Colourful marchers on the rally

commemorating the martyrs each year

 

Every July thousands of people come to Tolpuddle to mark the witness and sacrifice of the Martyrs.  The TUC organises a festival in the grounds of the cottages and museum, and a commemorative rally through the village.  Wreaths are laid on the grave of William Hammet, and the weekend concludes with the annual Martyrs Service in our Methodist Chapel.
Many people camp for the weekend, to take best advantage of the entertainment and political speeches.
main stage in 2010
  The 2015 festival takes place on the
17th and 19th July.
The event is coordinated by the Martyr's Museum: more information can be found on their website.
Many national unions feel it is important to be represented at the rally.  Led by a brass band, the march through the street features banners from union branches around the country, and has become an historical event in its own right as the banners reflect on the changing nature of the labour movement.
The history of the festival is told on their website.
Parade in 2005

To get a feel for the event watch this video of the Tolpuddle Festival and Rally 2012,
produced by Mark Rigler on Vimeo.

Among the regular speakers is the campaigning singer, songwriter Billy Bragg.