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Lace Riot Walk - Bench No. 2

Bench No. 2 - Holyrood Street

Lace Riot Walk - Bench No. 2

Bench No. 2 - Holyrood Street Bench

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In 1842 Holyrood Street was a busy shopping thoroughfare with high quality shops. Opposite you and to your right is a pedestrian area which is where the entrance gates to Holyrood Lace Mill stood. The long, low red building housed the machine shops that manufactured parts for the lace machines. As the strikers filled the town and its pubs, some shopkeepers became increasingly concerned and began planning to board up their shops.

At the time a significant visitor arrived in Chard. The visitor was Ruffy Ridley who was a Chartist. The Chartists were a working class movement formed in1836, so called because their aims were encapsulated in a six point charter. The main focus of the Charter was to extend the vote to all men over 21 years of age. Mayor Spicer, of
Chard, had already refused Ridley permission to hold a public meeting in the Town Hall because he feared Ridley would only stir up trouble.

So Ridley held his meeting in the market place exhorting the large crowd to stand up for their rights. On 22nd August the workers at Wheatley and Riste, the largest Mill in Chard, came out on strike.

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