Soldiers and workers outside J. S. Hulse, Ordsall Works, Regent Road, Salford, 1911


  • PRO 3y

    But why are both soldiers and workers there?

    Note the bosses with boaters at the back getting friendly with the officers, and the striking lads overlooked by guys in uniform.

    This was part of "The Great Unrest".
    Throughout 1911 mass strikes of miners, seamen, dockers, carters, tramwaymen and railway workers ushered in a period of industrial unrest on a scale not previously experienced, and which was only ended by the start of World War One.

    Things were rather like today: By 1910, citing financial constraints, Liberal reforms were coming to an end. Even prior to 1910 grievances had accumulated over poor working conditions, discipline at work, and the failure of wages to keep pace with rising prices. After increasing for many years, real wages had ceased to grow from the turn of the century, and had declined by 10% by 1910. In the following years retail prices rose while wage rates stagnated or fell as the rich wallowed in their new-found luxuries.

    Hulse made massive high quality machine tools essential for the armaments industry, among other things. This was when Britain was building dreadnought battleships and was in an arms race with the Kaiser's Germany.
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Taken in July 1911
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