Calton Weavers Commemoration

24th September 2023 - 
1 pm Calton Burial Ground, G40 2DD

Celebrate the heroic struggle of the Calton Weavers, with a day of talks, walks, music and children’s entertainment.

In 1787, Scotland’s first major industrial dispute was a strike by the weavers of the Calton area, for better conditions and wage rises.

The strike was cruelly crushed by the militia, serving the interests of the ruling class, when troops opened fire on demonstraters, killing three instantly, with a further three later dying of their wounds.

These six became our first working class martyrs — nearly 50 years before the deportation of those who gathered in Tolpuddle in England — yet the Calton Weavers are now largely forgotten.

Their organisation and courage inspired an emerging working class with weavers from Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and across what would become Glasgow. They joined forces and refused to bow to the bosses might.

We hope you are able to join us and help to re-establish the rightful place of the Calton Weavers as working-class trade union martyrs. Bringing their memory to a new generation within our trade union movement and communities.

Commemoration programme

The day’s programme is free (donations welcome) but ticketed on a first come first served basis. 

This event is organised and supported by Trade Union members with funding from descendants of murdered weaver Alexander Miller, Unite Area Activists Committee, UNISON Housing & Care Scotland Branch, UNISON Skills, Development Scotland Branch, UNISON Glasgow City Branch, PCS DWP Glasgow Branch, Calton Books, Red Rosa’s and Allan McDougall Solicitors

1 pm

Gather at the Calton Burial Ground, Abercromby st, G40 2DD  

Wreath laying ceremony and guest speaker.


1.30 pm 

1.30-2.30pm Guided walk. The walk is led by Peter Mortimer local historian giving an insight into the Calton’s rich political and cultural history - Eventbrite details here for booking

2.45 pm

Talk and discussion led by Elspeth King (former curator People’s Palace,) with, Jim Boyce (UNISON and direct descendant of Alexander Millar) and Keith Stoddart (Chair, UNITE Community West of Scotland) and refreshments. 

Red Rosa’s, 195 London Rd, G40 1PA - Eventbrite details here

4 pm

Music with Chris & Paul from the Wakes, and special guests, The Old Burnt Barns (Lynch’s) 179 London Road, Calton, Glasgow. 

Eventbrite details here

1.30 pm

Children’s games, rhymes and story- telling will take place at Elcho Gardens from 1.30-3.30pm