About this image
In the background is the Carr Vale Viaduct (which was 70ft high and 370ft long and demolished in 1952. See also NTGM004453 for another picture of pit ponies being taken out of Clifton Colliery during the Miners / General Strike. In 1925 the mine-owners in Britain announced that they intended to reduce the miner's wages. The General Council of the Trade Union Congress (whom represented workers in all different sectors) responded to this news by promising to support the miners in their dispute with their employers. The Conservative Government, decided to intervene, and supplied the necessary money to bring the miners' wages back to their previous level. This event became known as Red Friday because it was seen as a victory for working class solidarity. Later, the miner-owner published new terms for the workers stating that they would have to work longer hours and that their pay would be cut. Furthermore the miner-owners said that if they did not accept these terms then they would be locked-out of the pits. A Royal Commission was set up and in 1926, it concluded that the industry was in need of re-organization and that some miners should accept wage cuts. The owners insisted on large cuts, whilst the Miners Federation of Great Britain fought these proposals on the slogan 'Not an hour on the day. Not a penny off the pay'. On the 30th April 1926, the miners who refused the cuts were locked out and Britain s coalfields came to a stop. A Conference of Trade Union Congress met on 1st May 1926, and afterwards announced that a General Strike 'in defence of miners' wages and hours,' was to begin two days later. On the 11th May, at a meeting of the Trade Union Congress General Committee, it was decided to accept the terms proposed by Herbert Samuel and to call off the General Strike. The following day, the TUC General Council visited 10 Downing Street to announce to the British Government that the General Strike was over. At the same meeting the TUC attempted to persuade the Government to support the Samuel proposals and to offer a guarantee that there would be no victimization of strikers, however the Government refused to do so. On 21st June 1926, the British Government introduced a Bill into the House of Commons that suspended the miners' Seven Hours Act for five years - thus permitting a return to an 8-hour day for miners. In July the mine-owners announced new terms of employment for miners based on the 8-hour day. The miners were furious about what had happened although the General Strike was over, the miners' strike continued until November when starvation sent them back to work.