The National Conference, Bristol 1973

National conferences were a central part of the Women’s Liberation Movement. It was the space where the sprawling, de-centralised UK-wide movement could meet and discuss campaigns, strategies and demands.

There were ten national conferences throughout the 1970s, taking place in Oxford (1970), Skegness (1971) Manchester and London (1972), Bristol (1973), Edinburgh (1974), Manchester (1975), Newcastle (1976), London (1977), Birmingham (1978). There is more detailed chronology of the conferences on the Feminist Archive North‘s website.

Below is the poster for the Bristol conference which took place on 13-15th July, 1973.

Sistershow performed at the event and one conference participant wrote: ‘Dear Ellen, thankyou and all the members of the Bristol group, for a wonderful conference. It was beautiful – especially Sistershow and the feelings it engendered.’ While Phyl Chandler commented, ‘We had a lot of captive prisoners [at the conference] who were very much on our side. That was an extraordinary atmosphere. Everyone who was there knew exactly what we trying to get across, even though we were doing it in such a haphazard and messy way. They loved what we were doing. The atmosphere in the audience was one of real friendship and love. You could almost feel the warmth, and touch it like a wave of heat.

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