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Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival Already Underway for Group

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

7:47am 11th July 2014

The first ever Tolpuddle pilgrimage has started from Plymouth in remembrance of 6 farmers that created the first ever trade union in Britain in 1834 - The Tolpuddle Martyrs.

A group of community activists, farmers and artists will walk 125 miles over the course of 10 days to their final destination, the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival on July 19th. The pilgrims will stay overnight at farms and campsites with folk music, storytelling and picnics along the way.

The walkers will stop at checkpoints where they will be shown inspiring projects on how food systems can become more sustainable.

When the pilgrims arrive in Dorchester on July 18th, they will be welcomed with a celebratory beer created by award winning microbrewery Gyle 59 called the "Freedom Hiker".

Headbrewer at Gyle 59 Jon Hosking is proud to help with the pilgrimage, he said: "I hope that the beer will refresh the pilgrims, enhance the enjoyment of the people attending the events and help celebrate the return of the Tolpuddle Martyrs to Dorset nearly 200 years ago!"

It's the 180th anniversary since the arrests of six farmers that created the first ever trade union in Britain, the farmers were sent to Australia for seven years as punishment. However the Martyrs returned to Plymouth Harbour after a three year public campaign, including an 800,000 signature petition.

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