Masters and Servants: Class and Patronage in the Making of a Labour Organisation

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The Durham Miners' Gala has traditionally been a central festival of the British labour movement - a tribute to the pivotal role of the Durham Miners' Association, which at its peak accounted for a quarter of mining union membership. This was the cradle of a trade unionism which aimed to secure workers' rights rather than to protect a craft. But Durham was quite unlike the world of class known to Marx and Dickens. It was a world of small, initially semi-feudal industrial villages; its natural leaders were ...
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Overview

The Durham Miners' Gala has traditionally been a central festival of the British labour movement - a tribute to the pivotal role of the Durham Miners' Association, which at its peak accounted for a quarter of mining union membership. This was the cradle of a trade unionism which aimed to secure workers' rights rather than to protect a craft. But Durham was quite unlike the world of class known to Marx and Dickens. It was a world of small, initially semi-feudal industrial villages; its natural leaders were strongly religious, and politically Liberal. This made it a source both of strength and of division in British class politics. Masters and Servants, a pioneering work of historical sociology, develops an analysis of trade unionism which extends beyond the workplace. Drawing on primary sources, Huw Beynon and Terry Austrin trace the development of the mining communities and of their solidarity. The people, speaking through contemporary reports, official evidence, autobiographies and through the authors' own interviews, are at the heart of their account. It provides a new and detailed understanding of mining society, and the complex ways in which both public and private life in the communities was regulated through custom and formal organisation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854890009
  • Publisher: Rivers Oram Press/Pandora Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: Second edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Introduction 1
1 The Old Establishment 9
2 Bonded Labour and Independent Miners 29
3 A County Association 51
4 A Labour Aristocracy? 89
5 Durham Mining Villages 108
6 Rough Cavils 120
7 A Labour of Love 154
8 Community and Association 185
9 Ceremony and Society: The Gala 206
10 Riot, Rebellion and Strike 227
11 The Checkweighmen's Party 250
12 Local Leaders 264
13 Seats Safe for Fabians 285
14 A Tory Seat 314
15 The Beginning of the End 329
Conclusion 363
Appendix: Presidents and General Secretaries of the Durham Miners' Association 1872-1939 371
Notes and References 372
Indexes 394
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