The 1926 Miners Lockout: Meanings of Community in the Durham Coalfield

Hardcover | January 10, 2010

byHester Barron

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The miners' lockout of 1926 was a pivotal moment in British twentieth-century history. Opening with the heady days of the general strike, it continued for seven months and affected one million miners. In County Durham, where almost three in every ten adult men worked in the coal industry, itsimpact was profound. Hester Barron explores the way that the lockout was experienced by Durham's miners and their families. She investigates collective values and behaviour, focusing particularly on the tensions between identities based around class and occupation, and the rival identities that could cut across thecreation of a cohesive community. Highlighting the continuing importance of differences due to gender, age, religion, poverty, and individual hopes and aspirations, she nevertheless finds that in 1926, despite such differences, the Durham coalfield continued to display the solidarity for whichminers were famed. In response, Barron argues that the very concept of the 'mining community' needs to be reassessed. Rather than consisting of an homogeneous occupational identity, she suggests that the essence of community lay in its ability to subsume and integrate other categories of identity. A collectiveconsciousness was further grounded in a shared historical narrative that had to be continually reinforced. It was the strength of such local solidarities that enabled both an exemplary regional response to the strike, and the ability to conceptualise such action within the wider framework of the national union. The 1926 Miners' Lockout provides crucial insights into issues of collective identity andcollective action, illuminating wider debates about solidarity and fragmentation within working-class communities and cultures.

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The miners' lockout of 1926 was a pivotal moment in British twentieth-century history. Opening with the heady days of the general strike, it continued for seven months and affected one million miners. In County Durham, where almost three in every ten adult men worked in the coal industry, itsimpact was profound. Hester Barron explores ...

Hester Barron is Lecturer in History at the University of Sussex. She studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and completed her D.Phil. in November 2006. Her research focuses on twentieth-century British social history, particularly labour history and the history of the working classes in the early part of the century.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pagesPublished:January 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199575045

ISBN - 13:9780199575046

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Tensions of Class and Region2. The Testing of Political and Union Loyalties3. The Attitudes of Women4. Religious Identities5. The Influence of Education6. Memory and ExperienceConclusion