The Great Dock Strike – 125 years on

By georgina young on 11 Aug 2014
Banner of the 'Amalgamated Stevedores Labour Protection league'

Banner of the ‘Amalgamated Stevedores Labour Protection league’


“The St. Lawrence is mere water. The Missouri muddy water. The Thames is liquid history.”  
So declared John Burns – a great advocate of London’s history – when asked to compare the Thames against those other great rivers in 1929. Forty years earlier in 1889 Burns had been a towering figurehead of the Great Dock Strike, thus sealing his own place in those murky waters. As the 125th anniversary of the strike approaches (14 August – 16 September) it feels an opportune moment to reflect on what this particular passage of liquid history might mean today.

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