The events in December to mark the 100th anniversary of the Bliss Mill stike in Chipping Norton have made this weekend’s addition of The Morning Star.
Chipping Norton, a small picturesque Cotswold market town in deepest Oxfordshire, will be associated in the minds of those who don’t know it with a few notorious names.
Those would be its local MP, one David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks, the disgraced former CEO of News International and the pompous television petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson.
Needless to say, none of them were present just before Christmas at an event much more representative of the townspeople – the centenary celebration of the start of the legendary Bliss Tweed mill strike of 1913-14.
The original mill owner, William Bliss, was a paternalistic employer known for “good works” in the town…
However a fire at the mill and a recession in the woollen trade had led to bankruptcy for the Bliss family and a takeover by the Birmingham Metropolitan Bank.
The bank installed Arthur Dunstan, a particularly hostile accountant, as the mill’s new managing director.
This coincided with growing workplace activism, not just in industrial towns but also in the countryside. By mid-December 1913 at least 230 Bliss mill workers had joined the newly formed branch of the Workers’ Union.
You can read the whole article on The Moring Star webiste.
Details of Mike Richardson’s pamphlet on the strike can be found on the Pamphlet Page.