As of 6th February 2017, the Colston Hall is currently consulting on its renovation. Information on the process can be found here.
Edward Colston’s crimes are well known, and many people believe that it is wrong that he should be honoured by having a prestigious cultural venue named after him.
The currently proposed transformation plans for the hall make no acknowledgement of this issue whatsoever.
We therefore call upon the public to respond to the consultation, either in person or using the online form.
We recommend demanding the following points:
1) The name of the hall should be changed so that it no longer honours Edward Colston. (You may wish to suggest an alternative name – e.g. a more worthy individual, or a positive idea.)
2) The refurbished and renamed hall should permanently incorporate a historical display acknowledging Edward Colston’s crimes against humanity, and more generally, the history and legacies of slavery and abolition.
3) There should be an ongoing programme of events established at the hall to address this subject.
The public consultation events have now finished, but an online consultation form is still available here, until midnight on Sunday 26th February. There is a space for comments and suggestions near the bottom of the page.
Please also sign our petition here, demanding a name change for Colston Hall.
On 7th February 2017, outside the first event of Colston Hall’s 150th Anniversary year, supporters of a name change held a demonstration and handed out leaflets.
This was reported in the Bristol Post.
Similar arguments have been made going back many years:
On 28th September 2007, Ros Martin put the case for the renaming of Colston Hall in a public debate, which was reported in the Bristol Evening Post the next day:
Ros Martin’s speech, including a petition that she co-wrote at the time, can be read here.
Martin also argued for renaming the hall in the Guardian, 21st June 2014.