Winslow and the General Strike (1926)

by Ed Grimsdale

The General Strike of 1926 grew from a Miners’ Strike to which the Trades Union Congress gave its somewhat reluctant support.  Our country started to grind to a halt and there were concerns about supplies of fresh food and essentials, such as milk, especially in cities and large towns. The 1920s were times before most homes had electricity and cars were still a luxury. Flying pickets couldn’t operate but miners and their families were embittered by strike-breaking, particularly in the transport industry. It wasn’t long before they derailed “The Flying Scotsman” in Durham.

Winslow was well away from mining areas. The government, hiding behind a front called the Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies (OMS), commandeered lorries and used students to drive them. Hence, the farmers of North Bucks were encouraged from the first day of the General Strike on 4 May to bring their milk to Winslow Market Square where the churns were transferred to waiting lorries that took the supplies the fifty miles across to London.  A local photographer caught this dramatic trade in the three images that follow.

[Clicking on the images will take you to larger versions.]

The Market Square with milk carts

Milk carts on the Market Square

Milk carts on the Market Square

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Copyright 30 July, 2015