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A new play about the 1972 building workers strike is coming to Harrogate Theatre on 3rd & 4th November. The play is entitled “United We Stand” and is produced by Townsend Productions (http://www.townsendproductions.org.uk/home).


1972 saw the first building workers’ national strike, over pay and working conditions. The 13-week strike resulted in increased union organisation and the largest single pay rise ever negotiated in the building industry. The key weapon in the struggle was the use of flying pickets which helped to ensure that the strike was solid across construction sites.

The then Tory government, desperate to contain the situation and stop the mass picketing, decided to make an example of the pickets and frame them over charges of intimidation, violence and conspiracy. 24 trade union members were charged over picketing in Shrewsbury and several were imprisoned, including Ricky Tomlinson (of “The Royle family” fame) and Des Warren.

Scandalously, both Warren and Tomlinson were left to serve the remainder of their prison sentence by the Labour government which came to power in February 1974. Although Ricky Tomlinson was released in July 1975, Des Warren was left isolated in prison for the rest of his sentence and spent 6 months in solitary confinement. Maltreatment in prison undermined Warren’s health and he contracted Parkinson’s disease, sadly passing away in 2004.

The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign was established in 2006 in order to overturn the convictions and sentences of the building workers who took part in picketing during the 1972 strike. The campaign has found that a number of government documents relating to the strike have been withheld on grounds of “national security.”

To support the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, visit their website at the following link:


For the background on the campaign and the government’s refusal to publish documents relating to the case, see the following article from The Socialist, the weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party:


Tickets are still available from Harrogate Theatre and can be obtained in the usual way. Harrogate Socialists will be holding a stall at the Theatre on both nights.

No to imperialist war!

Anti war 1

The next anti-war vigil is Thursday 23rd October at Harrogate Cenotaph, 5.30-6.30. All are welcome to come along and protest against the imperialist intervention in the Middle-East.

There will be an anti-war street stall in Cambridge Street on Saturday 25th October, 11.00-1.00. Harrogate Socialists will be joining with members of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (www.caab.org.uk) and the Stop the War Coalition (www.stop war.org.uk) to oppose the bombing of Iraq and Syria. All welcome!

Branch  Meeting – Tuesday 11th November

The next meeting of Harrogate Socialist Party is on Tuesday 11th November, beginning 7.30 pm. The venue is the Stone Beck pub, Jenny Field Drive, Harrogate, HG3 2XQ.

Join us for a discussion on a socialist approach to immigration. For further details contact us at: harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com