Kings College student Gina Teslo and Emily Hopper (SOAS) look at our General Strike collection http://www.unionhistory.info/generalstrike/index.php as part of their studies into Ellen Wilkinson’s book Clash.
Groups of students have been visiting over the last two weeks to look at primary sources illustrating the various forms of communication that occurred during the nine days of the strike, including TUC leaflets, progress reports, examples of local reports from Leeds Trades Council, letters of support (including one from Leonard Woolf), telegrams, and posters. They were given the opportunity to hear an interview with Harry Watson (from the oral history collection) in which he describes the activities of the strikers in Canning Town attempting to enforce the picket around the Victoria docks, as they witnessed the armoured cars accompanying the goods being taken from the docks.
This was part of their studies into the background behind Ellen Wilkinson’s novel Clash.
Ellen Wilkinson was national organiser for the National Union of Distributive and Allied Workers and MP for Middlesborough East during the General Strike. She spent the nine days travelling round the country speaking at public meetings and sending enthusiastic reports back to the TUC. She later wrote Clash about her experiences.