Tuesday, July 01, 2008


At a mass rally of United Builders Labourers Union held in Uxbridge on Saturday 10th Novemeber 1900. A march took place at six o clock, the procession headed by the Uxbridge & Hillingdon prize band,
included 14 or 15 branches of the union, "as each contingent brought a beautiful banner there was considerable public evoked in the gathering."

With the procession
formed and "the men and their banners flying they marched through the High Street, up St Andrews Road, The Greenway and Waterloo Road, to the Lynch and through New Windsor Street to the rally at the Drill Hall, followed by a large crowd of men, women and children, the members of theunion being distinguished by a ribbon or sash worn round the shoulders".

The most "prominent and most beautiful amongst them (banners) all being that of from West Drayton which seemed to be quite new and bore the following"

National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers of Great Britain and Ireland , West Drayton, branch no 23

The banner had actually been unfurled on 27th September 1890 at West Drayton during a speech addressed by Will Thorne the union's General Secretary and Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl Marx). see report below

Mr John Brown, the local branch secretary of the union said that some time ago according to the resolution of the branch he was instructed to wait upon Mr E. Humbert, and ask him if he would unfurl the banner that afternoon.

That gentleman said he was very sorry but he had an engagement which necessitated his refusing the request. At the same time he assured Mr Brown that anything he could do for them on a future occasion he would do with pleasure and wished them success (applause)

That being the case it devolved upon Mr Brown to unfurl the banner himself but he could not help feeling that such a pleasing duty was not deserve by him. There were men in the branch who had done a great deal more for the cause than he had and he was sure they would all have liked one branch officers to have undertaken the duty.

Before unfurling the banner he might say that they had their own band there that afternoon and hoped they would do credit to West Drayton branch (applause)

Mr Brown then proceeded to unfurl the banner and upon being hoisted it was greeted with loud cheers

On one side of it was represented an employer and a labourer (the later baring a strong resemblance to one of the members of the branch) shaking hands, while on the other side was a brickfield in the district. The recognition of the portraits caused another cheer from the bystanders.

A procession was then formed and headed by the band, proceeded through Yiewsley and back to Drayton Green.

The banner it is understood was made by Mr William Ellen of 257 Hackney Road, London.

(picture above is of a similar banner, the last records of the West Drayton banner are in 1908)

Other (early) trade union banners

Southall ASLEF banner
Southall NUR banner (Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants) circa 1905
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants banner
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants banner
Brentwood Lighterman 1895
Acton Communist Party "New Dawn"

National Association of Operative Plasterers, Southall branch established July 1905

Southall Trades & Labour Council meeting posite the King of Prussia public House in March 1905, Mr Horace E Lucia Chairman, speakers at March 1905 meeting. Mr W. Smith G U Carpenter & Joiners Union District delegate; Mr Lovatt District Secretary OBS (Bricklayers Union); Mr W. Randall A S Carpenter & Joiners Delegate; Mr W Wall UBLU (builders Labourers union) Fulham Board of Guardians

Southall Carmen's Union established November 1905

Richard Bell MP spoke to
Southall Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants branch April 7th 1907

(picture right Rickmandsworth ASRS 1912 march and rally Neasden banner front)