Mill workers’ protest

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I wonder how many shoppers and visitors walk past this modern statue in Preston, in the North West of England, thinking about catching a bus or train, meeting friends and family for lunch or rushing to buy the latest bargains. We so often take for granted familiar sights but this particular sculpture tells a disturbing story.

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Back in the 1840s, poverty was widespread in Britain. Preston, a cotton mill town, was one of those places affected by a depression in the country. To make matters worse for over-worked and under-paid workers, the mill owners decided to reduce wages.

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As you can imagine, mill employees weren’t happy. On August 13, 1842, cotton workers went on a protest march in the town centre. This was part of the General Strike, which took place across the country. Unfortunately, the military were waiting for them. They met the protesters at a location called Lune Street and, while attempting to break up the crowd, the soldiers shot – and killed – four men.

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This happened at the spot where the monument now stands. The 1842 Memorial Statue, built in 1992 by Gordon Young, marked the 150th year of the Lune Street protest.

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As I said earlier, we become accustomed to familiar sights in our familiar towns and cities but delve a little closer and it’s possible to step back into time and find out about the people of yesterday and their lives.

For a more detailed account, read: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.lep.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/lune-street-the-land-that-time-has-forgot-1-4834634/amp

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15 thoughts on “Mill workers’ protest

  1. I completely agree, Clare, that the familiar can so often be passed by unnoticed, so it’s good to take some time to look a little deeper and discover the great stories on our doorsteps. These poor mill workers’ sad story needs to be remembered. Thanks for sharing. We should all open our eyes more, and our minds to the past. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there’s history everywhere but the more familiar something is, the less notice we might take of it. There is much history around me but I (and I suspect a lot of other people living nearby) take it for granted. There is an old mansion near me, Hoghton Tower, full of history and I have yet to visit it even though it isn’t far. Maybe this year will be the year! It was a terribly tough time for workers in the Victorian times. Things aren’t perfect now but they were awful then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very true, it was really rough for workers in the Victorian era. In some places you put your life on the line going to work. I hope you do get to visit Hoghton Tower, it sounds very interesting. You’ll have to do a post about it! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That was interesting Clare. I found it particularly interesting as I am a legal secretary who works for a labor lawyer – he is a management labor attorney, so we’re always for the employer but being a “worker bee” myself, I can certainly sympathize with their plight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think like most things it’s about balance so both employer and employee have rights. An employer shouldn’t have to keep an employee on if they couldn’t care less about their job and are dishonest etc and, generally, employees need to have fundamental rights as well. Unfortunately in the Victorian times, workers didn’t seem to have many rights at all, even though some worked long hours in dangerous jobs. A terrible time for them from what I’ve heard.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Doodlepip, I heard cackling in the coop this morning. I thought it was one of the bantams after laying an egg but they were reading Florence’s interview! They were delighted with it! πŸ™‚ Thank you, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi
    Thankyou for posting this interesting story about the mill workers.
    I have never been to Preseton…however if i ever go i will certainly be more informed and seek out the statue.πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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