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South Norfolk village gears up for annual strike school rally

PUBLISHED: 16:22 21 August 2012

The Burston Strike School Rally parade sets off around the village. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Burston Strike School Rally parade sets off around the village. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant copyright 2011

Union officials and supporters will gather at a south Norfolk village next weekend to commemorate the longest strike in British history.

The Burston Strike School rally will be held on Sunday, September 2 to mark an industrial dispute that was staged at the local school almost 100 years ago.

Teachers Tom and Kitty Higdon were dismissed from the Church of England County School in the village, near Diss, as a result of their union connections and set up an alternative known as The Strike School in 1914, which ran until 1939.

Supporters will follow the route of the village’s schoolchildren, who marched in support of the Higdons, with a parade from midday on September 2.

The rally will be held from 10.55am to 4.45pm in Church Green, Burston, and the morning speakers will be Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS, and Clive Lewis, prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour in Norwich South.

In the afternoon, there will be speeches from Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT, and Cath Speight, national officer of Unite. Entertainment will be provided by the Red Flags, RMT Brass Band and Bleeding Hearts.

The school building remains to this day in Burston as a museum, which has held a rally since 1984.

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