The Burston Strike School in Norfolk is one of the most remarkable episodes in English radicalism. The school - a small single-storey building on the village green - celebrates its centenary this year, and there are centenary events starting in April. And as you can see, there's a Kentish Town connection.
The Strike School is sometimes described as the longest strike in British history. It was set up when squire and parson sacked the radical couple, Tom and Annie Higdon, who taught at the village's church school. The Higdons set up an alternative school, initially in a marquee on the green, attended by 66 of their 72 former pupils. It kept on going for quarter-of-a-century.
The school building was constructed through support and donations from across the labour and radical movement - and that's reflected in the inscriptions on its bricks. From the Kentish Town rail workers (back in the day when hundreds worked on the Kentish Town rail depots) to Leo Tolstoy. The old school is now a well kept small museum - and deserves support, so spread the word.
I remember seeing the Kentish Town inscription when I visited Burston some years back - Megan Dobney, of the Southern & Eastern Region TUC, has very kindly sent me the photos that grace this page. Of the other inscriptions, ILP = Independent Labour Party, NCF = No Conscription Fellowship, ASE = Amalgamated Society of Engineers, SWMF = South Wales Miners' Federation, LRC = (I think) Labour Representation Committee ... oh, and JP = Justice of the Peace.
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