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General Strike - Diary 9th May

9th May 1926


Strike puzzle to some, joke to others
LONDON, May 9. -- Britain's great general strike is not without its humors. There are certain impartial spectators, in fact, who contend that the whole strike is a joke. These are, for the most part, Americans.
New York Times, 9th May 1926

Despite such comments, the strike continued as before. Troops continued to amass in London, and camps sprung up in Regent's Park alongside those already encamped in Victoria Park. Undergraduate volunteers, with the support of military personnel, continued to work at London's docks. Lorries full of soldiers were regularly seen on the streets of the capital.

As befitting a Sunday, church attendance was observed by strikers and workers alike. Pews were filled, hymns sung, and strike meeting were preceded and followed by attendance at Church services. The Archbishop of Canterbury's service was broadcast on the BBC, and as such it placed the Church of England on the side of the people against the privileged classes. Whilst the Church of England saw the strike as an opportunity to espouse the christian virtues of love and conciliation, not all agreed. Some vicars decided to join the strike breakers by volunteering to drive trains, and the Catholic church openly declared the strike a sin against God.

Negotiations continued to find an amicable resolution to the strike. However, the TUC could not foresee a way forward without a willingness on the part of the Miners's Federation to negotiate with the owners over the issue of pay. A swift resolution was becoming increasingly necessary for the Unions, as strike pay was rapidly depleting Union funds.