The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival is a big event in a little Dorset village. Six men are respectfully remembered there every year because in 1834 they were sentenced to transportation and seven years exile in Australia for secretly swearing allegiance to their society - a forerunner of a modern Trades Union. Protests against their sentences were an important impetus towards the founding of the Trades Union Movement in this country.
And in relation to this blog . . . which is largely 'nature' oriented . . . the tree under which they met is the only individual tree I learnt about in school!
The Festival is held over several days. Thousands attend. There are bands and talks and workshops and tea in the village hall. Some set up camp so they can join in with as much as they can. And it's always rounded off with a Trades Union procession of banners (and balloons!). This year Jeremy Corbyn was among those at the front. But because he's a low-profile politician I didn't realise at the time, though I did listen to his speech after everyone had walked to the end of the village and back.)
(Yes. Everyone walks as far as the Methodist Chapel. Then they turn round and walk back the same way to the field where the big stage is. It's delightfully bizarre. But do not underestimate its importance.)
I took lots of pictures of banners. They are bright and cheerful and inspiring. I couldn't ask everyone holding them or walking behind them if they minded being in frame. But as the whole point of a procession of this kind is publicly to stand up for what you believe in - I reckon joining in is a tactic permission to be part of the publicity. I hope that sounds reasonable.
I'll not post pictures of these banners all in a row but will toss them in like a salad - along with the usual array of twigs and trees and leaves and stones.