Moving Stories - Workshops and Performance

Workshop 1 - Manor CE School

During the General Strike Winston Churchill worked hard to encourage strikers to return to work and recruited student volunteers, enthusiasts and the unemployed to keep the docks and transport services running. Have a look at the certificate on the right to see how the blacklegs and volunteers were thanked.


Only food lorries were allowed past the determined strikers and any attempts to run normal services were met with angry opposition, jeering and stone throwing.


The London and North Eastern Railway company’s headquarters was in York on Rougier Street, and crowds gathered outside it.  Strikers were united in mocking the blacklegs, shouting:


“Are you trying to run the railway old man?”


Seven days into the strike on 10 May 1926, the Flying Scotsman passenger service departed from Edinburgh en route to London for the first time since the strike began.


However, in Cramlington striking miners were getting angrier that the railway companies were still managing to transport coal and so decided to sabotage the railway line by removing one of the rails. But instead of the expected coal train, the Flying Scotsman carrying several hundred passengers came hurtling towards them and crashed off the line. Nine miners were found guilty and sent to prison.


Have a look at the poster and photos:


Who might have been travelling on the Flying Scotsman during the strike?


What do you think the driver and firemen would have felt as the train started rocking?

What do you think the miners felt when they realised they had derailed a passenger train?


Using photos, posters, oral histories, newspaper articles, the accident report, eye witness accounts, certificates and medals, year nine students from Manor CE School answered these questions further exploring the dramatic situations and moments of conflict through improvisation.


Look at the photos, try recreating the image and bring it to life. Perhaps give each character a spoken thought.


Investigate newspaper articles about the derailment (these can be found on microfilm at a local studies library). Imagine that you are a journalist writing the story and interview the witnesses.

Document icon Learning article provided by: National Railway Museum | 
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