Group's 128-mile walk to Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

Tolpuddle Pilgrimage group The group started the walk on 10 July and completed it on Saturday afternoon

Related Stories

A group of activists has completed a 128-mile (206km) walk in memory of the founders of the trade union movement.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, in Dorset, celebrates six farm workers who started the first trade union in 1834.

A group of activists, co-operative farmers and artists walked from Plymouth Harbour to the festival.

Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, who organised the walk, said he wanted to pay tribute to the martyrs and promote community action groups.

He said: "The walk was partly inspired by the history of the Tolpuddle Martyrs but it's also about spreading awareness of the emerging co-operative and community-led food systems in the South West.

"We want to get the unions, the environmentalists and the community action groups working together."

Tolpuddle Festival The Tolpuddle Festival celebrates the Tolpuddle Martyrs, punished for forming a trade union in 1834

Thousands of people are expected to turn out to the festival, which runs from Friday to Monday.

The group started their walk on 10 July and completed it on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Gordon-Farleigh said: "The walk has gone really, really well. If we do it again next year, though, we might want to take better care of our feet and get to bed earlier."

The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival remembers six agricultural labourers who formed a "friendly society" - a forerunner to a trade union - and swore an illegal oath to protect their falling wages.

They were sentenced to seven years' transportation to an Australian penal colony but were given a complete pardon after nationwide protests and returned to their homeland.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites



Min. Night 7 °C


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.