Presentation on theme: "In the early 20th century coal was very important because it powered all technology – much like oil today. Coal was Britain’s biggest industry."— Presentation transcript:
1 In the early 20th century coal was very important because it powered all technology – much like oil today. Coal was Britain’s biggest industry.
2 Many described Britain as a land of ‘Two Nations’.
3 The rich who enjoyed the wealth and power brought by trade and industry, driven by coal…
4 … and the workers, making the factory goods and digging the coal.
5 Coal miners worked in some of the worst conditions of all Coal miners worked in some of the worst conditions of all. In places like South Wales, Kent, South Yorkshire and the North-East they lived in villages in strong communities.
6 They kept Britain rich … … at great cost. http://www. healeyhero
7 1812 Felling explosion. A coal dust explosion, 92 men and boys were killed, the boys being 7 and 8 years of age. 1843, Broadsfield Colliery in Fenton. A firedamp explosion occurred in which 9 lives were lost. 1844, September. Haswell Colliery. 95 men were killed in a massive explosion th May. Oldfield Colliery in Fenton, North Staffordshire 7 killed and several injured by an explosion. 1862, 16th January, New Hartley Pit Disaster. 204 killed, including children as young as 10. (1861. Clay Cross Colliery. 11th June, mine flooded, twenty three lives lost , Talke o' the Hill. 13th Dec 89 men and boys were killed in an explosion. 1870,Sheriff Pit, Silverdale , an explosion occurred at Sheriff Pit, which killed 19 men Rennishaw Park. 10th January, explosion, twenty seven killed, twelve injured. 1871, 6th. September. Moss Colliery Disaster Underwood Pit, 12th April th April, Bunker's Hill Colliery 43 miners killed by an explosion th September, Prince of Wales, Abercarn. 325 men and boys working underground when a massive explosion ripped through the workings, Seaham Colliery explosion and fire, 164 men lost their lives th Feb, Chatterley Whitfield Colliery Explosion Twenty-one persons were th November, Parkhouse Colliery,Catty Pit as it was better known. explosion, forty five lives lost , 16th October Mossfield Colliery Explosion, 64 were killed along with 16 pit ponies. 1895,14th January, Diglake Colliery in North Staffordshire with the loss of 77 lives , 11th November. Winning Colliery, explosion, seven lives lost. 1901, 24th May, Universal, Senghenydd, Glamorgan81 killed Boythorpe Lane Colliery, 20th October, explosion. 1905, 10th March, Cambrian. Clydach Vale, Glamorgan33 killed. 1905, 11th July, National, Wattstown, Glamorgan 119 killed. 1906, 14th October, Wingate Grange, Durham 25 killed. 1908, 4th March, Hamstead, Staffordshire 26 killed. 1908, 18th August, Maypole, Wigan, Lancashire killed. 1909, 16th February, West Stanley, Durham 168 killed. 1909, 29th October, Darran, Glamorgan 27 killed. 1910, 11th May, Wellington, Whitehaven, Cumberland 136 killed. 1910, 4th December, Kemberton Pit, Shropshire 7 killed. 1910, 21st December,Pretoria Pit at Westhoughton, Lancashire killed.
12 The miners’ union, the Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) was strong.
13 In 1914 the unions of the three other key workers – railwaymen, dockers and transport workers – joined together and agreed to support workers like the miners in their disputes.
14 Conflict was growing between employers and organised workers.
15 But then in 1914 war came. All sides agreed to fight the common enemy
16 Coal was needed for the war effort. There were jobs for all Coal was needed for the war effort. There were jobs for all. Wages went up.
17 But prices went up too, and some mine owners were making lots of money for themselves. After the war, they wanted to keep making lots of money.
18 But then in 1925, a major crisis hit the British coal industry. Other countries were selling coal more cheaply on the world market.
19 Exports went down.Profits went down.The British coal industry was losing a million pounds a month.400 mines were forced to close.
20 So the mine owners told the miners: “We’ll cut your wages to what they were 4 years ago…… and we’ll make you work longer hours.”
21 The miners’ leader replied: “Not a penny off the pay!Not a second on the day!”A.J. Cook, Secretary of the Miners’ Federation.
22 The mine owners said if the miners didn’t agree, they’d be locked out with no work and no pay.
23 The Trades Union Congress (TUC) represented all the workers in unions – dockers, railwaymen, miners, transport workers etc.They said they would support the miners and refuse to handle coal on trains, on lorries or in the docks.
24 They also wanted the mines to be nationalised – all run by the government, not by lots of private businesses.
25 The Conservative government – led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin – was worried. The government feared a workers’ revolution like the one in Russia 8 years earlier.They weren’t ready to deal with a general strike. They didn’t have clear plans. They didn’t have enough coal stockpiled to use in an emergency.So they needed time…..
26 … and they bought time by making a deal with the TUC. The Government would pay the mine owners a subsidy so that wages would not have to go down for the time being …… and there would be a Royal Commission led by Sir Herbert Samuel, to look into the problem and produce a report after nine months.Nine months during which the government could prepare itself.
27 In March 1926 the Samuel Commission reported. It said:“No nationalisation, longer working hours, a pay cut of 13.5%”
28 In other words, it supported the mine owners. The government and TUC tried to reach agreement …
29 … but at the beginning of May the mine owners began a lockout … but at the beginning of May the mine owners began a lockout. They hoped poverty and hunger would force the miners to give in.
30 The TUC were ready to call a strike of two and a half million workers in support of the miners.
31 What would be the spark to start the General Strike? The leaders of the TUC – Ernest Bevin and Jimmy Thomas – didn’t want to go so far …… but the rank and file members were ready to show solidarity with the miners.What would be the spark to start the General Strike?
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