2023 Burston Strike School Rally

Post date: 15/09/2023

Megan Dobney reports from the annual rally in Norfolk.

IBMT president Marlene Sidaway was one of the speakers at the 2023 Burston Strike School Rally on 3 September in Norfolk, sharing the platform with trade unionists, politicians and progressive entertainers.

Marlene Sidaway, Actor and President of the International Brigade Memorial Trust

This annual rally celebrates the longest-running strike in British history, between 1914 and 1939. The strike began when teachers at the village’s Church of England school, Annie Higdon and her husband, Tom Higdon, were sacked after a dispute with the area’s school management committee and schoolchildren went on strike in their support.

The Higdons set up an alternative school, attended by 66 of their 72 former pupils. Beginning in a marquee on the village green, the school moved to a local carpenter’s premises and later to a purpose-built school financed by donations from the labour movement. Burston Strike School carried on teaching local children until shortly after Tom’s death in 1939.

Beth Richards, Marlene Sidaway, Megan Dobney and Alan Lloyd

Solidarity has never been confined to the industrial heartlands but lives and breathes in rural areas across our countries!

Read more about the strike on the Burston School Strike page.

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