Martyrs’ Festival 2015

Martyrs’ Festival Consultation Open Days
18th 19th July 2015

TOCT @ martyrs festiva Sunday 1. l 015 (2)2TOCT Trustees were on site to greet visitors on Saturday 18th – 12 noon to 4 pm and Sunday 19th – 11am to 5 pm during the Martyrs’ Festival Weekend.

Visitors were able to look into the interior of the former chapel over a half door. They were able to discuss the ‘vision’ of the project with the Trustees.

TOCTat festival Saturday1. 022 (2)245 people attended the open days and many took part in our consultation process.

64 people signed up to become ‘Friends of TOCT’

£198 was received as cash donations.

Visitors wrote their comment about the project on cardboad labels which were then displayed on our own replica of ‘The Martyrs’ Tree’:


Some of the comments hung on the tree:

  • Splendid to see this symbolic building coming to life again – a splendid community and legacy project. Well done!
  • The proposed plans are an exciting and innovative way of bringing this historic building back into productive use. Good luck
  • It’s essential this historic building is restored to ensure the spirit of the Tolpuddle Martyrs is continued to inspire others to fight for their freedom and support others
  • An excellent project that needs your support. We need to keep the memories alive for future generations.
  • It’s great that this lovely old building of such significance is at last to be renovated. Many thanks to all working on the project.
  • Amazing project – pleased to see it in good hands
  • So glad your story is being told – have walked past this old cob walled building for 15 years … and never knew!!
  • Absolutely good news – I am delighted we have it at last – I have prayed for this day
  • What a wonderful focus for an important movement! Look forward to returning to support your vision. A place of retreat is welcome in this busy world.
  • I look forward to sitting and reading poetry in here.
  • Well done for all your hard work, preservation of local history is so vital
  • I hope this very worthwhile project prospers
  • Hope to see all completed by 2018 – looking forward to it.
  • Thank you, so happy this is happening at last

TOCT @ martyrs festival Sundaay 2. 025 (2)

Successful Public Consultation

TOCT Public Consultation Photo June 2015The Public Consultation which was held on Saturday 27th June in the north aisle of St John’s Church was a resounding success.

There was an opportunity to see displays about the project and to see examples of the work of Paul Richold, Director of Architecton of Bristol, our appointed architect.

41 residents of Tolpuddle and Southover attended and expressed their views on the project plans and suggested uses of the renovated former chapel and proposed extension.

The Trustees were heartened by comments such as:

‘Delighted’, ‘Great’, ‘A very good idea’, Brilliant project’, ‘Very thoughtful’.

The majority strongly agreed or agreed with the idea to renovate the building, keeping the internal look and feel of the former chapel simple and in keeping with its heritage. They clearly agreed and understood the need for necessary facilities for its future use to be provided in an extension/additional building subservient in scale to the existing building.

There was also agreement of the building being available as ‘a quiet place’, free of charge during the day, while being available for use for various small group activities in the evenings.

Suggested uses were; a space for small meetings, arts exhibitions, reading groups, small music evenings with provision of refreshments.

35 people signed up to be a ‘Friend’ of TOCT. All ‘Friends’ will receive periodic updates by email about the progress of the project. Everyone who signed up received a TOCT fridge magnet free of charge.

Visitors to the village can now view our new interpretive notice board on site. This gives details of the project as well as links to our web site and to the audiovisual village trail.