Moving Stories - Workshops and Performance

Workshop 2 - Kingswood College of Arts

The General Strike equally affected Hull, as it was a port where many people worked on the docks or in the transport service. Ships were left unloaded and the trams were brought to a complete standstill for several days and nothing but food vans were allowed through the picket lines.


However, as with most places across the country student volunteers, enthusiasts and the unemployed soon jumped at the opportunity to drive the trams alongside the occasional 'blackleg' (someone who continued working during the strike) and a recruitment office was set up in the City Hall.


Have a look at the photos.  Who else was brought in to keep the docks and railway lines working during the strike?


Many volunteers were students from Oxford and Cambridge who enjoyed driving the trams in exchange for a pint of beer!


Check out the interactive to listen to people describing the volunteer drivers during the strike.


Barbed wire was put around many of the trams, and policemen escorted the blacklegs and volunteers because angry strikers would often attack the trams and throw stones. Large crowds of strikers gathered in Victoria Square and outside the City Hall, jeering and occasionally fighting with volunteers who were enrolling. However, the punishment for violence and attacks on the trams were harsh, often resulting in prison sentences.


During the strike, Sheffield Police were sent to Hull to maintain order and accounts talk of their brutality. Fearing the large gatherings of strikers the police used batons to break up crowds, injuring many men and women.


Year eight students from Kingswood College of Arts explored the riot scenes in the centre of Hull where windows were smashed, shops were looted and police were assaulted - examining photos, newspaper articles, posters, tram tickets and eye witness accounts to find out what happened.

Document icon Learning article provided by: National Railway Museum | 
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