December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 2, 2013
Hundreds of people marched in a south Norfolk village on Sunday to commemorate the longest strike in British history.
The Burston Strike School was at the centre of the longest running strike in British history, between 1914 and 1939.
Since 1984, campaigners have gathered at Burston village green to remember the strike, and to speak on the issues affecting workers’ rights today.
Throughout the day people heard influential speeches from Bob Crow RMT General Secretary and Richard Howitt MEP and music from the RMT Brass Band, Red Flags and Leon Rosselson.
The strike started after local teachers Annie and Tom Higdon were sacked following a dispute with the area’s school management committee after they refused to let children leave school to help with the harvest.
Children went on strike in support of their teachers and the couple started a school on the village green which was attended by 66 of their 72 former pupils.
A new school, financed by donations, was built 1917 and in The Burston Strike School continued until shortly after Tom’s death in 1939. Since its closure, the Burston Strike School has been developed into a museum.
Mike Copperwheat, trustee of the Burston Strike School, said the day had gone well.
“About 1,000 people joined in the march which was headed up by the RMT brass band which was very good.
“It’s important that we remember this event as it is a part of local history and it is a community event.
“We are looking forward to celebrating our centenary next year. We will be putting on an event at the school.”
Villagers also used the area to host a community event on Saturday night.
Campaigners meet on the first Sunday in September where they march the same route the children would have walked.