Loganlea during the Miners' Strike of 1921

Mention the General Strike and people think of 1926.  But there was another, earlier strike that also affected mining communities severely: the 1921 Miners' Strike.

In many place, the coal companies feared that the striking miners would interfere with the pumps.  A mine has to be constantly pumped to keep it from flooding.  If a mine was flooded, it would cost the coal companies a lot of money to clear it.  So the striking miners refused to pump the mines, knowing that this put more pressure on management to settle the strike and give them the pay rise they wanted. 

In response, the coal companies sought government help, and the government sent the military to guard the pits and prevent the miners from damaging any of the plant or equipment. They were also there to protect the 'volunteers', who would be regarded as 'scabs' (strike-breakers) by the striking miners.

Servicemen were sent to Loganlea, as the West Lothian Courier reported:

Naval Reserves at Loganlea and Foulshiels In the local area no pumping had been done at the collieries during the strike.  The men at a mass meeting decided that no official or managers would be allowed to work the pumps, and this was carried out to the letter.  On Monday of this week,  however, a body of naval reserves arrived on the scene and took charge of the Loganlea and Foulshiels Collieries, with a view to giving protection to any volunteers the company might secure to work the power station and man the pumps.  Volunteers were got from the city, and pumping has been proceeding this week.  It was found that a large amount of water had accumulated in the workings during the stoppage.   

West Lothian Courier, 22 April 1921, page 2.

Photo:Loganlea rows in 1922; the colliery can seen on the extreme left.

Loganlea rows in 1922; the colliery can seen on the extreme left.

Ordnance Survey, 1922

This page was added by Sybil Cavanagh on 22/05/2012.

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