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Ascott martyrs

ascottmartyrstextilegroupawvTextile banner
Over the last few weeks thirteen participants from Ascott and around have been planning and stitching a 100 x 130cm banner commemorating the Ascott Martyrs. Divided into twenty-two sections, each highlights an aspect of the traumatic event that took place in 1873 when sixteen woman and two babies from the village were sent to Oxford prison for picketing in support of their striking farm-labourer menfolk. There was a national furore leading to a pardon from Queen Victoria and eventually a change in the law allowing picketing and improved wages and conditions for agricultural labourers.
Organised by the Workers Educational Association and jointly funded with the Martyrs Trust, it is hoped that the completed textile will hang in The Swan at Ascott and be used at future events, presentations and educational visits to keep the story alive. An official unveiling party is planned for the New Year.

Martyrs’ day
Meanwhile plans are afoot for the annual celebration of Martyrs’ Day on Saturday 23rd June when it is hoped to present with the Wychwood Players an enactment of the court scene from 1873 when 16 women were sent to prison for picketing when their husbands were on strike. It is believed to be the first picketing incident of its type and it soon led to the law changing and enabling picketing to become legal.

More details at

December 2017 – January 2018