Sunday, September 28, 2008

Glass Workers strike 1924

Glass Workers Strike May 1924

National Glass Workers Protection Association

The strike at the United Kingdom Glass Company Works at Dawley

"The factory has been closed several months because the management endeavoured to reduce the wages of the workpeople below the recognised standard trade union rate. This the work people refused to accept and blacklegs have been introduced from Alloa in Scotland.

Local Labour activist Robert William Gunton, High Road Hayes letter 23 May 1924 Advertiser and Gazette supporting the men on strike at the Glass works,

A conference of the National Federation of Glass Workers was held at the Brotherhood Hall in Hayes during this period and Glass workers union delegates from all parts of the country, including Scotland attended.

Opening session was Councillor Robert Leach and Mr Ernest Kirby Harding

Councillor Leach the Vice Chairman of Hayes Urban District Council pledged

"the wholehearted support of the local Labour Party who have endeavoured to do all they could to help the men in what they looked upon as a very legitimate grievance" (15% pay cut)

Mr G. Chadwick the President of the Glass Workers Union stated that they should......

"Pride themselves on the discipline the members have shown" however he could not guarantee this would last if blacklegs were introduced

Mr G. Lister stated "he had been trying to settle the dispute legitimately and in a proper manner"

"They had gone so far as to accept arbitration and a reduction in wages prior to arbitration"

On Sunday 18th May 1924 a march of over one hundred Glass workers and their supporters marched through Hayes in support of the Glass workers Union strike. The procession assembled at Botwell with two banners of the Glass Workers Union and the Southall branch of National Union of Railwaymen banner and marched down Central Avenue and Longmead Road to Hayes end.

Addresses were made at a number of points and collections for the strikers taken.

Hayes Women's Section Mayday celebration that year included a speech by Mr Thompson General Organiser of the Glass Workers Union (also in attendance Mrs Gardner (Southall) and Mrs Dubberley (Uxbridge).

The National Glass Workers Protection Association established in 1920 was originally formed as the Yorkshire Glass Bottle Makers United Trade Protection Society in 1827.

The National Glass Workers Protection Association joined the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) in 1940.

Labour Party Youth Section - Brief History


The Labour Party finally agreed to allow the formation of local Labour party Youth Sections in 1924.

(The Independent Labour Party (ILP) had a separate Guild of Youth).

The Labour Parties decision to form youth sections was only taken out of the Parties concern at the rapid growth of the Communist Parties, Young Communist League (YCL) which had been established in October 1921 (The first YCL branches being in Manchester, Liverpool, Barrow, Sheffield, Leith, Porth and a number of other industrial centres).

In 1926 The Labour Party had over 150 Labour League of Youth sections, catering for socialist youth 14-21.

In 1933 the Labour League of Youth had 15,000 members.

The "Advance" Group established in 1935 led by Ted Willis of Tottenham South under the slogan "Self government for the Labour Youth Movement" soon won huge support within the Labour Parties youth section.

At the Easter 1936 Labour League of Youth Conference the "Advance Group" won control of the National Advisory Committee (NAC). The "Advance" journal with an initial duplicated run of 500, when it was printed in June 1936 was now to become the organ for all Labour League work.

Advance not only promoted a national programme based on "Working Class Unity" but also merger with the Young Communist League.

Most London branches of the Labour League of Youth were controlled by the "Advance" group.

In 1938 Ted Willis became National Organiser of the Labour League of Youth and Advance the national paper of the Labour League of Youth.

The Young Communist Leagues paper had been initially called the Young Communist but in March 1935 the YCL printed the first copy of it's famous "Challenge"

In June 1939 large numbers of Labour League of Youth branches and whole branches followed Ted Willis out of the Labour Party into the Young Communist League.

It should be noted that by 1938 over 250 Young Communist League members were heroically fighting and dying in the ranks of the International Brigade in Spain against fascism that would soon engulf Europe.


The Labour League of Youth was finally wound up in 1955. In 1960 the Young Socialists was established and this organisation was renamed the Labour Party Young Socialists in 1965, finally becoming Young Labour in 1993.

Hayes Labour youth section can trace its roots back to the Hayes Young Labour League who organised a concert in January 1925 at the Brotherhood Hall, Hayes Young Labour League also organised a Cycling Club and its first cycling run in May 1925 was from Regents Cinema, Hayes to Ruislip.

Southall Labour League of Youth was particularly active and had Syd Bidwell as a prominent member.

Paul Harmsworth leading light of the Labour Party Young Socialists

Guildford LPYS in the 1970's.

Bob Allen was Full time organiser for the Young Communist League in the 1970's and lived in Uxbridge.

William Hannan MP for Maryhill,
Glasgow, born 30th August 1906. Joined the Labour Party in 1922 and claimed to be the first Chairman of a Scottish Young Labour League of Youth branch in Scotland

Women in WW2 (ATS)


This is a unusual picture of a British women at the front line and with a gun during the Second World War. Kay Elms of London a member of a heavy Ack-Ack battery (ATS) based in Belgium early 1945.

While pictures like this are common place from the Soviet Union I have rarely seen British or American pictures of front line women.

Once again we should honour the memory of the thousands of women in ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) during World War 2 who night after night protected our cities and military forces from the Nazi threat.

Source: Challenge - the Journal of the Young Communist League, February 1945

Sunday, September 14, 2008

General Strike - Fulwell Tram Depot, Hounslow 1926

"Lively scenes at Fulwell Tram Depot
were witnessed at the Fulwell tram depot between 7 and 8 o' clock on Thursday (May 6th 1926) evening, when a crowd of about one thousand people gathered, and some of the volunteer drivers, who were sent down by the Ministry of Transport, and who took trams out, were pelted with eggs.

A number of women were among the crowd and some of these were amongst the noisiest. On the whole, however the temper of the crowd was fairly good humoured, and no serious disturbances occurred, but it is understood, that one arrest on a minor charge was made

Surrey Comet Saturday May 8 - Strike edition one page

Tram's overturned at Southall according to Syd Bidwell (later Labour MP for Southall)