Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/explorefurther/digital/sara/generalstrike
Over the past week or so we've been taking a break from the published strike bulletins and have started digitising a series of lantern slides. The glass slides (over 1,000) were used in the 1920s-1940s by the socialist activist and educator Henry Sara to illustrate his public talks on various social, political and historical subjects.
One of the subjects of his talks is the General Strike, and, as well as providing us with a great selection of images, it is also interesting to see how the strike was presented to a left-wing audience several years after its conclusion (the talk probably dates from around 1933).
Rather than buy ready-made slides, Sara created his own using images from newspapers, magazines and other publications that he had collected, so that the illustrations would exactly match his argument.
After putting the General Strike in the context of earlier examples of radical protest (from the 1381 Peasants' Revolt onwards), Sara focuses particularly on media reporting of the strike, and the role (and social status) of strike-breaking volunteers, the police and military. The slide on the left shows Oxford undergraduates working the trams in London - not exactly dressed like your usual tramwayman.
Henry Sara's General Strike lecture concludes with an image of a recruiting poster for the British Army and an extract from a speech made by the Prince of Wales in Mansfield (a coal mining area) in 1933: "I always say to young men that the best thing they can do is join the army". In the year that Hitler came to power in Germany, Sara gives his General Strike speech a topical twist by linking increased unemployment in mining areas, caused partly by the General Strike and miners' lock-out, to the current issue of increasing militarisation and rearmament.