruption who died with a razor in his hand

John Henderson Watson had a long and distinguished police career and was Bristol’s chief constable for 14 years – before his career ended in scandal and his disappearance.

Listen: Sabrina, goddess of the River Severn

The last time England’s men played football at Ashton Gate – a mere 110 years ago

People's History

Spend a penny: A potted history of Bristol’s public toilets before they were closed to save cash

Need a wee? Good luck with that if you’re out and about, as Bristol has only a fraction of the public toilets it once had. Eugene Byrne, trying to hold it in until he gets home, looks at the history of Bristol’s public loos.

People's History

A history of Bristol’s healthcare for the working classes

Image of the remnants of an anti-aircraft gun position at Purdown, Bristol. Nearby military huts were squatted after the Second World War (credit: Eugene Byrne)

People's History

‘Staking a claim’: how the postwar housing crisis led to a mass squatting movement in Bristol

Avon Street Gasworks: shedding a light on Bristol’s industrial and social history

The Bristol Digital Futures Institute has published new research into Bristol Gas Company, which has had a hand in the city’s major industries, from aeroplanes to tobacco.

30 years since the Hartcliffe riots

Local historian Eugene Byrne explores the role of race, the media and the passage of time in how society views three riots that have taken place in the city.

The single parents from Bristol who changed women’s lives

What started as an interview in a living room became Single Parent Action Network, which tackled the stigma around single parenthood and campaigned on national issues.

Hilda Cashmore: Pioneering social worker who founded Barton Hill Settlement

Cashmore’s vision of a future, where people and communities matter, is even more relevant today amid the coronavirus crisis.

Watch: The filmmakers behind ‘Rooted in Bristol’ discuss land, race and inequality

The new documentary, which premiered at Afrika Eye Film Festival, profiles Bristol’s Black and Afro-Caribbean food growers who discuss the importance of equitable access to land.

Bristol has a trove of artefacts originally taken through colonisation. Should they be given back?

A roiling debate about the ownership of the spoils of empire, mired in practical and political issues.