Coal pickers, Wimblebury

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Description:Following the Great War (1914-18) the British government returned the coal mines to private ownership on 31 March 1921 having taken direct control of the mines in 1916. The mine owners demanded that miners' wages be cut. The miners responded with a strike call in the expectation of being supported by the dockers and transport workers but this support was not forthcoming so the miners went on strike alone nationally, until July when they returned to work defeated.

Coal pickers faced prosecution for theft from the colliery owners and could be jailed or fined with child offenders facing legal consequences too. They were forced to take this risk to provide a source of heat for warmth, cooking and boiling their washing.

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Donor ref:Hednesford 33 (6/45111)

Source: Mr John Godwin

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